On 5–7 August 2013, the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) hosted a series of meetings in Accra, Ghana, as part of a Ghana/Japan joint research project titled “Enhancing Resilience to Climate and Ecosystem Changes in Semi-Arid Africa: An Integrated Approach (CECAR-Africa)”. This is a fiver-year project aimed at building an integrated “Ghana model” strategy for resilience which can potentially be applied across the Savannah region in Africa. Four institutions in Ghana, (the University of Ghana, the University for Development Studies, the Ghana Meteorological Agency and UNU-INRA), and three institutions in Japan (the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University and the UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace, have been collaborating on the research project in northern Ghana. The project is funded under the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development scheme by the Japan Science and Technology Agency and Japan International Cooperation Agency.
The project’s Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) convened on 5 August, bringing together JCC members, official project advisors and representatives of the participating research institutions. Implemented project and research activities were presented for review, and future research plans revised based on expert feedback from advisors and observers. At the close of the JCC meeting, participants joined in the launching of the UNU-INRA Geographic Information System (GIS) Resource Centre, a laboratory established under the auspices of UNU-INRA and the CECAR Africa project.
On 6 August, a workshop on research methodologies discussed an integrated approach to develop combined research methods, and a common database system to share survey results among the different research teams. This was followed by a dissemination workshop on 7 August, in which researchers finalized plans for publishing project findings through a special issue of the Journal of Disaster Research in 2014.
The meetings were supported by the Japan Science and Technology Agency, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Embassy of Japan in Ghana, and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning of the Republic of Ghana.