Scaling up Climate Ambition on Land Use and Agriculture through Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plans (SCALA) 

Country overview

Located in West Africa, Senegal has a steadily growing economy over recent years. However, poverty in Senegal is still prevalent in rural areas, where roughly 60 percent of the population resides. The other 40 percent of the population resides in urban areas, where the majority live in rapidly growing urban suburbs. Low agricultural production, limited capacity of the economy to create sustainable jobs, and inadequate resource allocation for social services contribute to poverty. While the agriculture, livestock and fishery sectors are contributing to food and nutrition security and representing 60 percent of the Senegalese rural labor force, these sectors are vulnerable to several climate-related impacts, such as drought, locust invasion, flooding, sea-level rise, coastal erosion and related health epidemics, as well as bush fires. 

Senegal’s climate change plans and priorities

Senegal developed a National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) in 2006 and submitted an INDC in 2015, which outlined the country’s plans for mitigation and adaptation. The NDC was recently revised and submitted ahead of COP26 in 2021, while sectoral NAPs are currently under development. The Plan for an Emerging Senegal (Plan Sénégal Emergent) reflects the strong political will for development based on more sustainable production patterns and food systems. Since 2019, various actors involved in agroecology in Senegal have come together under the DyTAES (Dynamique pour une Transition AgroEcologique au Sénégal) framework to contribute to the reflections of the Senegalese government to build an agroecological transition policy.

In Senegal, the agriculture sector represents 36 percent of its GHG emissions followed by land use change and forestry (22 percent). As communicated in the NDC, the emissions from the agriculture sector will increase gradually and steadily, until 2030. Henceforth, to reduce emissions, Senegal will first create synergies between local community stakeholders and the private sector to reinforce acquired knowledge and build on good practices in terms of mitigation and adaptation to scale up action.

Strongly threatened by climate change, Senegal aims to enhance adaptation and mitigation measures in the agriculture, livestock, fisheries and forestry sectors.  Particularly in the crop production sector, the mitigation priorities are focused on the Intensive Rice Cultivation System, composting and assisted natural regeneration. Regarding adaptation priorities, the country will focus on vulnerable ecosystems and will work with vulnerable populations to increase their resilience to climate change impacts. Senegal will concentrate on promoting agriculture-livestock-agroforestry production systems, sustainable land management, use of adapted varieties, agriculture insurance, generic improve of species and animal health, promote sustainable aquaculture and restoration of mangroves field. 

Overcoming barriers in the implementation of climate plans

The main barriers towards the implementation of mitigation and adaptation measures on an institutional level are the low level of integrating NDC and NAP priorities in the planning and budgeting process and the lack of coordination and capacity in intersectoral planning. On a technical level, these sectors are facing major challenges, such as the availability of data and information to actors and the need to strengthen the information system measures for the effective monitoring and evaluation of transformative climate mitigation and adaptation actions. Senegal can achieve its goals to reduce GHG emissions and integrate adaptation and mitigation priorities with international community support and sustainable funding. The country can also benefit from transferring environmentally friendly technologies and strengthening institutional and human capacities in its climate change agenda. 

Moving ahead- 2021 and beyond

Senegal has a strong motivation to enhance its climate strategies and create more sustainable production patterns and food systems. The country plans to achieve its climate objectives in terms of land use and agriculture through the transformation of agri-food systems. The systemic approach adopted by the SCALA programme with all stakeholders constitutes an innovative approach to overcome obstacles and help define actionable priorities. Through fostering stakeholder commitments, to build institutional, financial and technical capacities and foster transformation actions such as agroecology, improving crop varieties, agroforestry and the importance of operationalizing the concept of agripreneur, the SCALA programme will further support the government of Senegal in accessing sustainable solutions, by considering cross-cutting issues and promoting synergies between ongoing initiatives.