Niger is particularly vulnerable to climate change and the risks that ensue with rising temperatures and unpredictability of rainfall. Over the past 30 years, the country has experienced numerous shocks, which have weighed heavily on the well-being of rural populations but also seriously affected the country's economic growth. Many droughts have been observed, as well with seven experienced between 1980-2010 and four in the last 12 years that caused serious food crises (2001, 2005, 2010 and 2012).  Finally, floods have also recently increased in Niger, but direct losses in terms of crop destruction and loss of livestock have been limited. The floods experienced in 2020 were an example of how the magnitude and rainfall unpredictability can impact Niger: thousands of hectares for cropland were destroyed, livestock perished and more than 69,000 households lost their livelihoods (FAO, 2021) [1].

Climate change has and will have a profound impact on the agricultural sector as well. In agriculture, global warming will significantly reduce the area suitable for farming, the length of the growing season and yields. For example, millet and sorghum yields could fall by more than 10% in the case of a +2°C increase in temperature and by up to 15 to 25% for a +3°C increase [2]. Difficult climatic conditions and increasing climatic risk led to a decline in the performance of the agricultural sector, which is very unstable due to its high exposure to risks (droughts, locust invasions, livestock diseases and parasites, crop pests and diseases, floods, windstorms and bushfires), production as well as a decrease in the availability of surface water points for animal watering [2].

With regard to water resources, these impacts can be summarized as a significant decrease in river flows and the disappearance of most permanent water points [3] [4].

The temperature records in Niger show an increase of 0.6-0.8°C between 1970-2010 (USAID, 2012). This is slightly higher than the global average [1]. Niger now faces existential challenges that may come to other parts of the planet. Temperatures in the region are rising 1.5 times faster than in the rest of the world. By 2100, experts are predicting a three to six degrees Celsius rise in temperature which will worsen food security, water scarcity, and further aggravate conflicts and humanitarian crises.  More than 80% of Niger's population depends on agriculture and small-scale farmers are the most directly affected by climate variability [5].


According to Niger’s NDC (2021) the country's overall emissions were around 28,777.299 GgCO2eq in 2014. The Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) and Energy sectors remain priorities sector for actions on emissions reduction in Niger.

In fact, in 2014, the AFOLU and the Energy sector accounted respectively for GHG emission of 23,952.674 GgCO2eq (or 88.30%) and 3,833.789 GgCO2eq or (9.30%) of the total emissions. These were followed by the waste sector accounting for 2.29% and the Industrial Processes and Use of Products (PIUP) sector emitting 0.11% of the total [4].


Key policies and governance approach


As a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol, Niger, which is highly exposed to the harmful effects of climate change, has decided to adopt a national policy on the subject.

The National Policy on Climate Change is the framework mitigation and adaptation executive document of Niger. It gathers institutional, judiciary and operational actions taken in the country to establish the following objectives to: (i) improve knowledge, promote research and development, produce and communicate information on climate change; (ii) reinforce adaptation capacities and resilience throughout communities; (iii) develop mitigation actions; (iv) integrate climate change issues within national, regional and planning tools; (v) capacity-building and (vi) promote green jobs. The National Council for the Environment for Sustainable Development has the duty to coordinate the institutional implementation mechanism consisting of public, Para public, private and civil society structures that will ensure the implementation of specific programs [5].

At the institutional level, in order to coordinate reflection and action on the main environmental issues, Niger created, in January 1996, the National Council of the Environment for Sustainable Development (CNEDD). This body coordinates and monitors national policy on the environment and sustainable development. It has developed a National Environment Plan for Sustainable Development (PNEDD), which serves as a framework for all policies in this area and includes a program on climate change. A National Technical Commission on Climate Change and Variability (CNCVC) was also established in July 1997 [6] [7].

At the legal level, Niger has signed and ratified several international conventions and agreements. These include the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, the  United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the Convention on Biological Diversity as well as the KYOTO Protocol. At the domestic level, laws and regulations have complemented the international legal arsenal.

At the operational level, Niger developed in 2003 the National Strategy on Climate Change and Variability (SNPA/CVC) and its Action Plan. It implemented the National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA) in 2006 and the National Strategy and Action Plan for the Management of the Global Environment in 2009.

The realization of the NAPA allowed the identification of: (i) the sectors, communities and zones most vulnerable to climate variability and change in Niger, (ii) the adaptation measures and priority needs of the sectors, communities and zones most vulnerable to climate variability and change, and (iii) fourteen adaptation options [7].


