GCCA support project to The Gambia in the mainstreaming of climate change

GCCA support project to The Gambia in the mainstreaming of climate change

At a glance

Completed programmes
Min. of Finance and Economic Affairs (MOFEA), National Environment Agency (NEA), Department of Water Resources of the Min. of Fisheries and Water Resources, Min. of Forestry and the Environment (MOFEN)
Countries involved
Total budget
3,86 M€
GCCA priority area(s)
Effects of climate change on the region

The Gambia’s low-lying coastal areas are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts, including sea level rise, increased saline intrusion and flooding during torrential rains. Coastal areas are particularly vulnerable in view of the concentration of socioeconomic and cultural assets.

Coastal erosion on parts of the Atlantic coastline is a serious problem that will be exacerbated by sea level rise. In some areas, the beach has been retreating at a rate of 1-2 m per year, threatening tourism infrastructure and associated livelihoods. With a 1-metre increase in sea level, some 92 km² of land in the Gambia’s coastal zone would be inundated, with the entire capital city of Banjul at risk. Further inland, soil salinisation in riparian areas resulting from sea level rise and saline intrusion is having negative impacts on farming.

GCCA's action programme
Geographical scope
Country groups
Initial GCCA/GCCA+ contribution
3,860,000.00 €
Specific objectives

Strengthen national level capacity to plan for and respond to climate change impacts in coastal areas.

Contribute to mainstreaming climate change into development planning.

Key achievements
  • Thematic working groups have been established and have started working on the mainstreaming of climate change into national policy.

  • A communication event to launch the project at national level was organised in May 2014.

Trainings delivered include:

  • A refresher training on Integrated Coastal Zone Management and climate change adaptation for 55 participants

  • Coastal vulnerability assessment

  • Coastal monitoring and information management

  • On the job training of NEA and key partners with practical demonstrations of environmental monitoring techniques and design of environmental monitoring programmes based on the “Protocols Manual for Biophysical Monitoring Surveys” designed by the project (September 2015)

  • Consolidation training for NEA and key partners on the policy, legal and institutional framework for ICZM implementation explored under GC3SP, spatial use planning and mechanisms for controlling/managing development, data collection/sharing and information management, and environmental impact mitigation and adaptation planning. (January 2016)

  • Advanced training given to key policy makers on Climate Change mainstreaming (January 2016)

The design of an Information Management System (IMS) for NEA to support ICZM decision-making was completed in March 2014. The essential hardware and software were procured, and the oceanographic and biophysical monitoring surveys which will provide the geo-referenced datasets to populate the IMS are in process. On-the-job training for 7 NEA staff on biophysical monitoring techniques and preparation of a protocols reference manual was completed in November 2014.

Under a first Call for Proposals (CfP) in September 2014, 6 grant proposals from non-government organizations have been selected and approved for implementation. These projects focus on building climate change awareness and coastal community resilience. 

  • Integrated Coastal Zone Strategic and Management plans (ICZM) were prepared in January 2016.

  • The National Validation of the Climate Change Policy was performed also in January 2016.

  • A second Call for Proposals was launched in 2015, launching 6 additional projects.

Main activities per result

A participatory and self-sustainable ICZM process is established.

To strengthen national level capacity to plan for and respond to climate change impacts in coastal areas, the GCCA supports the establishment of a participatory and self-sustainable integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) process. This includes establishing a Technical Working Group of key coastal actors and defining its working modalities; developing an agreed vision and objectives for the coast, on the basis of an assessment of coastal vulnerability and cost-benefit analysis; developing proposals for harmonisation of sector policies in respect to ICZM and related climate change issues; and identifying specific options for future management of activities in coastal areas, some of which (such as the revision of the land use plan) may be implemented as part of the programme.

Priority coastal zone adaptation measures are identified.

A feasibility study will be conducted for concrete coastal protection measures, looking at needs and options for the entire Atlantic coast and focusing on areas at risk. The study, conducted in the framework of the ICZM process, will set the context for any major protection measures in the shoreline, and will enable an assessment of long-term cost implications. Viable alternatives to sand mining in coastal areas for use in the construction industry will also be identified.

Local-level capacity to adapt to climate change is strengthened.

Demonstration and research projects will be supported in the following areas: (a) enhancing ecosystem and livelihood resilience to climate change and/or ecosystem rehabilitation in coastal zones; and (b) developing viable alternative processes to sand extraction for the construction industry. Interventions will promote the reinforcement of community-based organisations or village development committees, and the involvement of private actors.

The knowledge base for integrating climate change into key sectors is strengthened, and a national climate change policy is formulated.

Planned activities include the establishment of a working group to support climate change capacity building; the scoping of issues and studies to generate evidence; the analysis of sector needs and possible resource mobilisation strategies; the definition of guiding principles and a roadmap to develop an overarching policy document; and the definition of a national climate change policy and facilitation of its validation.

Institutional arrangements and coordination mechanisms for climate change are rationalised.

Planned activities include institutional analysis, and the development of recommendations for institutional arrangements; and the establishment of climate change-related inter-institutional coordination mechanisms.

Decision makers' climate change adaptation response capacity is strengthened.

Sensitisation and training are planned on the relationship between climate change and development and on selected technical topics. This activity will target policy makers and planners in key ministries and agencies, National Assembly members, and civil society representatives.

Way forward (selected)
  • Full implementation of the last yearly programme.

  • A final evaluation is planned for 2016.

  • Please check further information available here


"The Gambia government will not fail in its commitment to bring about and pursue relevant national programmes and projects necessary to help us confront the issue of climate change sufficiently."

Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy, Vice-President of the Gambia and Secretary of State for Women's Affairs, giving the keynote speech at The Gambia Climate Change Forum, 2008