Investigating Institutional Readiness in Enabling Adaptation to Future Changes in the Climate: A Case Study of Institutions Working with Frafras Farming Communities within the Semi-Arid Ecosystem of Northern Ghana
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Institutional readiness to enable communities’ adaptation to future changes in the climate is a great challenge in developing countries like Ghana subject to limited resources. This study aimed to assess local institutions readiness to enable communities’ adaptation under future changes in the climate in order to provide a basis for their capacity building. A case study of institutions working with Frafras farming communities within the semi-arid ecosystem of northern Ghana was used to investigate existing local institutions: (1) level of understanding of climate change and its impacts, (2) ability to manage knowledge and information (3) forward-thinking character and (4) participatory character. A total of 49 semi-structured interviews with key representatives of various organizations from different sectors in Bongo and Bolgatanga districts (e.g., agriculture, disaster management, banking, forestry and community development) were conducted. The analysis of existing local institutions capacity revealed that despite their high level of understanding of climate change and its impacts and their good participatory character, most of these institutions are limited in their ability to manage information, especially in terms of the usage of scenarios or other techniques. This situation hinders them to plan against long time horizon and thus, to avail resources for emergencies. Over a long-term, these limitations or inabilities would likely exacerbate, hindering these institutions to sustain their role in enabling communities’ adaptation to climate change. Thus, to contend with potential climate uncertainty and risks to be associated with future changes in the climate, there is a need for institutional capacity building especially in terms of information or knowledge management essential in planning against long-term and ensuring an emergency response.