Inland Fisheries

Climate change implications for fishing communities in the Lake Chad Basin. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Proceedings. No. 25.

Linkages to water management

These Proceedings include (1) the report of and (2) the background paper prepared for the Workshop on climate change implications for fishing communities in the Lake Chad Basin: What have we learned and what can we do better? The Workshop was hosted by the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) from 18 to 20 November 2011, attended by the Lake Chad Basin countries of Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Niger and Nigeria, and financed through a Japanese-funded, and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)-implemented, project component on Fisheries management and marine conservation within a changing ecosystem context (GCP/INT/253/JPN), in collaboration with LCBC. Presentation topics included: the hydrology of the Lake Chad region, national contexts of climate change and fisheries, identification and reduction of climate change vulnerability in the fisheries of the Lake Chad Basin and an overview of current projects on Lake Chad. Discussions largely focused on: hydrology and climate trends of the Lake Chad basin, national perspectives on impacts and adaptations of climate change, current natural resources projects in the Lake Chad Basin and recommendations for actions to increase adaptability and resilience to be carried out. The Workshop recommended that there is more coordinated action and information sharing regarding natural resources, and increased cooperation between LCBC member State governments to support and strengthen existing political commitments in the Lake Chad Basin for effective aquatic resource use management to ensure sustainable development of land and aquatic based activities in the basin.


This report, ‘Identification and Reduction of Climate Change Vulnerability in the Fisheries of the Lake Chad Basin’ is essentially a desk-based review and is structured in five main parts. The first part deals with a description of the basin focusing briefly on its geography, physical features, jurisdictional, social and economic boundaries. The second section gives a broad overview of climate change and its potential impact pathways on the fisheries of the basin and reviews the biological and ecological state of the system’s natural resources. The socio-economic contribution of the fisheries to the livelihoods of the basin’s communities and the wider society is described, including the governance and management of the basin’s resources. This section concludes with identification and evaluation of current adaptive strategies to change and the major factors constraining such coping strategies, including an analysis of the system’s vulnerability. Section 3 identifies a wide range of potential strategies for reducing vulnerability in the system in terms of decreased exposure, impacts and sensitivity and means of improving adaptive capacity and resilience of the system. A set of policy recommendations aiming at reducing the vulnerability and improving the resilience of the system is made in section 4. The report finishes with a short conclusion in section 5 that seeks the assistance of the international donor Agencies from developed countries to help address the impact of climate change on natural resources in Africa in general and the Lake Chad Basin in particular.