This week Professor Kwasi Appeaning-Addo, deputy PI of DECCMA Ghana and now Director of the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies at the University of Ghana, will be presenting key findings on climate change, migration and adaptation in the Volta delta to a meeting of development partners within the Environment and Natural Resources Sector Working Group. The presentation will provide an opportunity to highlight complementarities and where DECCMA research findings can inform adaptation programming in Ghana.
Marking the end of the Collaborative Adaptation Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA), IDRC has released a series of “novel insights”. These briefs capitalise on thematic learnings across the four CARIAA consortia that have been investigating adaptation in different hotspots – DECCMA in deltas, ASSAR and PRISE in semi-arid regions and economies, and HiAWARE in glacier-fed river basins. The novel insights synthesise findings on migration, gender and social equity, effective adaptation, the impact of a 1.5C increase in global temperature on the different hotspots, and research for impact.
DECCMA has just released a new publication, “Climate change, migration and adaptation in deltas. Key findings from the DECCMA project” available to download in optimal resolution (15MB) and lower resolution (6MB). The publication summarises our key findings on the present and future situation of deltas, highlights some of the impacts our research has had on policies and plans in Bangladesh, India and Ghana, and reflects on the capacity that has been built through the DECCMA project.
To mark the release of the IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5ºC, the University of Southampton hosted a panel discussion focusing on the coastal and marine implications and relevance for the Paris Agreement. Among the panelists were DECCMA Principle Investigator Professor Robert Nicholls and researcher Dr Sally Brown, who led the recent paper in the journal Regional Environmental Change that outlines the implications of sea level rise under 1.5ºC, 2ºC and 3ºC in deltas, and was a lead author on the IPCC special report. A video recording of the panel discussion is now available.
To mark the release of the IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5ºC, the University of Southampton is today hosting a panel discussion focusing on the coastal and marine implications and relevance for the Paris Agreement. Among the panelists will be DECCMA Principle Investigator Professor Robert Nicholls and researcher Dr Sally Brown, who led the recent paper in the journal Regional Environmental Change that outlines the implications of sea level rise under 1.5ºC, 2ºC and 3ºC in deltas, and was a lead author on the IPCC special report. A summary of the discussion will be posted here shortly after the event.
by Katharine Vincent
Last week I was privileged to attend the 5th Climate Change Adaptation Policy and Science conference, which also served as the final workshop for DECCMA’s sister project within the CARIAA programme-Himalayan Adaptation, Water and Resilience (HI-AWARE). Whilst DECCMA is investigating climate change and adaptation in deltas, the biophysical “hotspot” in which HI- AWARE focuses is glacier and snowpack-dependent river basins, which include the Indus, Upper Ganga, Gandaki and Teesta river basins in Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
The conference was split into 2 days – the first had the theme “gendered vulnerability”, and the second was a launch of HI-AWARE final products.
On the first day community members had been invited from the project pilot sites across the four countries. It was very inspiring to hear how the pilot adaptations are actively reducing people’s vulnerability to climate change: through climate-smart agriculture in Pakistan, eco-san toilets in India, and flood-resistant houses in Bangladesh. The gentleman from Bangladesh reported that, whilst he was with us, neighbours were sheltering in his home as the Teesta had flooded and his was one of the few houses that had not been submerged.
HI-AWARE’s findings on gendered vulnerability were presented from case studies upstream, midstream and downstream in each basin. New “genderscapes” are being produced, particularly as a result of migration. Whilst individual women may be empowered with new decision-making capacity when their husbands leave, the institutions have not caught up with these evolving gender norms and thus can still act to impede gender-equitable access to services and facilities. Building on our CARIAA-wide synthesis work on gender-related findings, I participated (alongside colleagues from PRISE and ASSAR) in a panel discussion highlighting results of our qualitative comparative analysis of 25 cases, and the predominant conditions that can support or dampen women’s agency.
On the second day, the HI-AWARE team launched 15 briefing papers describing key findings relating to the projected magnitude of climate change in mountains, heat stress, water availability (for agriculture and urban use), flooding and critical climate moments (in adaptation pathways). This was followed by presentations on their approach to research into use – or research impact – activities, knowledge management/communications, and M&E.
In addition to the content findings, one of my favourite parts of the conference was when HI-AWARE-supported postgraduate students (“fellows”) and early career researchers, communicators and practitioners talked about their journeys as part of the project, and how it has affected their career paths. The confidence and skills gained by these young men and women was obvious, and their enthusiasm and commitment inspiring. Almost all of them also spoke about their improved knowledge and understanding of gender and the importance of communicating research findings for impact. Both of these elements are things we have also prioritised in DECCMA and are, I believe, essential for transdisciplinary research that is effective in enabling socially-equitable adaptation to climate change.
by Prosper Adiku
In mid-May, Professor Kwasi Appeaning Addo of the University of Ghana shared findings from the DECCMA project during a student exchange workshop on the Volta delta organised by TU Delft and Delta Alliance in the Netherlands.
