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Giving Compass' Take:
• Ahmadou Aly Mbaye writes on the challenges of climate change on Africa's coastal areas and gives strategies for adaptation and financing.
• A key challenge to the implementation of adaptation strategies in Africa is financing. How can donors help fund aid programs?
• This article is part of our Climate Justice collection. Read more about climate justice, and learn what you can do to help.
Climate change will undoubtedly present one of the most significant risks to Africa’s sustainable development objectives over the next decade, and nowhere is the threat more imminent than on its coastlines. Indeed, recent estimates show that sea levels could rise 100 cm by 2100, further compounding the many hazards threatening the region.
Particularly worrisome is that demographic trends are interacting with climate change in coastal areas, generating a unique set of development challenges. Coastal areas in Africa, like elsewhere in the world, tend to be more densely populated due to the economic opportunities there. For example, in Nigeria’s low-elevation coastal zones (LECZs, areas located 10 meters or less above mean sea level), the population density is 491 inhabitants per km2, compared with 134 inhabitants per km2 nationally. By some estimates, Africa’s populations in LECZs will rise at an annual rate of 3.3 percent between 2000-2030, which is more than double the world’s average. In many cases, individual countries will experience even more extreme changes: For example, in Senegal, the share of the LECZ population is projected to skyrocket to 50 percent by 2060, up from 20 percent in the early 2000s.