Building Coastal Resilience Through an Integrated Approach : Lessons from Ghana
"On Ghana’s coast, climate change is affecting ecosystem goods and services and leading to the loss of livelihoods. Unusually high ocean waves are destroying fishing equipment, as well as commercial and public infrastructure. Saline intrusion into freshwater systems is having a negative effect on fish breeding grounds. Despite negative impacts such as these, Ghana does not have a comprehensive development framework or policy to manage climate related risks in coastal areas. As such, these issues are divorced from coastal zone protection. Decisions on climate risk reduction and planning are mainly top down, and so lack the local content and ownership that would be necessary to lead to effective action on disaster risk reduction and climate compatible development at grass roots level. This Inside Story describes lessons learned from a CDKN innovation project that aimed to build resilience among Ghana’s coastal communities. The project used ecosystems- and risk-based approaches to integrate climate resilience measures into development. The initiative has sought to use the findings from these climate vulnerable communities to inform climate-related risk management and contingency plans. This case study examines the lessons learned from this experience, and what it can tell development planners and practitioners elsewhere."