The latest IPCC reports describe climate change as “having caused impacts on natural and human systems on all continents and across the oceans” in recent decades. Small Island Developing States’ (SIDS) particular vulnerability to sea level rise is mainly due to their small land masses, concentration of populations, and their high dependence on the coastal ecosystems for food, livelihood, security, and protection against extreme events. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognizes the particular vulnerability of SIDS to the adverse effects of climate change and thus stipulates that their specific needs and concerns should be given full consideration.

The challenges specific to Zanzibar have been largely omitted in the National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA) submitted by the Tanzanian government in 2007, which has led to the decision by the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar (RGZ) and other relevant stakeholders to collaborate with international partners on developing Zanzibar’s own climate strategy. Zanzibar remains independent from an administrative perspective in most of its government matters, also in environmental issues.

Focusing on Zanzibar, the overall objective of the project ‘Governance of Climate Change Adaptation in Small Island Developing States (SIDS)’ (Acronym: GO ADAPT SIDS) is to contribute to sustainable economic development, climate change adaptation, and DRR through developing effective governance arrangements in a participatory process. The central tenet of this project is to build adaptive capacity at multiple levels and to advance social justice and human security in local climate action.

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