Workshop on Climate Proofing Aquaculture in sub-Saharan Africa: Review of Policies and Production Systems for Climate Change Resilience, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 9-10 June 2016.
Regionally across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), aquaculture is a rapidly growing industry with its practices and operations increasingly more commercialized across the continent. An estimated six-fold production increase, from 55 690 tonnes in 2000 to 359 790 tonnes in 2010 was recorded. This trend is expected to increase as the continent's aquaculture operations develops and industrializes. This inevitable production increase and consequent intensification will predominantly be based on fossil fuels. The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the FAO have entered an agreement to improve the implementation and management of existing critical climate change gaps under the global program, "Climate Change, Fisheries and Aquaculture: testing a suite of methods for understanding vulnerability, improving adaptability and enabling mitigation" (GCP/GLO/322/NOR). This series of projects aims to improve global understanding of climate change impact on fisheries and aquaculture development and highlight regional climate change adaptation measures taken on food systems and food security across the Africa region. Together, the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Center's WorldFish and FAO-RAF (Regional Africa Office) have conducted an assessment of the region's aquaculture development and climate change impact adaptation status under two project scopes: (i) a policy review; this component presents a diagnosis of the existing/non-existing African climate change policies related to aquaculture, the sector's resilience and aims to lay bare a regional overview. (ii) a vulnerability assessment model exercise; this exercise utilizes numerous datasets (i.e. meteorological, aquaculture, and socio-economic variables) and inputs from country representative deliberations from a validation workshop. The exercise simulated the vulnerability of regional pond aquaculture systems to climate change impact, however it was agreed that due to data gaps at the country level, the deliberated simulation conclusions were not conclusive and unable to guide climate change adaptation policies. More importantly, the process highlighted what was required at the national level to make more realistic and conclusive assessments for tangible adaptation policies. Together, the policy review and the vulnerability assessment tool demonstrated the required country level actions necessary to prioritize action areas to develop and put in place climate change impact strategies.