Cape Verde, as an archipelago country of volcanic origin, presents an environment system with a high degree of fragility and vulnerability face the occurrence of extreme natural phenomena. Identified through the vulnerability analysis undertaken as part of the participatory process for the National Adaptation Programme of Action, the three main adaptation objectives for Cape Verde are:
- Promoting integrated water resources management in order to guarantee water for the people, for the production of food, for the ecosystems and for the tourism industry;
- Developing the adaptability of the agro-silvo-pastoral production systems in order to ensure and improve national food production;
- Protecting and preventing degradation of the coastal zones, caused by climatic aggressions and by tourism.
The archipelago of Cape Verde is made up of ten islands and nine islets and is located between latitudes 14º 28' N and 17º 12' N and longitudes 22º 40' W and 25º 22' W. It is located approximately 500 km from the Senegal coast in West Africa. The islands are divided into two groups: Windward and Leeward.
The Windward group is composed of the islands of Santo Antão, São Vicente, Santa Luzia, São Nicolau, Sal and Boavista; and the Leeward group is composed of the islands Maio, Santiago, Fogo and Brava. The archipelago has a total land surface of 4,033 km2 and an Economic Exclusive Zone (ZEE) that extends for approximately 734,000 km2.
Cape Verde is both a least developed country (LDC) and a small island development state (SIDS). In 2002, the population of Cape Verde was estimated at approximately 451,000, of whom 52% were women and 48% men. The population was growing at an average 2.4% per year, and the urban population was estimated at 53.7 %.