The Competence Centre is the scientific arm of WASCAL. As a specialized regional climate centre, it delivers climate and environmental services to WASCAL member countries and other stakeholders in five thematic areas, namely, sustainable agriculture and climate smart landscapes, land use and land degradation, rural-urban and cross-border migration, risk and vulnerability to climate extremes, and renewable energy. Because the delivery of these services requires both spatial and non-spatial big data on climatic, atmospheric, environmental, and socio-economic variables, the centre is equipped with a data infrastructure made up of an observation network, an advanced computing facility, a GIS and remote sensing laboratory, and several data repositories and portals.
The overall goal of the CoC is to become a nationally, regionally, and internationally recognized Climate and Environmental Services Centre(CESC) for West Africa, by improving the livelihoods of present and future generations under the predicted Climate Change and Climate Variability conditions and impacts in the region. Thus, the operation of the centre is based on the following strategic objectives.
- Significantly improve the climate change research infrastructure and capacity in West Africa
- Formulate and carry out demand-driven research with development-oriented outcomes for the WASCAL Member Countries.
- Generate sound, evidence-based knowledge, and information, and devise decision-making tools and other software
- Provide policy information and support for developing climate and environmental risk management, building resilient socio-ecological landscapes, and attaining sustainable agricultural production and food security
- Deliver climate and environmental services
- Be a hub for research and scientific exchange
- Offer short-term training courses in collaboration with the capacity building arm of WASCAL
- Improve accessibility to climate-related equipment and infrastructure
- Achieve a dynamic and efficient synergy with the Graduate Studies Programme (GSP) of WASCAL
- Develop and promote partnerships/collaborations with national and regional stakeholders
- Attract funds through proposals and consultancy services