Ecosystem-Based Adaptation to Climate Change Trough Prioritization of Crop Wild Relatives: Case of the Gambia


Crop Wild Relatives (CWR) are important ecosystem’s resources that could play important role for the success of an Ecosystem-based Adaptation to climate change. To evaluate their diversity in The Gambia, current crops were matched with species from the Flora, considering the genus as the level of identity.

Overall 238 CWR were identified and prioritized using 09 criteria: species’ origin, economic value, ethnobotanic value, nutritional value, conservation status, legislation, threat assessment, national and global distribution. These criteria were applied to PSP, PSPW, BRS, and CRS methods as described by Brehm et al. (2010). Results were cross-checked to obtain 20 priority species. Among priority species, Malvaceae family, represented by the genus “Hibiscus”, was dominant (45%) in The Gambia. Genus like Acacia, Annona, Solanum, Sesamum, Pennisetum, and Vigna were also represented. Advanced ranking was done to select the top genus to benefit urgent conservation action plan.

From that point, the distribution of Acacia was assessed using MaxEnt. Projections have been made at horizon 2050 based on HadGEM-ES and Miroc5 models and scenarios RCP 4.5 and 8.5. Results showed that whatever the case (controlled or high emissions) climate change will favor distribution of Acacia species in the country, except in the coastal area. In this regard, a technical report and guideline for awareness campaign are designed as part of this thesis to help disseminate information on priority species as well as the importance of Acacia sieberiana and Acacia macrothyrsa to targeted audiences.

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