Improving resiliency of crops to drought through strengthened early warning within Ghana

Historical data indicates a climate signal for Ghana resulting in a rise in temperature and decrease in mean annual rainfall in most of the country. It is expected that this trend will continue over the coming decades. The economy of Ghana, which relies mainly on sectors such as agriculture, energy and water, is sensitive to climate change, thus climate change adaptation is critical for the future water management within these sectors. Due to the limited use of irrigation in Ghana, the majority of the agricultural areas are very vulnerable to changes related to the climatic conditions and increased frequency of flood and drought events (National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, Ghana). The agricultural and water sectors were identified in the climate change technology needs assessments report (TNA) from 2013 as the main sectors in needs of adaptation technology for climate change.

The CTCN technical assistance relates to Improving resiliency of crops to drought through strengthened early warning within Ghana. The proposed technologies and methods are aligned with both the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (NCCAS) and the technology needs assessment (TNA) reports, and aim at improving the ability for climate change adaptation within Ghana. The objective of this technical assistance is to facilitate transfer and capacity building for climate change adaptation focusing on dry season management and planning. The proposed support will utilise existing knowledge and capacity and further develop and validate these for applications to local issues within Ghana.

The following aspects of climate technologies are of relevance to the specific focus of this Response Plan:

Data accessibility: Data is one of the key components in any warning or information management systems. The use of existing satellite based data will be strengthened by methods for automated download and processing of relevant satellite data. The aim is to avail near real time satellite products related to drought warning and forecasting.

Climate forecasting: Seamless weather forecasting functionalities enabling climate forecasting across different temporal scales (including short, seasonal and decadal periods) is critical for description of how droughts will evolve in the future. CTCN technical assistance will enable the use of climate forecasting  to produce information on droughts severity and impacts in Ghana.

Early warning: An early drought warning system facilitates the provision of timely and effective information related to the water and agriculture sectors allowing these sectors to take actions to mitigate impacts of the upcoming drought. The early warning system will be designed through the national stakeholders’ consultation.

Adaptation Planning: Planning methods incorporating the early warning assessments and the uncertainty associated with climate predictions will be addressed in the proposed technical assistance. Solutions that are robust and resilient towards droughts will be explored as part of this support. Experience and knowledge from other projects will be incorporated into the proposed request.

Early warning communication: The dissemination and outreach part of a warning and forecast system is one of the key components. The dissemination part will focus on national and regional organizations as well as on gender related issues associated with drought warning and forecast.

This technical assistance is aiming at improving the preparedness to drought through increased capacity and technologies for improved and timely early warning information provided to the relevant sectors and organisations. Moreover, the technologies will be tailored and tested for the specific local conditions of Ghana. The expected outputs from this CTCN technical assistance will be of immediate use in fulfilling the goals of the TNA and the NCCAS, and will potentially be one of the key tools for accomplishing the goals described in these documents related to the agriculture and water sector in Ghana.

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