Adapting to climate change is a challenge that spans timescales. Although communities are feeling the eects of climate change now, the most severe impacts will be felt in the decades to come. This presents significant obstacles to long-term development objectives.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in sub-Saharan Africa, a region currently confronting a large adaptation deficit and undergoing rapid social, economic and demographic transitions. Factoring medium- to long-term climate information (associated with interannual, decadal and multi-decadal timescales) into investments and planning decisions can therefore play an important role in guiding climate-resilient development and helping to safeguard economic development across the region.
The importance of promoting the uptake of medium- to long-term climate information into development planning often centres around two arguments. First, it can support anticipatory adaptation and help to guide long-lived investment and planning decisions in the face of changing external stressors. Second, it can assist decision-makers to identify and manage the risk of current actions leading to increased levels of vulnerability in the future.