GCCA+ in Guinea Bissau: building resilience to climate change through enhanced institutional and mitigation capacities

At a glance

2016-05-01 to 2021-05-01
Active programmes
Total budget
4,00 M€
GCCA priority area(s)

In addition to valuable biodiversity from its forests (e.g the Bijagós Archipelago is a biosphere reserve) Guinea-Bissau has abundant natural resources, ranging from sizable deposits of oil, to bauxite and phosphates. It also has some of the most productive land in the world. The main rain-fed crops are cashew, wetland rice monoculture in cleared mangroves, and shifting upland rotations of rice, maize, millet and sorghum. The cashew sector represents nearly all of the country's export revenue and functions as the main cash crop for local populations. Rice production is the second most relevant crop and is crucial in combating poverty due to its role in food security. Increased domestic rice production is seen as a means to both offset staple food imports and boost rural incomes (DENARPII). However, uncontrolled land clearing for upland rice cropping is also the main deforestation and ecosystem degradation driver, which compounded by current climatic predictions greatly enhance the risk of irreversible land-productivity loss. This can compromise food security and deplete the country ́s main economic resource. Nevertheless, and contrary to what happens in many other developing countries where agriculture is the main economic activity, if wisely managed, there is a large potential for growth in the agricultural sector of Guinea-Bissau. DENARPII also recognizes the untapped potential of tourism (particularly eco-tourism), which currently represents a marginal but growing contribution to Guinea-Bissau's economy.


Guinea-Bissau has adopted a series of strategies and policies that deal, directly or indirectly, with climate change. The most important are: the National Programme of Action of Adaptation to Climate Change (NAPA, 2006) and the Second National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (2011). These documents are currently being updated with the objective of developing a National Adaptation Plan (NAP) and a third communication to the UNFCCC (2015); institutional aspects are central in both.

With the aim of adopting actions directed toward mitigating the effects of climate change, attracting investment and promoting the sustainable management of natural resources, the Government of Guinea-Bissau initiated participation in the Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) initiative (under the UNFCCC) by applying for membership of the UN-REDD programme in the beginning of 2014. The potential effectiveness of implemented activities can only be guaranteed with credible baselines and operational monitoring and tracking of land use changes and forest-related processes. It was determined that this can best be achieved by developing a first and crucial building block in the protected areas network (SNAP) – on the basis of which monitoring can be gradually extended to the rest of the territory. This process was planed to be assisted by the expansion of the SNAP from 11 to 25% of the national territory. In this context, two coastal protected areas (Cacheu and Cantanhez national parks) are the focus of the first REDD+ pilot projects, with the objective of demonstrating how carbon payments could be utilized to secure both reduced rates of deforestation and improvements in livelihoods through benefit sharing.

GCCA's action programme
Geographical scope
Initial GCCA/GCCA+ contribution
4,000,000.00 €

Specific objective

The specific objective is to enhance national capacities to address climate change through the strengthening of governance systems and reduction of deforestation and forest degradation, mainly in the protected areas network (SNAP).


Result Component 1:

CAPACITY BUILDING: Climate change financing and projects are coordinated and capacities are strengthened to support climate resilient development

Result Component 2:

MITIGATION WITH ADAPTATION CO-BENEFITS: Deforestation is reduced in the targeted protected areas and their surroundings.


In relation to R1:

  • Support the operation of a Climate Change Secretariat.
  • Develop human and technical capacities

In relation to R2

  • Raise awareness and develop community monitoring of forests
  • Promote activities that reduce pressure on forest resources while generating adaptation and development co-benefits
  • Implement a monitoring, measurement, reporting and verification (M&MRV) system for the protected areas network (SNAP).

Achievements to date

The project is contributing significantly to the continuity of implementation of conservation actions and valorisation of the country's rich biodiversity. This is notably done through the monitoring, consultation with users of resources in protected areas, management council meetings, identification and recovery of degraded areas, forestry protection, collection of seeds of endangered / emblematic species for reforestation, installation of nurseries, etc.