Abstract for: Adaptation to climate change in sub Saharan Africa. A multi-sector impact analysis for Burkina Faso

Several decades of successive droughts and desertification, caused by climatic changes, have made the Sahel region one of the must vulnerable to further climate change. This vulnerability is steadily increasing in scope and visibility and it leads to destroyed farmland, major food shortages, decimated herds, and considerable material and human losses. Adaptation to climate change is the adjustment in ecological, social or economic systems in order to alleviate adverse impacts of change or take advantage of new opportunities. However, well-intentioned adaptations can generate costs when wider issues or longer timeframes are considered. This paper develops a system dynamics model for the case of Burkina Faso. The model serves as a multi-sector impact assessment tool and estimates the vulnerability of different policy sectors to climatic changes. It also quantifies the synergies and trade-offs between different adaptation options. Model simulations show that the most cost- effective combination of adaptation options to compensate for the social and economic losses caused by climate change costs approximately 15% of those losses. The model contributes to building adaptive capacity in Burkina Faso by building awareness of the impacts of climate change, the necessity for a multi- sector adaptation strategy and by exploiting ways for maintaining economic growth.