The Government of Ghana (GoG) through the Ministry of Local Government Rural Development (MLGRD) and the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology and Innovation (MESTI) has requested the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat) with support from the Adaptation Fund to plan and implement spatial climate adaptation strategies to address the challenges posed by natural hazards (erosion, floods and sea-level rise), in selected unplanned coastal areas that lack infrastructure and service provision in the country. The Adaptation Fund is an international fund that finances projects and programs aimed at helping developing countries to adapt to the harmful effects of climate change. It is set up under the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
If the project proposal is approved, the Adaptation Fund will provide around $14 million in funding for the implementation of the project in Ghana and Cote d’ Ivoire. Aiming at replicability at different scales, the interventions will be the most cost-effective and community inclusive, becoming a prototype for the sustainable management of coastal areas in West Africa. The focus of the project in Ghana will be along the Volta estuary and the Keta-Angaw lagoon areas. Generally, the coastal communities in this area are struggling with multiple interacting problems such as severe coastal erosion, increasing flood risk both from the ocean and the lagoons, a declining fish stock, and pressure from industrial activities (aquaculture) and recreation activities (secondary houses/private estates/ ecotourism) on the common pool resources. This challenging context is exacerbated by the uncontrolled development of this coastal area, which is characterized by low-density patterns and lack of planning deriving in an inefficient use of resources and the encroachment of environmental assets and risk areas.
In line with the Adaptation Fund’s ESP and GP, UN-Habitat’s Environmental and Social Safeguard Policy (ESSP), and National Environmental Assessment requirements, UN-Habitat and partners are required to categorize the risk of the project as a whole and to manage potential risks and impacts. It is within this context that this Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) has been undertaken.