The African continent is highly vulnerable to the increasing impact of climate change: severe weather-related disasters are impacting water and food availability in Africa, putting additional pressures and stressors on Sub-Saharan countries. Increasing temperature, rainfall variability, extreme and/or prolonged droughts, for example, have severe impacts on different spheres: environmental, economic, social, etc. This is further exacerbated by climate- and human-induced ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss which reduce the provision of ecosystem services on which these communities rely. The FAO has identified the Sub-Saharan region as one of the most vulnerable to climate change “because of the combination of its low adaptive capacity with particular eco-climatic and socio-economic conditions”.

Climate-related threats to food and water security combined with the rapid growth of the African population is a major trigger for internal migration. Furthermore, urbanization, many times in the form of slums, informal and low-income settlements, leaves displaced people more exposed to natural hazards. According to IPCC, “human migration is a potentially effective adaptation strategy, but can also be maladaptive if vulnerability is increased, particularly for health and human settlements”.

In this context, governments and policymakers face difficulties in developing and updating local and national policies to effectively and simultaneously address these challenges, including the environment-related impacts, such as the loss of biodiversity, economic repercussions for instance in agricultural production and essential water supply in densely populated regions, and social implications, as inequalities are exacerbated.

Through the Africa-EU partnership and the new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change, the EU has reinforced its commitment to helping Africa adapt to a more hostile climate. To this end, the capacity of both nature-based solutions and climate services for climate change adaptation is recognised. This is where ALBATROSS is situated.