The overarching objective of the MECCA project Targeting Mental Models of Climate Change Risk to facilitate Climate Action is to identify adaptation and mitigation strategies by analyzing the gap between stakeholder’s perceptions of change and risk and projected impacts of human activities under changing climatic conditions in East Africa (Lake Victoria) and West Africa (Lagos).
This is a promising avenue to induce climate action as divergence in perceptions limits effective approaches for sustainable development. Moreover, it is crucial to study developing regions as they are particularly susceptible to the impact of climate change due to its far-reaching impact on livelihoods, health, safety, and economic and political instability. These regions have been selected due to their high vulnerability to climate change impacts and the fact that they span large populations.
We are developing ecohydrological models of the climate challenges of Lagos and Lake Victoria. We use a novel mental model elicitation tool to investigate perceptions of climate change and to identify possibilities for converging understanding across decision-makers.
In addition, MECCA assess the climate change risk perception among communities, how risk perceptions are shaped by socio-cultural influences and how they can contribute to facilitating appropriate responses to climate change.
As a climate service, scenario simulations considering climate change and human interventions into the environment are conducted with ecohydrological models to test and evaluate stakeholder’s perceptions and possible action.