Our Common Future Under Climate Change

International Scientific Conference 7-10 JULY 2015 Paris, France

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Wednesday 8 July - 15:00-16:30 UPMC Jussieu - ROOM 307 - Block 24/34

3331 - Forest landscape management to create resilience in the face of climate change in West and Central Africa

Parallel Session

Lead Convener(s): D.J. Sonwa (CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research), Yaounde, Cameroon)

Convener(s): D. Goffner (CNRS, Marseille, France), G. Boetsch (CNRS, Dakar, Senegal)

Co-Convener(s): A. Guissé (Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal)

15:00

Forest landscape management to create resilience in the face of climate change in West and Central Africa

L. Verchot (CIFOR, Bogor, Indonesia), D. J. Sonwa (CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research), Yaounde, Cameroon), K. Fernandes (Columbia University, Palisades, NY, United States of America), W. Baethgen, (Columbia University, Palisades, NY, United States of America), M. Pinedo-Vasquez, (CIFOR, Bogor, Indonesia)

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Forest landscape management to create resilience in the face of climate change in West and Central Africa

L. Verchot (1) ; DJ. Sonwa (2) ; K. Fernandes (3) ; W. Baethgen, (4) ; M. Pinedo-Vasquez, (1)
(1) CIFOR, Bogor, Indonesia; (2) CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research), Forest and Environment Program, Yaounde, Cameroon; (3) Columbia University, International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), Palisades, NY, United States of America; (4) Columbia University, International institute for climate and society, Palisades, NY, United States of America

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Deforestation in West and Central Africa is driven by economic concerns, primarily associated with the expansion of agriculture.  Recent suggestions that deforestation is increasing in Africa are drawing attention for the associated emissions.  There has been a lot of discussion and many documents written about the importance of forests in these regions for carbon sequestration.  The potential role of forests in adapting to the stresses associated with climate variability and change are less well considered.  For example, none of the Congo Basin countries highlighted potential impacts of climate change on forests as a source of national vulnerability in their first national communications to the UNFCCC. Yet evidence is accumulating that climate change has begun to affect the growth and condition of the Congo Basin forests and this will affect communities that depend on these forests for goods and services.  A large number of stakeholders believe that climate change and climate variability do not threaten the forest ecosystems in the humid parts of the region.  Threats are more readily recognized in the sub-humid and semi-arid regions.  Other stakeholders contend that climate change adaptation needs to pay attention to the role forests play in landscapes and there are different opinions about whether adaptation and mitigation need to be considered separately or together.  However, when we talk about forests, mitigation and adaptation concerns often go hand in hand.  This talk will look at the changing nature of climate and climate variability in the region and posit a number of climate associated risks for local livelihoods and economic development.  We will then look at the goods and services provided by forests and examine the evidence that forests have an important role to play in resilience to climate variability and change.  Finally we will look at how adaptation interests can be served by increasing tree plantations in rural African landscapes.

15:20

The Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel within the context of Climate Change

M. Malagnoux (French Scientific Committee on Desertification, Allinges, France)

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The Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel within the context of Climate Change

M. Malagnoux (1)
(1) French Scientific Committee on Desertification, Allinges, France

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The Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel within the context of Climate Change

Common perception of desertification is the advancement of the desert through sand encroachment on fertile lands. Many images of the desert invading its surrounding lands are widespread in the general public. The idea of halting the desert by planting linear barriers of trees, shrubs and grass, is based on many historical or recent successful examples of shelter belts and greenbelts protecting towns, infrastructures, oases and other fertile lands from shifting sands. In this context, why successful techniques at very local level could not be applied at large scale to halt the desert expansion? Large scale linear barriers have been proposed to control the northern and southern rims of the Sahara. The Algerian Green Barrier is an example of this approach.

However, desertification is defined by the UNCCD as “land degradation in arid, semiarid and dry sub humid areas resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities”. Consequently, desertification is not an advance of existing deserts but rather the effect of localized degradation of the land. It follows deforestation, overgrazing or soil exhaustion due to the over exploitation of natural resources. Thus, desertification cannot be controlled by planting tree lines to stop desert progression. China launched in 1978 a large scale integrated management programme in an area of over 4 000 km long by almost 1 000 km wide named “The Three North Shelter Belt Project”. In 1989, President Deng Xiaoping called this the “Green Great Wall” in reference to the ancient “Great Wall” of China, to highlight the scope of the work. But it is by no way a bulwark against the desert despite what this nickname suggests.

The Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel (GGW) launched by the African Union builds on these past experiences and aims at the implementation “of multisectoral initiatives and interventions to ensure natural resource conservation and protection with the aim of fighting poverty”. This initiative has been much welcomed since the political mobilization of African countries around this concept is a clear sign of adoption and involvement. However, the scope of the programme is limited to a 15 km wide transcontinental belt running from Dakar to Djibouti. Within this belt some areas need actions while others have a stable environment where no action is needed. The continuity of the belt is not required. On the other side, areas outside the belt may need urgent action and the belt represents a small portion of the affected area of Sahelian countries. The effects of GGW will be limited to the areas under management. Thus, regarding the adaptation of the Sahelian countries to climate change and the mitigation of its effects, the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel should be a driving example for the extension of the activities to all the degraded or endangered areas of the whole Sahel.

15:40

Adaptive capacity and tree-based livelihood diversification strategies of smallholders in Central Burkina Faso

I. N. S. Djenontin (Center for International Forestry Research, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Burkina Faso), H. Djoudi (Center for International Forestry Research, Bogor, Indonesia), M. Zida (Center for International Forestry Research, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Burkina Faso)

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Adaptive capacity and tree-based livelihood diversification strategies of smallholders in Central Burkina Faso

INS. Djenontin (1) ; H. Djoudi (2) ; M. Zida (1)
(1) Center for International Forestry Research, Forest and Livelihoods Portfolio, West Africa team, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Burkina Faso; (2) Center for International Forestry Research, Forest and livelihoods portfolio, Bogor, Indonesia

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Ecosystem-based adaptation strategies are increasingly gaining attention, among researchers and development practitioners, as a diversification option to address climate change. Informed decision on the adequacy of ecosystem-based strategies requires an understanding of the adaptive capacity they confer to households who seek to build resilience toward climate’s adverse impacts. This paper analyzes how different trees and forest-based diversification strategies affect household’s adaptive capacity in Central Burkina Faso. It uses an integrated approach to select indicators at a household scale, and calculates an aggregate adaptive capacity index (ACI) derived from a combination of both sub-aggregate and sub-composite indexes. Existing ecosystem-based strategies were first identified, and the analyses are done on a sample of 129 representative households who use four different forest and tree-based diversification strategies. Households were interviewed on their assets endowment as well as on the different livelihood outcomes achieved while implementing the strategy. The perceived sensitivity of the strategies to climate risks is also assessed.  A cross-comparison of ACI of households under each strategy indicates that while households who engage in eucalyptus plantations benefit a low adaptive capacity index (3.23), those who engage in restored lands and fruit tree plantations have a high adaptive capacity index. The calculated ACI is 4.78 for households who implement restored lands strategy, 4.58 for those using mango plantations strategy, and 4.35 for households who engage in cashew plantations strategy. However, it is important to put on perspective the adaptive capacity index of households using fruit tree plantations, considering the overall situation of environment and biodiversity lost. Restored land shows a better diversity in terms of products harvested, which are available at different times during the year while fruit tree plantations produce a higher economic gain but their role as a safety net in a case of crisis is low and their sensitivity is higher. The integration adaptive capacity analysis to implement ecosystem based interventions could enhance the climate resilience of livelihoods by increasing the adaptive capacity of communities and individuals.

15:50

The Great Green Wall : a potential driver of transformation and increased resilience in Sahalian landscapes

D. Goffner (CNRS, Marseille, France), A. Guissé (Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal), J.-L. Peiry (Blaise Pascal University, Clermont-Ferrand, France), P. Duboz (CNRS, Marseille, France), G. Boetsch (CNRS, Dakar, Senegal)

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The Great Green Wall : a potential driver of transformation and increased resilience in Sahalian landscapes

D. Goffner (1) ; A. Guissé (2) ; JL. Peiry (3) ; P. Duboz (1) ; G. Boetsch (4)
(1) CNRS, International Research Unit CNRS 3189 Environment, Health, Societies, Marseille, France; (2) Cheikh Anta Diop University, Plant ecology, Dakar, Senegal; (3) Blaise Pascal University, Geolab, Clermont-Ferrand, France; (4) CNRS, International research unit cnrs 3189, environment, health, societies, Dakar, Senegal

