Ghana is located in West Africa on the Guinea Coast. At latitudes of 4-12°N, It shares borders with Togo on the East, Burkina Faso on the North, La Cote d’Ivoire on the West and the Gulf of Guinea to the South. Ghana covers an area of 238,539 square kilometers. Extensive water bodies, including Lake Volta and Bosomtwi, occupy 3,275 square kilometers, while seasonal and perennial rivers occupy another 23,350 square kilometers.
Ghana's population is estimated at 23.8 million (2009) and is assumed to be increasing at a rate between 2.8 and 3.0 percent per annum. The birth rate (1999) is estimated at 39 per thousand, death rate 10 per thousand and infant mortality rate is 66 per thousand life births. Ghana is classified as a developing country with a per capita income GDP of US$ 1098 (2009). Agriculture and livestock constitute the mainstay of Ghana’s economy, accounting for 32% of GDP in 2009 and employs 55% of the economically active population. Agriculture is predominantly rainfed, hence making it a great concern with respect to potential climatic changes.
Climate change and variability is already affecting Ghana’s water resources, and often attributed to global warming caused by increased greenhouse gas emissions for several decades. Their impacts on the country are evident in climate-induced changes to physical and biological systems which increasingly exert considerable stress on the country’s vulnerable sectors: Agriculture, Coastal Zones/Marine Ecosystems and Water Resources. Whilst there is no concrete evidence of climate change occurring in Ghana (some climate variability through changing regimes of climatic factors are evident. These climatic extremes, has led to periods of severe drought crop production and livestock herds decline and the severe food shortage experienced in the country in the early 1980's was a clear testimony. The adverse impacts of climate change on the socioeconomic factors driving the sustainable livelihoods of the rural communities coupled with poverty also limit economic development.
Selected Indicators for Impacts and Vulnerabilities