Country

Mauritania

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 Mauritania.

Adaptation

Mauritania submitted its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the UNFCCC in 2017, in which it committed to contribute to the Paris Climate Agreement by reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 22.3% in 2030.  Mauritania is seeking to achieve its adaptation priorities through initiatives with key sectors, including water resources, livestock, housing, town planning and regional planning, natural resources, fishing, and  health.  To meet these obligations, additional capacity and resources are needed, including technological and institutional transfers as well as financing. In Mauritania, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development is the primary agency responsible for preparing the National Communication under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA). The Ministry shapes priorities for environmental targets and objectives and are responsible for creating an intergovernmental framework for combatting climate change in the country.

Key Adaptation Policies & Reports

Adaptation Options for Key Sectors

  • Investments in 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.
  • Gain a better understanding of production and harvest market implications for key staples: maize, millet, sorghum and livestock as well as trials for high-yielding varieties.
  • Implement integrated soil fertility management practices to rehabilitate degraded land and preserve soil fertility.
  • Improve  the weather monitoring network and associated weather information systems, including the publication and distribution of agriculture-specific weather forecasts on a frequent basis.
  • Mauritania has very high potential for solar power through direct and indirect radiation and it is in the process of implementing its first large-scale solar program.
  • Mauritania’s health-care infrastructure needs to be upgraded to support more systemic climate change resilience. 
  • Delivery of training can improve health-care personnel capacity to prevent diseases connected with climatic factors.
  • Increased investment and a targeted climate-health-adaptation research agenda can support the identification and analysis of trends and develop indicators to improve health sector capacity to react. 
  • The development of Health Early Warning systems is needed, specifically for heat wave warnings and flooding.
  • Investment in the country’s water management infrastructure, planning for urban expansion, and sanitation and quality drinking water requirements is needed. 
  • Planning and adaptation strategies for water resources are also important to include within development strategies for agriculture and energy sectors. 
  • Protection of river catchments and other sources of freshwater (including aquifers) to secure a steady supply of freshwater across all sectors and communities. 
  • Urban sewage services are necessary to help combat sanitation vulnerabilities, water-borne diseases and their social and economic impacts. 
  • Expand, rebuild and enhance the country’s limited drainage infrastructure along its coast. 
  • Improved hydro planning and investment in the conservation of natural ecosystems such as mangroves and protective sand dunes can support vulnerable communities living on the coast. 
  • Improvements should be made in the management of the transboundary sediment retention and transport as well as management of sand retention in the area.
  • Reduction of flood risks in Mauritania’s main urban areas and ports will reduce vulnerability, increase resilience and support the country’s wider development goals.
  • In the north of the country, adaptation efforts should work to secure the shoreline and port areas with greater investments in the technical observations and measurements along that area of the coastline for improves understanding and coastline mapping. 

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.
  • Widen the participation of the public, scientific institutions, women and local communities in planning and management, accounting for approaches and methods of gender equity.
  • Strengthen environmental monitoring capabilities for strengthened and more effective environmental management.
  • Enhance Mauritania’s adaptive capacity through the rebuilding of the national hydro-meteorological monitoring system and improved networking for the measurement of climate parameters.
  • Strengthening of technical capacity to integrate climate change risk management into farmer level agricultural capacity.
  • Improve observational data through the additional of weather stations and hydrometeorological instrumentation.
  • Improve technical capacity to analyze hydromet data and project impacts across sectors.
  • Establish institutional capacity for providing timely early warning systems.
  • Development of early warning systems about dangerous hydrometeorological phenomena and climate risk management, specifically for vulnerable coastal zones.
  • Ensure integration of National Environmental Strategy goals in sectoral and regional plans
  • Implementation of cross-sectoral climate-smart solutions at national and subnational levels.
  • Implement regional-scale cooperation among countries in West Africa and to emphasize the benefits of collaboration and institution building in the region and support cross-border surveillance for Sahelian countries.
  • Establish a National Steering Committee on Climate Change to ensure the integration of low-carbon, climate-resilient considerations into development planning by providing overall guidance, political support, and leadership, ensuring adequate resource allocation and monitoring the results related to the national efforts to address and adapt to climate change.
  • Integrate climate change concerns into relevant policies and planning processes at the state and national levels.