Coastal zones are some of the most vulnerable areas affected by extreme weather events and climate change. In Ghana national policy has targeted activities towards protecting coastal regions, but their efforts have not traditionally included local knowledge. This has led to poor outcomes and flawed programs that did not adequately serve the needs of the communities they targeted.
A new program was launched to better incorporate local knowledge into national resilience planning called the ‘Building coastal resilience project’ led by the Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS) at the University of Ghana with cooperation from the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN). Traditionally there have been weak links between the national and district level disaster and long-term planning. RIPS sought to overcome this by collecting and reporting local data to the Ghana National Development Planning Commission, organizing field trips by national policymakers to coastal communities, and creating channels for local needs to be communicated to the regional and national levels.
Lessons learned from this program include: