Can adaptation and mitigation synergistically cooperate? Lessons from Wa West District, Ghana

  • Martin Oteng-Ababio University of Ghana
  • Muneta Yokomatsu Kyoto University
  • Togbiga Dzivenu Wa Campus
  • Subhajyoti Samaddar Kyoto University
  • Jonas Ayaribilla Akudugu University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani
Keywords: Mitigation, adaptation, vulnerabilities, Wa West district, Ghana


This paper explores the possibility of synergising
mitigation and adaptation strategies at the local level
since both seek to arrest the menace of climate change.
Based on a systematic analysis of data collected from
four rural communities in the Wa West district, we
expose the weakness in the solitary strategy adopted by
local farmers to expand their socio-economic activities
within fragile eco-systems. We argue that to build
a sustainable ‘immune system’ for climate-induced
vulnerabilities, local farmers need to balance their
adaptation and mitigation strategies by considering
and searching for mutually supportive actions and
trade-offs. We opine that community resilience
does not happen in a vacuum. Instead, community
resilience is achieved through a collectively planned,
transparent medium which empowers the community
with knowledge about their risks, effectively equipped
with the right skills to adapt, cope with, re-group and
recover in times of disasters. This calls for investing in
understanding and promoting specific local capacities
to enhance community readiness and opportunities
to unlock mutually beneficial approaches to climate
change mitigation and adaptation.