Assessing and managing climate change related risks to the Tana River Basin, Kenya

Jenkins, Rhosanna (2018) Assessing and managing climate change related risks to the Tana River Basin, Kenya. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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The Tana River Basin is one of the most economically-important and ecologically-diverse river basins in Kenya. It contains internationally-recognised biodiversity areas. It is also central to Kenya’s future development agenda. However, projected climate change may undermine this agenda and threaten the basin’s unique ecosystems. The changing climate, along with issues arising from planned socio-economic development, is likely to increase the existing problems of limited water and land resources. This research projects the impacts of climate change upon three key sectors (water, biodiversity and agriculture) within the Tana River Basin in order to inform national climate change adaptation plans using a range of climate scenarios and models. Once the projected effects of climate change on the three sectors were determined, possible adaptation measures were identified. Then, potential trade-offs or synergies between sectors and adaptation measures were determined.
All three sectors are projected to be significantly affected by climate change, even under the lowest levels of warming. Projected increases in precipitation of basin-average of around 12-16% will lead to greater water availability across the basin, but these increases are unlikely to outweigh the increases in water demand caused by the rapidly growing population and industrial development. By contrast, higher temperatures are projected to substantially reduce species richness (of a basin and taxa-average of 30-42% of species at risk of local extinction) and yields of most major crops (including maize, wheat and sugarcane).
As climate change is a cross-cutting and multifaceted challenge, results from the individual sectors were combined using GIS and compared to government development plans. Hotspots of projected climate change impacts and development plans were identified in the Upper Tana and Tana Delta regions. This is the first cross-sectoral GIS analysis of the impacts of climate change and development plans in the Tana River Basin and contributes to a greater understanding of impacts and adaptation options in Kenya.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Jackie Webb
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2019 12:19
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2019 12:19


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