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Academic publications

Vulnerability to climate change in West Africa, Schroth, Götz, and al et , Science of the Total Environment, 01/2016, Issue 556 , internet, p.241, (2016) , (Academic Publication)
Ecosystem Stewardship in the Cacao Trade System: A Change Management Design for a Medium-Sized Chocolate Company, Radeljić, Jelena, and Fischer Eduard , Global Change Management, M.Sc. Faculty of Forest and Environment University for Sustainable Development Eberswalde, 12/2016, Volume MSc, Eberswalde, p.134, (2016) , (Academic Publication)
The State of Sustainability Initiatives Review 2014, Potts, Jason, and Lynch Matthew , 06/2014, p.135-155, (2014) , (Academic Publication)
Evaluation of river sand as a medium for raising cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) seedlings, Konlan, Sampson, and Opoku-Agyeman Michael Obour , American Journal of Agriculture and Forestry , 06/2014, Volume 2, Issue 4, Online, p.120, (2014) , (Academic Publication)

Vulnerability to climate change in West Africa

TitleVulnerability to climate change in West Africa
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsSchroth, Götz, and al et
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Start Page231
Issue556
End Page241
Date Published01/2016
PublisherElsevier
Place Publishedinternet
Publication Languageenglish
KeywordsClimate change adaptation
Lead

The West African cocoa belt, reaching from Sierra Leone to southern Cameroon, is the origin of about 70% of the world's cocoa (Theobroma cacao), which in turn is the basis of the livelihoods of about two million farmers. We analyze cocoa's vulnerability to climate change in the West African cocoa belt, based on climate projections for the 2050s of 19 Global Circulation Models under the intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change intermediate emissions scenario RCP 6.0. We use a combination of a statistical model of climatic suitability (Maxent) and
the analysis of individual, potentially limiting climate variables. We find that: 1) contrary to expectation, maximum dry season temperatures are projected to become as or more limiting for cocoa as dry season water availability; 2) to reduce the vulnerability of cocoa to excessive dry season temperatures, the systematic use of adaptation strategies like shade trees in cocoa farms will be necessary, in reversal of the current trend of shade reduction; 3) there is a strong differentiation of climate vulnerability within the cocoa belt, with the most vulnerable areas near the forest-savanna transition in Nigeria and eastern Côte d'Ivoire, and the least vulnerable areas in the southern parts of Cameroon, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia; 4) this spatial differentiation of climate vulnerability may lead to future shifts in cocoa production within the region, with the opportunity of partially compensating losses and gains, but also the risk of local production expansion leading to new deforestation.We conclude that adaptation strategies for cocoa in West Africa need to focus at several levels, from the consideration of tolerance to high temperatures in cocoa breeding programs, the promotion of shade trees in cocoa farms, to policies incentivizing the intensification of cocoa production on existing farms where future climate conditions permit and the establishment of new farms in already deforested areas.

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