GCCA+ climate resilient coastal and marine zone project for the Gambia

At a glance

2019-01-01 to 2023-07-01
Active programmes
Total budget
5,30 M€
GCCA priority area(s)

This Action "GCCA+ Climate Resilient Coastal and Marine Zone project for The Gambia'' aims at consolidating results and positive experiences of the previous GCCA project "Support to The Gambia for integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) and the mainstreaming of climate change''2013-2016.

The objectives of this action are: 1) to support implementation of recommendations set out in the ICZM Management and Strategic Plans (Jan 2016) and the National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) implementation plan for the Gambia (April 2016) and 2) to enhance institutional governance enabling planning and implementation of improved climate resilience, adaptation and mitigation measures in the Coastal and Marine Zones of the Gambia.

This Action seeks to benefit coastal communities and help them to adapt to impacts of climate change through institution strengthening, knowledge management, and demonstrated implementation of the National Decree of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) approach, at national and local levels. It takes into account the inter-linkages between social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, and is in alignment with the Gambia's National climate change Adaptation Plan and strategy (NAP) as well as the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). This action also intends to widen partnership with non-state actors and to further integrate women's rights and gender equality issues into local climate adaption plans. The project complies with the key GCCA+ priorities and is justified by the following criteria:

1. Natural hazards: Support the implementation the Gambia National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) by providing scientific information for sound planning capacity on how to introduce climate-resilient infrastructure on the coast to address hazards such as flooding, storms and sea level rise;

2. Exposure: Introduce new technical and management planning tools to build resilience vis a vis climate change impacts on coastal natural resources, communities' livelihoods and assets;

3. Vulnerability: Determine (through new enforceable plans and interventions) the socio-economic and environmental factors influencing climate vulnerability through negative ecosystem feedbacks;

4. Capacity: Through improved ICZM governance, tertiary education and community engagement, build The Gambia resilience to climate change.


The Gambia is a Least Developed Country (LDC) ranked at 173 out of 188 countries, by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)'s 2016 Human Development Index. The country is poor: it has a population of around 1.9 million and a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of approximately 400 EUR. Already in 2010, The Gambia's national Integrated Household Survey confirmed that half the population was living below the poverty line, and the per capita GDP has been falling ever since. Traditionally, The Gambia's economy has been based on subsistence agriculture, with additional household income coming from cash crops and surpluses in productive years. However, the domestic economy has been undergoing a transformation, as urban coastal areas have grown in size and economic importance. Rural to urban migration, accelerating because of rural poverty exacerbated by climate change, amongst other factors, is quickly placing stress on fragile infrastructures and resources. According to the University of Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index, The Gambia, is the 10th most vulnerable country to Climate Change. The Gambia has a GCCA+ vulnerability rating of 0.4357 which ranks the country among the top 44 most vulnerable LDCs. Given this vulnerability and poor state of economic development, the country is in urgent need of support in the form of investments and innovations in climate change-related measures to build resilience and adaptation capacity.

The government has made 'building climate resilience in the coastal zone' as a top country priority. The Gambia's coastal zone, where the majority of the population now lives, consists of 80 km of open coast from Buniadu point, in north bank of the river Gambia, to Karenti Bolong in south bank whereas there is also 200km of sheltered coast along both banks of the river Gambia.

GCCA's action programme
Geographical scope
Country groups
Initial GCCA/GCCA+ contribution
5,300,000.00 €

Specific objective
  1. To support the implementation of recommendations identified in the ICZM Management and Strategic Plans (January 2016) and the National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) implementation plan for the Gambia (April 2016);
  2. To enhance institutional governance enabling planning and implementation of climate resilience, adaptation and mitigation measures in coastal and marine zones.


The expected outcome of this Action is climate resilience built in the coastal and marine zones of The Gambia, through a sustainable ICZM approach, that protects vulnerable coastal communities' livelihoods. This objective will be achieved through three inter-related components:

  1. Institutionalization of ICZM approach and climate change adaptation (in selected governorates);
  2. Knowledge management through data collection and localizing climate change modelling; and
  3. Integration of climate change adaptation actions into ICZM.


Output 1: Institutionalization of ICZM approach and climate change adaptation (in selected governorates)

Indicative activities:

1.1 Climate change adaptation gap analysis (i.e. mapping current -and future if data available) -vulnerability, that includes data analysis, trends as well as past/ current programs) for ICZM completed;

1.2 Institutional arrangements in place, including the established national Steering Committee (and new ICZM secretariat) based on the existing Ministerial Review Committee (for ICZM), and public participation mechanism; as well as related regulations/legal acts;

1.3 ICZM operationalised (capacity building, planning support, tools, methodology) and awareness of climate change issues increased (e.g. trainings to reinforce implementation mechanisms);

1.4 Implementation of ICZM climate resilient plans in place for the pilot/target governorates.

Output 2: Knowledge creation and management through data collection and analysis, and through downscaled climate modelling to inform climate resilient development

Indicative activities:

2.1 Knowledge gaps identified, types of needed data and methods of data collection determined (e.g. coastal vulnerability assessments, codes and standards developed for 'green solutions').This gap knowledge-analysis was undertaken in the previous GCCA project, but not exhaustively, i.e. not systematically for each economic valuable sectors, vulnerable groups and emerging trends (salt intrusion and groundwater management). Therefore, this activity further pursues this knowledge gap identification (and in some cases updating);

2.2 Database for ICZM set up & strengthened in collaboration with existing initiatives;

2.3 CC modelling focusing covering coastal zones introduced to and used by local scientists;

2.4 Surveys/studies performed (e.g. oceanographic survey and sensitivity mapping, a study for regeneration of mangroves and planting of trees, etc.) and institutional linkage in place to ensure that relevant data and information are available for decision/policy making process and for implementation of support mechanisms.

Output 3: Integration of climate change local adaptation actions into ICZM

Indicative activities:

3.1 Coping mechanisms based on ICZM for each targeted site in place; including governorate planning, sector coordination, and community/private awareness of CC and ICZM;

3.2 Adaptation measures identified for selected sites.

3.3 CC adaptation measures/ICZM implemented (through capacity building and participation of local communities and Civil Society Organisations/CSO). Support to mitigate the impact of climate change on coastal rural livelihoods (e.g. water saving irrigation, oyster farming, salt production, alternative livelihoods, etc.), particularly targeting women, will also be envisaged.

3.4 Good practices (e.g. community-based climate adaptation mechanism) identified and disseminated (also for possible up-scaling). These wide-range adaptation measures aims at allowing enough flexibility to specific local community's needs. It is expected that certain adaptation measures (such as mangrove restoration) from GCCA project will be continue, and in some cases up-scaled.