A W F Projects   |   Prof. Dr. Christoph Kleinn - Dr. Hans Fuchs
ALUCCSA - Adaptation of Land Use to Climate Change in Sub-Saharan Africa


Expected climate change might have significant consequences for Sub-Saharan countries (IPCC, 2007). Today approximately 50% of the African population depends on dry-land use on various forms of vegetation cover.

Climate plays a crucial role for land use management, thus climate scenarios for the coming decades on a local scale could decisively help to alleviate these problems by

  • helping individual farmers in adapting their cultivars to maintain productivity and income;

  • upholding the functionality of agroforestry systems in the region and

  • giving the right directions of the overall planning in the socio-economic development of project countries.

 Objectives The main objective of ALUCCSA is to develop ready-to-use scenarios and recommendations for agroforestry and silvopastoral ecosystems on highly-resolved spatial scale for two recommended climate projections (A1B, B1) in regions of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Current forms of agriculture and live-stock husbandry practices will be evaluated in the specific regions and confronted with future climate scenario conditions. The integrating expert views will flow into a profound support tool for adaptation of agricultural practices to climate change. The tool will provide the information and practical recommendations for stakeholders for possible scenarios of land use development.

The study of our working group aims at provision of the vegetation data base required for models on two spatial scales (local and national) using field inventory data and remote sensing.

Currently available data sets cover mainly small scales using satellite sensors of type Landsat, AVHRR, MODIS or Spot Vegetation. There are still knowledge gaps regarding classification of different crop land and savannah types because remote sensing application is usually limited to assigning land cover classes where at least 40% of the surface is covered by a target cover type. Tree, shrub and grass savannahs and shrub lands are, therefore, often in the non-forest vegetation class, depending, of course, on the spatial resolution of the imagery.

The study focuses on 50 Reference Areas (RA) in Burkina Faso with square areas of 10 x 10km. 6 - 9 reference areas are intensively observed by all subprojects.

 Working Plan
July 2008: International workshop with partners at University of Göttingen, Germany
06/08 – 08/08: Sampling design, compile field manual
09/08 – 10/08: Prepare basic geospatial information
11/08 – 12/08: Select and establish permanent intensive observation plots in Burkina Faso
01/09 – 05/09: Develop a geo-referenced data base, collect vegetation and soil data in field
06/09 – 08/09: Analyze very high and coarse resolution satellite imagery
09/09 – 11/09: Field inventory in Burkina Faso
12/09 – 12/10: Statistical field data and image analyses
01/11 – 06/11: Compile publications




Mitlöhner, R., 2008: Fotos of Burkina Faso. Chair of Tropical Silviculture and Forest Ecology, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, Germany.

Boko, M., I. Niang, A. Nyong, C. Vogel, A. Githeko, M. Medany, B. Osman-Elasha, R. Tabo and P. Yanda, 2007: Africa. Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, M.L. Parry, O.F. Canziani, J.P. Palutikof, P.J. van der Linden and C.E. Hanson, Eds., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK, 433-467.


A  Center for Tropical and Suptropical Agriculture and Forestry (CeTSAF), Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, Germany (Coordinator)

B  Institut de l'environnement et de recherches agricoles (INERA) Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (Coordinator)

C  World Agroforestry Center Centre West and Central Africa region (ICRAF-WCA), Bamako, Mali (Coordinator)

D  Direction de la Meteorologie Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou

E  Chair of Bioclimatology, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, Germany

F  Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research, Atmospheric Environmental Research (IMK-IFU), Universität Karlsruhe, Germany

G  Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Africa (ZIAF), Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany

H  Chair of Animal Husbandry in the Tropics und Subtropics, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, Germany

I  Chair of Tropical Silviculture and Forest Ecology, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, Germany

Project Coordinator Project Researcher

Prof. Dr. Christoph Kleinn
Abteilung Waldinventur und Fernerkundung
Büsgenweg 5
37077 Göttingen
Tel. +49 551 39 3472

Dr. Hans Fuchs
Abteilung Waldinventur und Fernerkundung
Büsgenweg 5
37077 Göttingen
Tel. +49 551 39 3469

 Participating Scientists

PhD student Christoph Fischer
Abteilung Waldinventur und Fernerkundung
Büsgenweg 5
37077 Göttingen


This study is being supported by the BMZ/GTZ within the Research Program "Adaptation of African Agriculture to Climate Change".

 Time Frame

2008 – 2011