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The African Sahel is one of the most vulnerable regions on Earth. Although it is comprised of highly diverse landscapes, the increasing ecological and social vulnerability is clearly the common denominator of the entire zone, translating into an urgent call for action. The currently situation is characterized by a downward spiral: vulnerability has been caused by a combination of climatic and human factors resulting in land degradation, which in turn further accentuates human vulnerability. In order to create resilience for the growing populations of the Sahel, innovative, multi-scale strategies must be implemented.  The adoption of the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (GGW) in 2007 is a step in the right direction. For the first time, the African continent stands united to confront the socio-ecological challenges of the Sahel and Sahara.  Since its political adoption, the main objective of human and ecological well-being has remained unchanged. From its original configuration of eleven founding member countries across the Sahel, it has gradually begun merging with other ongoing, sustainable development initiatives throughout the African continent, thereby creating even greater potential force. Importantly, it has evolved from its original raison d’être as primarily a reforestation project into a series of multi-sectorial actions that takes into account the diversity of the mosaic landscape it crosses.

The success of the GGW will depend on its capacity to intelligently gather, generate, integrate, and use knowledge derived from a wide range of disciplines, taking into account the nature and complexity of socio-ecological systems. How can scientific research in the GGW context nudge the GGW into an appropriate trajectory for transformation of the Sahel? To respond to this demand, the GGW Human Environment Observatory was created by the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in 2009 and groups together international researchers from a wide range of scientific disciplines, all working on a common social ecological system located in the Senegalese Sahel. Research is carried out in close collaboration with natural resource decision makers for the GGW in Senegal (The Senegalese National Green Wall Agency), and in conjunction with local populations. In this presentation, several examples of interdisciplinary research outputs including ecological restoration and monitoring, as well as health and social impacts of the GGW will be presented by observatory researchers. We will provide examples as to how science is already contributing to ecological and human well-being in the region and how scientific data are directly translating into action on the ground and aid in the land use management decisions with the aim of enhancing the resilience of local populations by attempting to provide the appropriate suites of ecosystem services in an equitable manner. 

16:00

Implementing REDD+ and adaptation to climate change in the Congo Basin: Review of projects, initiatives and opportunities for synergies

A. M. Tiani (CIFOR, Yaounde, Cameroon), C. Pavageau, (CIFOR, Yaounde, Cameroon)

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Implementing REDD+ and adaptation to climate change in the Congo Basin: Review of projects, initiatives and opportunities for synergies

AM. Tiani (1) ; C. Pavageau, (1)
(1) CIFOR, Yaounde, Cameroon

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In the face of the climate change, two main types of strategies have emerged. While mitigation aims to reduce the sources or to enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases, adaptation addresses the impacts of climate change on societies and ecosystems.    Even if adaptation is gaining importance in the international arena, national policies and projects have difficulties to emerge in developing countries. Moreover, forests and forest communities are rarely taken into consideration in debates and policies on adaptation. In addition, Congo Basin countries have limited experiences on reduced emissions through avoided deforestation and degradation (REDD+). Although the forestry sector presents opportunities for synergy between adaptation and mitigation, very few life-size experiments can confirm it.

We explored the state of progress of projects and initiatives to promote adaptation and REDD+ in the Congo Basin region and analyzed opportunities for synergies or trade-off between the two strategies. Between 2008 and 2013, 94 national programs and activities related to REDD+ and 11 on adaptation have been identified in six countries of the Congo Basin. Most projects are at an early stage with more emphasize on REDD+ than on adaptation, due to uncertainties about spatiotemporal patterns of risk occurrence, lack of clear adaptation solutions, insufficient political support or lack of national structuring framework as REDD+ does.

Two main tendencies emerged from REDD+ initiatives: 1) local demonstration activities directly aim to reduce carbon emission from deforestation, forest degradation, and sustainable forest management and increase carbon stocks; 2) readiness activities aiming at creating enabling framework for countries to participate in REDD+ deals and develop strategies accordingly. Adaptation to climate change and REDD+ evolves as two parallel and similar processes. Potential for synergies among the two processes exists but are not fully recognized yet.

To be noted is the emergence of hybrid approach, where most of REDD+ and adaptation projects intend to combine the integrated conservation and development project (ICDP) approach with payments for ecosystem services (PES).  This bears the advantaged of repackaging the on-going efforts, reducing uncertainties and risks of maladaptation and offering some responses to the fragmentation of finance opportunities. In sum, the hybrid approaches present potentials for synergies between adaptation and mitigation.

However, transformational changes are needed to increase the synergy between adaptation and mitigation in the current climate portfolio. In particular, there is a need for tools, information and knowledge to support decision makers to harmonizing climate policies.

16:10

Discussion

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Discussion
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