Country

Sierra Leone

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 Sierra Leone.

Country Context

Sierra Leone is located in West Africa between the Republic of Guinea in the north and the Republic of Liberia to the southeast. The western border stretches for 465 kilometers along the Atlantic Ocean. It is situated in the northern hemisphere between latitudes 7° and 10° N and longitudes 10° and 13° W and spans for 72,325 square kilometers. Coastal plains, interior lowland plains, plateaus, hills, and mountains characterize Sierra Leone and the country is endowed with substantial natural resources: mineral deposits, fertile agricultural land, and a deep natural harbor. About 80-90% of the 6.1 million inhabitants reside in rural areas and most of the population derives their income from natural resources. Agriculture comprises the largest sector of the economy, accounting for 35-47% of GDP, and employing over 65% of the working population. The mining sector is another important segment of the economy and has great potential for growth. GDP grew by 15.2% in 2012, mainly due to the beginning of iron-ore production, while agricultural production, services and construction, and spending contributed to about 5% of this growth. Growth declined to 13% in 2013-2014. Problems with poor infrastructure, low capacity, youth unemployment, high maternal and infant mortality, widespread rural impoverishment, the impact of the global financial crisis, and lapses in financial management and governance remain barriers to growth. The majority of the population lives in poverty (52.9%) and is heavily concentrated in rural areas. Sierra Leone is positioned in the low human development category and placed at 183 out of 187 countries on the 2014 United Nations Development Programme Human Development Report. Underemployment among men, a high youth unemployment rate (60%), as well as public health - life expectancy is extremely low (less than 40 years) and high infant and maternal mortality rates - remain as obstacles. Climate change threatens food security and the livelihoods of most of the population. Priority adaptation strategies include the development and enactment of policies and regulations for the development of coastal communities; livelihood diversification; urban growth planning; establishment of a national sea level observing system; coastal ecosystems preservation; and conservation of critical ecosystems.

Country level data at a glance

Climate Data

Historical Trends

The section provides access to historical climate datasets for both temperature and precipitation from 1900 to 2016.

Over the past 50 years, Sierra Leone’s precipitation regime has become more erratic. Between 1951-2000, May through October seasonal precipitation decreased at the Lungi New meteorological station on the northern coast of Sierra Leone.

Projected Trends

The section provides access to future climate datasets for both temperature and precipitation and their statistical derivatives for various timeframes and emission scenarios from 2020 to 2099.

The section provides access to future climate datasets for both temperature and precipitation and their statistical derivatives for various timeframes and emission scenarios from 2020 to 2099.

Climate by Sector

This section contains information from multiple climate indicators and indices relevant for key economic sectors. Simple narratives can help you interpret and extract summaries of potential climate change impacts at the sector level.

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Vulnerability

This section allows you to explore the susceptibility of livelihoods and natural systems to impacts from climate variability and change and facilitate the exploration of socioeconomic and development data and its relationships with natural hazards vulnerable areas.

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Impacts

This section allows you to explore the climate information from multiple climate indicators and present them with simple, embedded interpretation for an informative, high-level summary of the potential for future climate change impacts on key socioeconomic sectors.

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Adaptation

This section helps you grasp key national adaptation policies and reports, explore options for key sectors, and understand current adaptation gaps and needs for enhanced climate smart planning.

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