Rationale / Justification of Existence: Climate studies and modeling experiments indicate that the anthropogenically- driven rise in global temperatures and land –use changes may adversely affect existing climatic, hydrological and environmental conditions. Multiple stresses make most of Africa highly vulnerable to environmental changes and climate change is likely to increase this vulnerability. The West African Region is vulnerable to specific impacts of climate change, some of which include desertification, sea level rise, reduced freshwater availability, changes in frequencies and intensities of cyclones coastal inundation, deforestation, loss of forest quality, woodland degradation , coral bleaching, increase of insect vectors , spread of malaria as well as other vector-borne diseases and food insecurity. These impacts are expected to continue even if the increase in the concentration of green house gases was to be halted due to the long half life of some important gases like carbon dioxide. Hence the need for adaptation strategies.


Development cooperation has a role to play in both mitigation and adaptation. In some cases, adaptation will involve specific measures such as the construction of reinforcement of levees and floating gardens in response to sea level rise. However, in most cases it involves the integration of adaptation considerations into existing development processes and activities with a view to make them climate –resilient. New approaches to resource exploitation are called for as part of this adaptation strategy. Adaptation to climate change cannot be addressed through a single economic sector as it has impacts across all aspects of social and economic development. In addition, development without consideration of the risks and impacts of climate change sometimes increase the vulnerability ( maladaption).

Government policies, coordination and leadership on the issue of climate change in Nigeria lacks authority, capability and political will. This explains the growing interest of the international community to support capacity building initiatives in the area of climate change. An institutional structure is needed to provide meaningful coordination of these supports from national and international organizations. The Open Society Foundation (OSF) of the United States has made financial commitments to support the University of Nigeria in building a “Trans –disciplinary climate change adaptation capacity” over an initial three year period under the African Climate Change Initiative. ACCAI coordinates this initiative and provides an institutional base for attracting more grants in the area of climate change.

Broad Objectives: The University will offer trans-disciplinary programmes that will:

  1. Build the human capacity needed to address climate change and adaptation that meet African’s unique needs through University – based curricular for conventional post graduate degrees ( PGD, M.Sc. and Ph.D. ) and short training courses for a wide range of professionals from all sectors;
  2. Encourage and implement action –oriented research activities, including research into climate change adaptation technologies, that will help to improve the climate adaptation capacity of the African peoples;
  3. Provide a framework for national and regional policy assessment and advice to governments and public and private sector actors;
  4. Include various communities within the African region in its programme execution and implementation of research findings; and
  5. Provide basis for adaptation of international; best practices in climate change issues and collaboration with similar or related facilities across the world.