Building Capacity for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Through Mainstreaming Climate Change in Curricula of Tertiary Training Institutions in Africa

  • Jackson EfitreEmail author
  • Vianny Natugonza
  • Laban Musinguzi
  • Mark Olokotum
  • Shamim Naigaga
  • Richard Ogutu-Ohwayo


Climate variability and change, which intensified since 1970s, are threatening natural resources and livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa where people depend on climate sensitive natural resources, such as agriculture and fisheries, but have limited capacity to adapt. Increasing human and institutional capacity to address threats posed by climate change to natural resources and livelihoods requires building capacity to generate and disseminate information and knowledge on climate change, its impacts, adaptation and mitigation through research, education and raising awareness by tertiary training institutions. Most tertiary training institutions in Africa have curricula covering basic and applied natural resources management but most of them do not include climate change. This paper presents a training curriculum and manual that was developed to fill this gap. The purpose of the paper is to provide in-depth information on how Climate Change can be integrated into the fisheries and aquaculture curricula of tertiary training institutions. It also provides students, scientists, practitioners, and policy makers with an understanding of key concepts and approaches to climate change mitigation measures, adaptation strategies, and policies. The aim is to mainstream climate change in fisheries training. The specific objectives are to facilitate introduction of climate change in fisheries training in Uganda that can be developed further and adopted by other countries in Africa and elsewhere; Equip students with scientific and technical capacity to anticipate and evaluate changes in climate and its influence, communicate information to stakeholders, design, and test adaptation strategies and mitigation measures; and Increase human resource capacity to address climate change issues through reviewing and strengthening of the national education system. The curriculum consists of seven modules covering: Major threats to natural resources; Introduction to climate change; Implications of climate change on aquatic productivity processes and fisheries; Implications of climate change on aquaculture; Livelihoods, impacts, adaptation and mitigation; Aquatic ecosystem modeling in relation to climate change; Principles, policies, regulations and institutions required to address impacts of climate change. The modules will be delivered through lectures, discussions, case studies and field visits. It is recommended that the curriculum and manual be incorporated into training programs of tertiary training institutions to build the capacity required to address climate change challenges particularly for fisheries in Africa.


Climate change Adaptation Mitigation Capacity building Fisheries resources Livelihoods Tertiary institutions Uganda 



This curriculum and manual was developed as part of a climate change pilot project based at the National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI) with funding from The Rockefeller Foundation to whom we are very grateful.


