Reducing climate vulnerability in São Tomé and Príncipe

Reducing climate vulnerability in São Tomé and Príncipe

At a glance

Active programmes
Sao Tome And Principe
Min. of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Communities, DG Environment of the Min. of Public Works, Infrastructure and Natural Resources, Dir. for Forests and Dir. for Agriculture of the Min. of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development
Countries involved
Total budget
3,00 M€
GCCA priority area(s)
Effects of climate change on the region

In São Tomé and Príncipe, a rise in temperature and coastal erosion are the most obvious manifestations of climate change – even if they can have other causes. Variability in rainfall is also observed; it results in disturbances in the agricultural calendar and irregular agricultural production. Food insecurity persists in spite of a favourable climate and good soils, and variability in farming output aggravates food price volatility. In such a context, some trends associated with increased vulnerability are a concern; these include the extension of low-resilience annual crops with a low potential to protect soils, to the detriment of agroforestry systems; the weakening of agroforestry systems resulting from a decline in irrigation and tree cover; forest degradation as a result of the overexploitation of timber and woodfuel (including for carbonisation); and higher risks of wild fires and the conversion of forests to savannah.

The recently adopted national programme for food and nutritional security includes adaptation actions, but has not been explicitly or systematically aligned with climate-related issues and stakes. Overall, the mainstreaming of climate-related considerations in sector programming documents remains insufficient. Lack of coordination, the scarcity of qualified human resources, the lack of consolidation and sharing of information, the weakness of decentralised institutions and operational capacities of government services are other obstacles to an effective response to climate-related challenges. The GCCA intervention aims to address these weaknesses through a mix of actions at the institutional level and field activities.

GCCA's action programme
Geographical scope
Country groups
Initial GCCA/GCCA+ contribution
3,000,000.00 €
Specific objectives

Further engage the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe in an effective and sustainable process of adaptation to climate variability and change.

Main activities per result

The productive systems of the Lembà and Mé Zochi districts (two districts particularly vulnerable to climate risks) are better able to sustainably meet the needs of the local population, taking account of the whole range of likely climate scenarios and events.

Two field projects, one in each of the targeted districts, will be selected on the basis of a call for proposals and implemented. Eligible activities relate to agriculture, water and forest management; indicatively and subject to confirmation, projects could concern the rehabilitation of irrigation networks, anti-erosion infrastructure development, agroforestry, fire prevention, pest management, reforestation, improvements in social organisation, etc. Projects will support the development of new agricultural and sustainable natural resource management practices that reduce sensitivity to the inter-annual variation in climate parameters, and reduce the propensity to over-exploit natural resources in years of poor harvests. They will be subject to monitoring with a view to drawing lessons and identifying good practices.

The capacities of national institutions to respond to climate-related challenges are strengthened.

The organisational framework will be strengthened for a proactive, transparent and coordinated management of climate-related issues, notably through support for the organisation and management of the National Climate Change Committee, for coordination and for the creation of an enabling environment for the replication of successful pilot activities. Based on a preliminary needs analysis, the skills and knowledge of human resources (civil servants, autonomous region of Príncipe, local administration, civil society) will be reinforced with regard to adaptation; support will also be given to the development of a networking, experience sharing, communication and advocacy strategy. Finally, climate-related aspects will be mainstreaming into some planning instruments, in particular the poverty reduction strategy and national programme for food and nutritional security, and vulnerability and adaptation indicators will be developed.

The two project components complement and reinforce each other, with the first one expected to create momentum in the field and demonstrate concrete adaptation responses, and the second one to create an improved institutional framework for the implementation of field activities and the building of knowledge in view of scaling up good practices.

Way forward (selected)

The project has been launched recently and its activities will start in 2015.