Fourth Annual ASSAR Project meeting underway

Thursday 27th July, 2017
Prof C Gordon
Patience Gbeze, GNA

Akosombo (E/R), July 27, GNA - The Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS) of the University of Ghana is hosting partner institutions for a five-day Annual meeting of the Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) project at Akosombo.

The meeting is Research into-Use (RiU) focused and intended among others to devise effective ways of ensuring research results and findings are shared with key stakeholders for uptake in policy and decision making processes as part of the third and final stage of the project.

The agenda of the five-day meeting is therefore focused on issues such as research into-use updates from the regional (East Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa and South Asia) research programmes.

It also involves intersection of research streams for high level and cross regional synthesis products as well as the implications of the research results for learning, collaboration and the achievement of impact in the area of climate change adaptation impact specifically in semi-arid regions.

The ASSAR project is jointly funded by the UKAid and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada through the Collaborative Research Initiative in Africa and Asia, to improve understanding of the underlying drivers and determinants of vulnerability of livelihood systems.

The project also seeks to assess the strengths and weaknesses of current adaptation practices and policies and advance understanding of the constraining and enabling factors that determine successful adaptation.

The five-year project focuses on improving the understanding of the barriers, enablers and limits to climate change adaptation in semi-arid regions until 2030.

Professor Chris Gordon, Director of IESS, said the project was to enable proactive, longer-term approaches to climate change adaptation in semi-arid regions, while supporting the management of current risks.

He said the project, which began in 2014 also aimed to meet the needs of government and practitioner stakeholders, to help shape more effective policy frameworks, and to develop more lasting adaptation responses.

The entire ASSAR project is in three phases including regional diagnostic study (RDS), Research and Research into Use(RiU).

Prof Gordon, who is also the main lead for ASSAR project in Ghana, said there were main research focus areas for the ASSAR project namely social differentiation, governance, knowledge systems and use and dynamic ecosystem services.

He said in Ghana, the project was focused on agriculture intensification in the semi-arid areas of northern Ghana using the Lawra and Nandom Districts of the Upper West Region as a case study.

“During the first phase of the project, the team initiated a Regional Diagnostic Study consisting of collating information and evidence of climate change impacts and vulnerabilities from three districts in the Upper West region.

“As part of the processes of preparing the RDS, the project team held a national and district level expert meetings to introduce stakeholders to the ASSAR project as well as solicit their opinions on climate change adaptation at the national and local level.

“The ongoing research phase of the project is further examining the information obtained from the RDS in order to explore strategies for developing adaptive capacity at multiple scales, thus from individuals to business and government within the region.

“The RiU phase will be informing adaptation practices at multiple scales, and in different contexts, and enabling take-up of research insights in policy and practice interventions,” he added.

Consortium teams and experts from the Indian Institute for Human Settlement, the International START Secretariat, US, UK,OXFAM (UK), ICRISAT Mali and Universities of East Anglia, Cape Town, Botswana and Namibia and other partner institutions are attending the meeting.