  1. Aiken KA et al (1992). Recovery after Hurricane Gilbert: implications for disaster preparedness in the fishing industry in Jamaica. Proceedings of Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute 41: 261–83.Google Scholar
  2. Allison EH et al (2007). Enhancing the resilience of inland fisheries and aquaculture systems to climate change. Journal of Semi-Arid Tropical Agricultural Research; 4(1): 35.Google Scholar
  3. Allison EH et al (2009). Vulnerability of national economies to the impacts of climate change on fisheries. Fish and Fisheries; 10(2): 173–196. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-2979.2008.00310.x.
  4. Badjeck MC (2008). Vulnerability of coastal fishing communities to climate variability and change: implications for fisheries livelihoods and management in Peru. University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany. (also available at . Ph.D. thesis.) Climate change and capture fisheries: potential impacts, adaptation and mitigation, 145.
  5. Badjeck MC et al (2009). Climate variability and the Peruvian scallop fishery: the role of formal institutions in resilience building. Climatic Change 94(1–2): 211–32.Google Scholar
  6. Barange M, Perry RI (2009). Physical and ecological impacts of climate change relevant to marine and inland capture fisheries and aquaculture. In: K. Cochrane, C. De Young, D. Soto T. Bahri (eds) Climate change implications for fisheries and aquaculture: overview of current scientific knowledge. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical paper 530. Rome, FAO pp. 7–106 (eds).Google Scholar
  7. Bloom D et al (2005). Higher Education and Economic Development in Africa. World Bank Report. 85 pp. Available at:
  8. Broad K et al (1999). Climate information and conflicting goals: El Nino 1997–98 and the Peruvian fishery. Public philosophy, environment, and social justice, Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, New York, 21–22.Google Scholar
  9. Cheung WWL et al (2013). Shrinking of fishes exacerbates impacts of global ocean changes on marine ecosystems. Nature Climate Change, 3, 254–258.Google Scholar
  10. Cochrane K et al (2009). Climate change implications for fisheries and aquaculture: overview of current scientific knowledge. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper. No. 530. Rome FAO. 212p.Google Scholar
  11. FAO (2010). The state of food insecurity in the world. Addressing food insecurity in protracted areas. FAO, Rome pp. 62.Google Scholar
  12. FAO (2012). The state of world fisheries and aquaculture, 2012. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.Google Scholar
  13. Hecky RE et al (1994). Deoxygenation of the deep water of Lake Victoria, East Africa. Limnology and Oceanography 39(6): 1481–1486.Google Scholar
  14. Hecky RE et al (2010). Multiple stressors cause rapid ecosystem change in Lake Victoria. Freshwater Biology 55(1): 19–42.Google Scholar
  15. IPCC (2007). Summary for Policy Makers. In Parry ML, Canziani OF, Palutikof JP, van Linden PJ & Hansen CE (eds), Climate Change: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, UK, pp 7–22.Google Scholar
  16. Jallow BP et al (1999). Coastal zone of The Gambia and the Abidjan region in Côte d’Ivoire: sea level rise vulnerability, response strategies, and adaptation options. Climate Research 12(2–3): 129–36.Google Scholar
  17. Lehman JT et al (1998). Lake Victoria plankton ecology: mixing depth and climate driven control of lake condition, pp. 99–116. In: Lehman J. T. (ed). Environmental Change and Response in East African Lakes. Kluwer Academic Publishers, NL.Google Scholar
  18. Lorke A et al (2004). Response of Lake Kivu stratification to lava inflow and climate warming. Limnology and Oceanography 49, 778–783.Google Scholar
  19. MAAIF (Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries) 2012. Operationalisation of the Non-ATAAS Component of the Development Strategy and Investment Plan (DSIP), Situation Analysis Report, Fish Production, Entebbe, Uganda. 90 pp.Google Scholar
  20. Macnab V and Barber I (2012). Some (worms) like it hot: fish parasites grow faster in warmer water, and alter host thermal preferences. Global Change Biology 18(5): 1540–1548.Google Scholar
  21. Marcogliese D J (2001). Implications of climate change for parasitism of animals in the aquatic environment. Canadian Journal of Zoology 79: 13331–1352.Google Scholar
  22. Marshall BE et al (2013). Has climate change disrupted stratification patterns in Lake Victoria, East Africa? African Journal of Aquatic Science 38: 249–253.Google Scholar
  23. Marshall BE (2012). Does climate change really explain changes in the fisheries productivity of Lake Kariba (Zambia-Zimbabwe)? Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 67: 45–51.Google Scholar
  24. Musinguzi L et al (2016). Fishers’ perceptions of climate change impacts on their livelihoods and adaptation strategies in environmental change hotspots: a case of Lake Wamala, Uganda, Environment, Development and Sustainability, 17(4). DOI  10.1007/s10668-015-9690-6.
  25. NaFIRRI, 2013. Vulnerability, impacts and adaptations of inland aquatic and riparian aquatic ecosystems and fisheries to climate variability and change: A case study of lakes Wamala and Kawi (Uganda). Technical Progress Report, NaFIRRI, Jinja, Uganda.Google Scholar
  26. Namboowa, S. 2015. The occurrence and effects of helminth parasites infesting the African Catfish (Clarias gariepinus, Burchell, 1822) in lake Wamala, Uganda. MSc. dissertation, Makerere University, Kampala, 48 pp.Google Scholar
  27. Natugonza V et al (2015). The responses of Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus (Linnaeus, 1758) in Lake Wamala (Uganda) to changing climatic conditions. Lakes & Reservoirs: Research & Management 20(2): 101–119.Google Scholar
  28. Natugonza, V et al (2016). Implications of climate warming for hydrology and water balance of small shallow lakes: A case of Wamala and Kawi, Uganda. Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management (just accepted), DOI: 10.1080/14634988.2016.1142167.
  29. Ndebele-Murisa M R et al (2011). The implications of a changing climate on the Kapenta fish stocks of Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 66(2): 105–119.Google Scholar
  30. O’Reilly CM et al (2003). Climate change decreases aquatic ecosystem productivity of Lake Tanganyika, Africa. Nature 424: 766–768.Google Scholar
  31. Ogutu-Ohwayo R et al (2013). Variations and changes in habitat, productivity, composition of aquatic biota and fisheries of the Kyoga lake system: lessons for management. African Journal of Aquatic Sciences, 38(1):1–14.Google Scholar
  32. Ogutu-ohwayo et al (2016). Implications of climate variability and change for African lake ecosystems, fisheries productivity, and livelihoods Journal of Great lakes Research, doi: 10.1016/j.jglr.2016.03.004.
  33. Sarch MT, Allison EH (2000). Fluctuating fisheries in Africa’s Inland Waters: Well-Adapted livelihoods, maladapted management. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of the Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade. Corvallis, Oregon, July 9–14th 2000, 11 pp.Google Scholar
  34. Sitoki L et al (2010). The Environment of Lake Victoria (East Africa): Current status and historical changes. International Review of Hydrobiology 95: 209–223. doi: 10.1002/iroh.201011226.
  35. Sumaila et al (2011). Climate change impacts on the biophysics and economics of world fisheries. Nature Climate Change, 1: 449–456.Google Scholar
  36. Turner R et al (2007). Declining reliance on marine resources in remote South Pacific societies: ecological versus socio-economic drivers. Coral Reefs 26(4): 997–1008.Google Scholar
  37. UNEP. (2009). Atlas of our changing environment.
  38. Verburg P et al (2003). Ecological consequences of a century of warming in Lake Tanganyika. Science 301: 505–507.Google Scholar
  39. Vollmer MK et al (2005). Deep-water warming trend in Lake Malawi, East Africa. Limnology and Oceanography 50: 727–732.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jackson Efitre
    • 1
    Email author
  • Vianny Natugonza
    • 2
  • Laban Musinguzi
    • 2
  • Mark Olokotum
    • 1
  • Shamim Naigaga
    • 2
  • Richard Ogutu-Ohwayo
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries SciencesCollege of Natural Sciences, Makerere UniversityKampalaUganda
  2. 2.National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI)JinjaUganda

Personalised recommendations