Successes and remaining challenges 

Niger's financial need for the implementation of the NDC during the 2021-2030 period is USD 9.9081 billion, of which USD 2.6127 billion (Unconditional scenario) or 26.37% supported by the State, and 7. USD 2,954 billion (Conditional scenario) or 73.63% to be mobilized from TFPs and international Climate Finance  [4].

Niger is strongly  counting on international cooperation to mobilize sufficient financial resources to achieve the objectives of its NDC, since the resources that can be mobilized at the national level are limited and insufficient, hence Niger's marked interest in accessing the Climate Funds. For this, it is therefore important to build the capacity of actors to facilitate access to financial mechanisms andresources to promote the implementation of the NDC. The resource mobilization strategy will be based on the following: (i) the strengthening of the existing partnership network, (ii) the design of decision-making tools, the development of advocacy actions, the diversification of funding sources (iii) and the promotion of funding opportunities. Moreover, the country needs to strengthen the awareness of actors on the NDC at all levels [4].


Initiatives and Development Plans

In terms of capacity building, most of Niger's initiatives are conducted within a regional or sub-regional framework. Indeed, Niger is a stakeholder in the implementation of the following projects: the UNDP/GEF project "Capacity Building for Improving the Quality of Greenhouse Gas Inventories in West and Central Africa"; the "Early Warning and Agricultural Production Forecasting Project" implemented by the AGRHYMET Center; the "Monitoring Vulnerability in the Sahel" (SVS) project implemented by the AGRHYMET Center and the AGRHYMET regional project "Support to Climate Change Adaptation Capacities in the Sahel". In addition, Niger has set up, with the financial and technical support of the GEF/UNDP, the "National Self-Assessment of Capacities to be Strengthened" (ANCR) project. Finally, Niger is currently implementing the national component of the African Adaptation Program (AAP), which aims to integrate climate change adaptation into all key sectors and development processes.

Moreover, due to its fast-growing population and increased demand for food, climate smart agriculture is at the heart of the government’s response under the Nigeriens Nourishing Nigeriens (3N) Initiative that aims to combat hunger and poverty, while augmenting the resilience of farmers and herders to climate change. According to the World Food Program, more than 1.9 million people in Niger were affected by severe food insecurity in 2020. Another 1.5 million are estimated to be chronically food insecure, and millions more experience periodic food shortages during the lean season [5]

The "Implementation of Urgent and Priority Interventions to Build Capacity and Increase Resilience of the Agricultural and Water Sectors in Niger" and the "Community Actions for Climate Resilience Project" are new initiatives in addition to those planned under the 3N initiative and the various ministerial departments and research institutes.


Goals and Ambitions

The overall objective of Niger’s NDC is to contribute to the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions (objective of 2°C or even 1.5 o C by 2050) while pursuing its socio-economic development that is low in carbon and resilient to the effects adverse effects of climate change. National objectives are to fight against poverty, to ensure the food and nutritional security of Nigeriens, to promote the sustainable management of natural resources and the use of renewable energies and to strengthen the resilience of ecosystems and communities. The country wants to reach, by 2030 an unconditional reduction in GHG emissions for the AFOLU sector of 12.57% (BAU 2030) and for the Energy sector of 10.60% (BAU 2030) [4].


[5], [8]

  • Address capacity gaps and needs related to finance, coordination and communication, technical and institutional capacities, laws and policies, social, cultural, and political factors, monitoring and evaluation, data, research, and knowledge products as well as inclusive and participatory adaptation action.
  • Work on the nexus between water access and availability, agriculture and climate resilience (small scale irrigation);
  • Continue to support cross-border river management organizations; the Niger basin Authority and the Lake Chad Basin Commission;
  • Promote climate-smart (agriculture) use of scarce water resources to safeguard food security, preventing and mediating local conflicts;
  • Provide climate-resilient access to drinking water for larger and smaller cities in Niger;
  • Support village water supply in the rural areas of Tahoua, Zinder and North-Tillabéry;
  • More efforts are required on the preparation of climate-informed analyses on, as well as community outreach to raise awareness, inform management decisions, and more widely promote sustainable development;
  • Introduction of crop varieties resistant to climate change;
  • The national reporting on climate change adaptation and mitigations practices based on credible science should be strengthened.