Speaking on “Shoreline change in the Volta delta and implications for coastal communities” as part of a scientific seminar in the Faculty of Architecture (13-18 May 2018), TU Delft, Prof. Appeaning Addo, Co-PI for DECCMA Ghana, highlighted the key factors responsible for change in the Volta delta. He highlighted key findings of DECCMA research in the assessment of migration as an adaptation option in the delta under a changing climate to deliver policy support on sustainable gender-sensitive adaptation.
He noted that findings from DECCMA project cut across issues regarding policy implementation, assessment of biophysical hazards, land cover change and migration and these requires the management of the Volta delta to be viewed as an integration of coupled biophysical and socio-economic systems.
Participants at the seminar included Ghana government delegation of the Volta delta mission, the Dutch government, director of Delta Alliance and members of the Ghana – Netherlands Students collaboration programme.
The Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) programme has just released a book – “Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation. Trade-offs and Governance”. It synthesises the headline messages from the 9 year duration ESPA programme and over 120 products that were funded within it.
Particularly timely in light of the 17 ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, the book provides evidence to address the questions at the heart of ecosystems and wellbeing research. It reviews the impacts of ongoing drivers of change and presents new ways to achieve sustainable wellbeing, equity, diversity, and resilience. The authors evaluate the potential solutions that can be offered by carefully-designed conservation projects, payment schemes, and novel governance approaches across scales – from local to national and international – highlighting trade offs and governance systems to achieve sustainable development.
The entire book is open access, and includes a chapter by DECCMA Co-PI Professor Neil Adger on Interactions of migration and population dynamics with ecosystem services.
DECCMA researchers will be participating in the following sessions at Adaptation Futures 2018 in Cape Town:
Monday 18th June
Robert Nicholls will participate in S80 on “Adaptive coastal planning-sharing techniques, tools and experiences”, run by Deltares (parallel session 2, 1500-1700, room 2.64).
Tuesday 19th June
Ricardo Safra de Campos will participate S39 on “Early experiences with managed retreat”, run by Stanford University (parallel session 4, 1415-1600, room 1.43).
Wednesday 20th June
Shouvik Das will participate in S92 on “Multidimensional Framework and Response Matrix for Migration”, run by Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF)(early session, 0800-0900, room 2.63)
Katharine Vincent will give a presentation “Gendered adaptation in deltas: Who decides, who benefits, and who loses?” in S64 “What enables adaptation of women in climate hotspots?”, run by IDRC (parallel session 6, 0915-1100, room 1.63).
Katharine Vincent will give a presentation “The process of developing adaptation policy trajectories in the DECCMA project” in S200 “Evidence-based guiding principles for developing adaptation pathways to inform adaptation policy and practice in the context of development”, run by Wageningen University (parallel session 7, 1415-1600, room 2.41).
Katharine Vincent will give a presentation “Changing attitudes and behaviours among members of a consortium” in S195 “Research for Impact: Dynamic approaches, experiences and lessons on research uptake” (parallel session 8, 1630-1815, room 1.42).
Thursday 21st June
Kwasi Appeaning-Addo will give a presentation on the DECCMA project in Ghana in S180 “Towards an adaptive climate proof freshwater supply in salinising deltas and possible solutions for deltas worldwide: examples from The Netherlands, Ghana, Vietnam and Bangladesh”, run by Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (parallel session 11, 1415-1600, room 1.62).
Robert Nicholls, Katharine Vincent and Ricardo Safra de Campos will participate in a joint DECCMA-Western Indian Ocean Deltas Exchange Network (WIODER)-Delta Alliance session “Adaptation practice and experience in deltas in the global south”. Robert will chair the session, Katharine will make a presentation “Documenting observed adaptations in deltaic Ghana, India and Bangladesh” and Ricardo will make a presentation “Migration as an adaptation” (parallel session 11, 1415-1600, room 1.64).
by Robert Nicholls and Attila Lazar
A number of DECCMA researchers participated in the recent European Geophysical Union’s annual assembly in Vienna. It is one of the largest conferences in Europe with about 15,000 participants. The focus is on the physical sciences, but it has increasingly cross- disciplinary sessions involving economics, social-sciences and demography.
Attila Lazar from the University of Southampton presented a paper on “Migration and adaptation under climate change in deltas”, discussing a method and the resulting Bayesian network model on the household adaptation (including migration) decisions for male- and female-headed households in Bangladesh, India and Ghana.
DECCMA PI Robert Nicholls co-convened a session on deltas with Steve Darby, Ester Stouthamer (Utrecht) and Hans Middlekoop (Utrecht). Presenters included Frances Dunn (University of Southampton) on present and future sediment fluxes to deltas worldwide, including the DECCMA deltas; Tuhin Ghosh (Jadavpur University) on plausible future aquaculture expansion in the Indian Bengal Delta; and Attila Lazar on possible development trajectories for coastal Bangladesh (based on work funded by the REACH Project).
A large number of posters were also presented, including an overview of the DECCMA project and a lot of work on subsidence in deltas.
The meeting was a good foundation for exchange. DECCMA researchers discussed future meetings with Dutch colleagues, at EGU and elsewhere, to extend collaboration on multidisciplinary delta research.