Future Earth Coasts

FEC Webinar Series ‘Just Transitions’: Integrated Approaches to Coastal Management along the Gulf of Guinea’ Speaker Biographies

Rael Teresa Adhiambo

Rael Teresa Adhiambo is a Ph.D. candidate in Oceanography and Limnology under the World Bank Funded Centre of Excellence in Coastal Resilience (ACECoR) from Kenya. She is currently undertaking her research on the “Ecotoxicological Assessment of Climate Change Related Stressors on Tropical Estuarine Plankton in Ghana”. She is also a Scientist, working for the Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources Schedule at the National Commission for Science Technology and Innovation back in Kenya. She is passionate about research that is aimed at increasing the resilience of coastal ecosystems to adapt to global change factors such as climate change and pollution.

Presentation: A review of phytoplankton research in the face of climate change: Under-representation in the tropics in Africa

Abstract: Tropical ecosystems are biodiversity powerhouses that are home to nearly three-quarters of all species on Earth. However, they have been consistently under-researched in nearly all fields of research. To ascertain this hypothesis, this study reviewed global scientific productions carried out between 2012 and 2022 in the field of phytoplankton ecology. The results show that nearly 80 % of the global research effort focused on high-latitude areas, with only 11.6 % of the research focusing on the tropics.  In terms of ecosystems, the majority of the research was in marine waters irrespective of the climate zone.  Within the tropics, nearly 61% of the scientific production was carried out in four countries (India, Brazil, Australia, and Saudi Arabia) with Africa contributing only 1 % of the research efforts. To remedy the situation, this study recommends the strengthening of collaborative efforts between different Governments and funding institutions to increase capacities of individuals and institutions in the tropics to carry out their own research. This can be achieved by establishing and equipping specialised centres that will focus on tropical coastal and marine ecology and train the next generation of researchers.


Ayeta Emuobonuvie Grace

Ayeta Emuobonuvie Grace is a PhD student in Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) at the World Bank funded Africa Centre of Excellence in Coastal Resilience (ACECoR), University of Cape Coast, Ghana. Her Ph.D. research is aimed at assessing groundwater quality and governance in the coastal communities of Ghana. Her research interests are in environmental sustainability, water, and food security as well as in disease prevention. She strongly believes that societies can be positively impacted through innovative research, education, and value reorientation.

Presentation: Groundwater quality and governance in the coastal communities of Ghana

Abstract: Groundwater is an important freshwater source worldwide, particularly in freshwater-scarce areas like coastal areas. In Ghana, there is increasing dependence on groundwater, but the assessment of bacteriological quality of groundwater and its associated health risk in the coastal areas are rare. Similarly, very little is known about the status of groundwater governance. This study employed the membrane filtration method and quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) to assess bacteriological quality of groundwater and its associated health risk. Expert survey and focus group discussion were employed in assessing status of groundwater governance. Results showed that groundwater in the coastal areas of Ghana are highly vulnerable to microbial contamination and have serious health implications for water users. Overall groundwater governance capacity in Ghana was shown to be incipient. These findings show that there is a need to build capacity in groundwater governance to adequately protect this important resource.


Chinomnso Onwubiko

Chinomnso Onwubiko is a PhD student at the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Science, University of Cape Coast, Ghana. Her research interest is in Assessing the Role of Coastal Ecosystems in Flood Reduction in Rivers State, Nigeria. Her presentation is on the Benefits of Coastal Ecosystems in Flood Reduction in the Coastal Communities of Rivers State, Nigeria Using the InVEST Coastal Vulnerability Model which is a part of her PhD research. She holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Pollution and Toxicology from the University of Calabar in Nigeria. She is a member of the Nigeria Environmental Society, Women in Science and Early Career Ocean Professionals. She also has research interests in Coastal Ecosystems and their role in Climate Change Adaptation.

Presentation: Assessing the role of mangrove ecosystems in flood risk reduction to the coastal communities of the River States using Invest Coastal Vulnerability Model

Abstract: Coastal ecosystems play a significant role to reduce impacts of coastal hazards on society. This study assessed the role mangrove ecosystems play in reducing floods in coastal communities by employing the InVEST Coastal Vulnerability. The InVEST CV model is an integrated tool used to visualise disaster risk under different ecosystem conditions by analysing the role of each data input and assigning relative numbers, ranked 1 to 5 signifying lowest to highest exposure. The results from this study shows that the mangroves in River State provide minimum protection against coastal flooding,  this could be as a result of the deplorable state of the mangrove ecosystems. Therefore, this study suggests climate financing of mangrove restoration and afforestation, indigenous tree planting projects, and climate education and awareness of the benefits of coastal ecosystem which will aid in changing the perception of coastal communities to conserve mangroves ecosystems.


Richmond Korang

Richmond Korang is a Research Assistant at the Centre for Coastal Management, University of Cape Coast. He is also a scholar under the Vulnerability to Viability Global Partnership (University of Waterloo) pursuing a Master’s degree in Environmental Management and Policy at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. His research interest is in  Marine Protected Areas, he has also worked on other projects that focused on the Estimation of Carbon Stocks and Sequestration Potential of Mangroves in the Ehunli lagoon in the Western region of Ghana. Richmond will be presenting on “Ghana’s Small Scale Fisheries: from Vulnerability to Viability, Case Study of the Pra River Basin and Akwidaa Community.”  With his background as an early career researcher, he has been exposed to so many environmental and coastal-related issues, which has driven his passion to contribute his part towards finding more eco-friendly, and nature based solutions to issues on Climate Change and ecosystem conservation.

Presentation: Ghana’s Small Scale Fisheries: from Vulnerability to Viability. Case study of the Pra River Basin and the Akwidaa Community

Abstract: Small-scale fisheries (SSFs) are important economic resource, both at the local and global level; their depletion has ramifications on fundamental aspects of life, spanning from food security to society’s wellbeing and culture. On the global scale, SSFs provide food security and a source of livelihoods and income for more than 100 million people. The objective of this study is to build a national perspective on key vulnerabilities and opportunities associated with SSFs viability across Ghana. This study identifies the key social-ecological drivers of change, emerging issues and challenges confronting small-scale fisheries, and important policy and governance concerns.

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