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Methodology of Ghana NCAP Project

Phase One

At the operational level, the Ghana NCAP project was divided into two, eighteen-month phases. Mainstreaming climate change into the national development agenda was the overriding driver for both phases. Broadly speaking, the first phase focused on assessment and the second phase focused on policy integration.

Phase 1 unfolded over the period 2003 to 2006 and primarily involved the development of climate scenarios and vulnerability and adaptation assessments for the agriculture, land management, human health, and fishery sectors. Two additional policy reports were also prepared to explicitly address gaps in the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS); one on the nexus between climate change adaptation and poverty and another on women’s vulnerability to climate change.

Activities during Phase I also addressed capacity building. During the course of activities, three capacity-building workshops were organized around training in tools for sectoral vulnerability and adaptation assessments, including poverty, gender and livelihoods linkages. By any measure, these stakeholder meetings were excellent opportunities to promote public participation and social learning, to address the effects of climate change, and to identify community-driven adaptation measures.

Climate Scenario Modeling

Climate change scenarios were developed for use in the assessment of the impacts of climate change in several regions as shown in the figure above. Trends in the observed time series of temperature and rainfall, during the period 1961 to 2000, were analyzed and used as calibration points for the selection of particular global circulation models (GCMs) that best correlated with Ghana’s historical climate patterns. After this initial screening phase, the outputs for the years 2020, 2050, and 2080 were downloaded from the MAGICC/SCENGEN tool for the selected models.

Phase Two

The second phase of the NCAP effort unfolded over the period 2006 to 2008 and sought to build upon and extend the results of the first phase through a closer examination of specific adaptation options and how these could be integrated into policy and planning dialogues. Specifically, this phase focused on the identification and prioritization of adaptation options and mainstreaming these inputs into national policymaking processes. Methodologically, this was achieved through reliance on broad-based stakeholder inputs and the use of a variety of process-based tools.

Climate change related impacts do not recognize sectoral boundaries, and Ghana’s traditional, sector-specific planning will be inadequate to meet future climate change challenges. The ‘business-as-usual’ model will potentially miss both salutary and negative interactions between activities undertaken in different sectors. However, since expertise is typically localized within sectoral government offices, university departments, and institutions, a key challenge for effective adaptation planning is to make good use of this expertise while promoting cross-sector interactions. Consequently, planning for climate change adaptation in Ghana will require coordination and integration across sectors and issues. This is a key conclusion of this phase of the project.

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