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About the project

Welcome to the Climate Change and Protected Areas in West Africa (CCPAWA) project website! We encourage you to explore the site to find out more about the project.

CCPAWA is a regional-scale project focused on climate change and protected area issues, which will build capacity to better understand and manage protected areas in West Africa in the context of climate change. The project focuses on five core countries in West Africa (Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Sierra Leone and Togo), but will work to address the issues at a regional scale. Protected areas have long been used as a mechanism for conserving multiple biodiversity values. This mechanism is, however, already under heavy and increasing pressure from anthropogenic and other threats, and climate change will intensify this pressure further. The project’s overall goal is:

‘Conservation and sustainable management of representative protected area ecosystems in West Africa is enhanced through strengthened assessment and adaptation to the impacts of climate change.’

The main elements of the project will be (a) identifying risks to protected areas as a consequence of climate variability and change, (b) planning for adaptive measures that should be undertaken to minimise those risks, and (c) ensuring that the risks are reduced to acceptable levels through long-lasting and environmentally sound, economically viable, and socially acceptable changes. There are potentially large benefits for the whole West African region from using the tools that will be developed at both national and regional scales to support improved management of protected area systems in response to climate and other change impacts. It is anticipated that the development of new techniques, models and approaches from the project will also be highly useful in other regions with similar challenges.

Funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the project will run for from mid 2010 to 2015, with a USD 15million budget, consisting of USD 3million in GEF funding and USD 12million in partner co-financing. The project is being executed by the United Nations Environment Programme – World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature - Central and West Africa Protected Areas Programme (IUCN PAPACO) in partnership with the governments of the five core countries and other technical partners. Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, and potentially other countries, will also be involved in transboundary conservation activities.

Map of project area