Sahelian West Africa has recovered from the disastrous droughts
of the 1970s and 1980s. People have learned to adapt to risk and
uncertainty in fragile dryland environments. They, as well as
global change scientists, are worried about the impact of climate
change on these West African drylands. What do the experiences of
the last thirty years say about the preparedness for higher
temperatures, lower rainfall, and even more variability? Detailed
studies on Dryland West Africa as a whole, and on Burkina Faso,
Mali and Northern Ghana in particular show an advanced coping
behaviour and increased adaptation, but also major differences in
vulnerability and coping potential. Climate change preparedness
programmes have only just started and require more robust support,
and more specific social targeting, for a population which is
rapidly growing, even more rapidly urbanising, and further
integrating in a globalised economy.
This book is the first of its kind with a comprehensive analysis
of climate change experiences in West African drylands, with
attention for pathways of change and the diversity of adaptation
options available. This book is of interest to scientists studying
global and climate change, especially dealing with issues of
adaptation. Social scientists, economists, geographers and policy
makers concerned with West Africa should also read this book.
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