The coastal zone of Sierra Leone is highly vulnerable to the increased frequency and severity of coastal erosion, flooding, and storm surges which severely impact social wellbeing (health), livelihood security (and water resources), and major economic sectors such as fishing, tourism, water resources, and agriculture. Coastal communities are already experiencing considerable repercussions of these impacts, notably on their livelihoods with reduced fishing productivity, ecosystem degradation, and low farming outputs. The limited accessibility of climate-related data limits the ability of decision-makers to make informed planning and policy decisions for the coast (in particular marine and sea parameter databases such as wave height, wave period, wind speed, and direction), and to take any clear strategic actions to remedy these negative effects. This lack of adequate knowledge is contributing to undermining social and economic development, particularly under a changing climate. In addition, weak institutional regulatory capacity coupled with the absence of a national “coastal specific” community-based information system that focuses on supporting the management of climate-related risks continue to hamper long-term coastal planning, management, and early warning activities. The GEF-funded project is designed to address these problems. The intended outcome of the project is to help the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) to become more climate-resilient while contributing to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The project focuses on three thematic components:
· Component 1: Generating sound scientific knowledge and access to information;
· Component 2: Climate information internalized into coastal development policy and plans;
· Component 3: Awareness and alternative, innovative activities to support adaptation in the coastal zone.
Through these components, the project work towards the update of those policies and any informational barriers that are currently preventing Sierra Leone from systematically managing coastal risks. This will contribute to reducing the vulnerability of both coastal communities and ecosystems and in the process strengthen institutional capacity and adaptation planning.
UNDP contracted INTEGEMS Ltd to conduct coastal vulnerability assessment (CVA) for the six project sites along the project defined coastal zone of Sierra Leone.