Country

Gabon

Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Gabon.

Adaptation

Gabon is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and has identified agriculture, forestry, health, tourism, energy, and water resources as the most vulnerable sectors. Gabon submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions to the UNFCCC (2015) and published its Second National Communication in 2011. Gabon’s climate change strategies are led by the Ministry of Forests, Water, Fisheries and the Environment and the Protection of Nature. As a member to the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC), Gabon is supporting regional efforts to implement responsible forestry management against climate change vulnerabilities. The capacity of the Gabonese Government to adapt to climate change can be improved with sectoral adaptation strategies developed and mainstreamed across government planning. Current government strategies relating to climate change in the country emphasize challenges faced by climate change, with little development of short to long term adaptation and mitigation strategies.

Key Adaptation Policies & Reports

Adaptation Options for Key Sectors

  • The implementation of an integrated water resources management system, irrigation systems, the improvement of irrigation-drainage systems, the introduction of drought-resistant plant species, changes in cropping cycles, and monitoring for potential natural hazards.
  • Investment in effective risk management strategies and trainings of workers in the agricultural sector to improve awareness and increase coping mechanisms.
  • Research and extension services to enhance the capacity and delivery of information to the agricultural sector with particular reference to climate change and the implementation of adaptation options.
  • The Gabonese Government is working to enhance the economic contributions from the country’s agriculture to the overall economy and enhance ‘non-timber’ forest products and further develop livestock and fisheries.
  • Improvements should also be made to the weather monitoring network and associated weather information systems, including the publication and distribution of agriculture-specific weather forecasts.
  • Strengthen capacity to generate new forms of empirical knowledge, technologies and agricultural support services that meet emerging development challenges arising from increased climate change and variability.
  • Information regarding the climate variability and projected climate change should be provided to public utilities and energy generating facilities in order to improve decision making and long-term resilience.
  • Consideration should be given to the capacity of energy systems to sustain cumulative impacts, the redundancy at peak periods, the sensitivity of regulators to climate change pressures on infrastructure and the possible need for redundant capacity, demand management and energy conservation strategies.
  • Strategic planning at the national level is a high priority, whereby special attention should be given to competitive and less climate change dependent energy generation methods.
  • Gabon’s health-care infrastructure needs to be upgraded to support more systemic climate change resilience. 
  • Specific action should be targeted to strengthen the screening for river blindness, implementation for improved drinking water purification and delivery systems, reduced deforestation rates and increased research around the links between population displacement, human health and the risks of climate-related diseases.
  • Improved monitoring and surveillance systems are not conducted at the right geographical and temporal scale that would allow for the observations of trends and forecasts to direct interventions against climate sensitive diseases.
  • Adaptation for the water sector in Gabon requires further investments in flood defense, an integrated approach to water resource management and irrigation.
  • The construction of dikes and flood protection infrastructure is recommended to control water flow and protection of embankments against erosion, as well as additional construction of damns and basins for increased water storage capacity. Dredging activities should be carried out to reduce ‘water flow resistance’.
  • Early warning systems should be put in place, particularly for the Ogooué Basin in order to manage the area’s rapid water rise.
  • Social protection measures should be implemented for populations living in at-risk-areas such as resettlement programs and new home construction techniques with increased resilience.
  • Development of a national database and system of rainfall-runoff models to project the effects of rainfall changes (for climate variability and climate change) on runoff and discharges (including peak and low flows).

Gaps and Needs

  • Gain a better understanding of the timing and magnitude of incidence of several important indicators of climate change in the future, as well as the key vulnerabilities, development impact, and possible adaptation responses.
  • Improve science-based understanding of the nature and magnitude of physical and biophysical climate change impacts under differing scenarios.
  • Widen the participation of the public, scientific institutions, women and local communities in planning and management, accounting for approaches and methods of gender equity.
  • Technical improvements to national hydrometeorological observation equipment, networks and technical analysis.
  • Modernization of existing Gabon’s meteorological network including the modernization of existing and installation of new equipment.
  • Improvement to data availability in sectors such as agriculture, tourism and water resources to estimate the impacts of future climate change. Much of the data needed to estimate the future damages from climate change and avoid them through adaptation would also help with existing climate variability and help better target existing policies/ programs. This includes making data openly available which is paid for by the public budget.
  • Improve observational data through the additional of weather stations and hydro-meteorological instrumentation.
  • Develop early warning systems about dangerous hydrometeorological phenomena and climate risk management, specifically for riverine networks.
  • Coordination of the activities of various actors and sectors, including government agencies, ministries, and private entities and firms.
  • Climate change risk and projections should be integrated into national planning. Sectoral plans should be developed for the coming 20-30 years and beyond and climate and climate change should be incorporated as a factor.
  • Lack of comprehensive institutionalism and cross-sectoral policies. There is a need to align strategic planning and implementation of adaptation policies. This is particularly relevant in spaces with potential co-benefits and resilience strategies.
  • Lack of local perspective about climate change. Lacking support capacity of local governments to translate national policies at the regional and local level.
  • Lack of resources to finance action measures and trigger changes at institutions level.