Project Brief : Benin

It is expected that as climate change unfolds in Benin, the variability of the frequency and intensity of climate related shocks will increase, thereby necessitating various socio-economic sectors to adapt. Benin’s vulnerability to weather risks was recently demonstrated in 2010 when Benin suffered more than USD 262m in losses to various socio-economic sectors (e.g., agriculture, commerce, and infrastructure) due to flooding (Figure 1). Similarly, Benin’s coastal region, home to over 3 million inhabitants and one of West and Central Africa’s largest trading markets (Dantopka), has been victim to coastal encroachment by as much as 16 meters per year causing major impacts on fishing, port industries and tourism (Ceda 2007, Dossou 2007).

In a developing country such as Benin, climate change impacts are exacerbated by limited outreach mechanisms to local levels and a country dependence on subsistence agriculture. For Benin, improving Climate Information (CI) collection and developing an Early Warning System (EWS) is an effective way to build the general population’s weather / climate risk awareness so that communities (particularly rain-fed farmers) can prepare accordingly. However, currently, an early warning system for multi-risk forecasting (e.g. coastal surge and flooding) as well as the capacities to produce and disseminate weather/climate information does not exist in Benin.

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