Welcome to WASCAL

With climate change being one of the most severe challenges to Africa in the 21st century, West Africa is facing an urgent need to develop effective adaptation and mitigation measures.

WASCAL (West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use) is a large-scale research-focused Climate Service Centre designed to help tackle this challenge and thereby enhance the resilience of human and environmental systems to climate change and increased variability. It does so by strengthening the research infrastructure and capacity in West Africa related to climate change and by pooling the expertise of ten West African countries and Germany.

Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), WASCAL is implemented in a collaborative effort by West African and German partners.

The Competence Centre, a newly established institute in West Africa, carries out research and provides science-based advice to policymakers and stakeholders on climate change impacts, mitigation, and adaptation measures. The Core Research Programme complements the scientific activities of the Competence Center, and is implemented by a network of German and West African research institutes. The Graduate Studies Programme, involving the creation of ten graduate schools in West Africa, contributes to the education of the next generation of African scientists and policy makers in the field of climate change and land management.

WASCAL sites and locations

About WASCAL

The West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use, WASCAL is a large-scale research-focused and capacity building Climate Service Centre designed to help tackle the climate change challenge by enhancing the resilience of human and environmental systems to climate change and increased variability. This is made possible through the strengthening of the research infrastructure and capacity in West Africa related to climate change and by pooling the expertise of eleven West African countries;

WASCAL is majorly funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF),

It is a leading academic and trans-disciplinary organization building graduate-level scientific capacity and serving policy makers in West Africa with science-based advice on climate change adaptation and land use management, WASCAL cooperates with many agencies and universities in Germany and in the region, to provide a knowledge platform of excellence for its partners.

The German Government, under the leadership of BMBF, took the initiative to create WASCAL and to give it a running start by linking it with the German climate competence. The vision is that in a decade, the ECOWAS community will possess a vibrant Climate Service Centre with highly competent partners in the member countries that jointly can address the complex questions raised by climate change.

OUR VISION

WASCAL seeks to become one of Africa’s leading science-based institutions in the provision of climate services in and for West Africa.

OUR MISSION

To provide information and knowledge at the local, national, and regional levels to its West African member countries to cope with the adverse impacts of climate change and devise integrated mid and long-term options to build up resilient and productive socio-ecological landscapes. We do this through capacity building and environmental services in West Africa

OUR CORE VALUES

  • Driven by strategic partnerships
  • Guided by transparency and accountability
  • We use unique approach in tackling climate change
  • We use transgenerational approach
  • Commitment to knowledge and information sharing
  • Driven by sustainability and long-term solutions
  • We care about our environment

OUR PROMISE

  • WASCAL is dedicated to combating climate change and improving livelihoods in West African.
  • WASCAL is committed to significantly improving the climate change research infrastructure and maintenance capacity in West Africa.
  • We seek to explore science-based scenarios and options for enhancing the resilience of socio-ecological systems on which current and future generations depend, in the face of climate change.
  • To assist policy and decision makers to design and implement land use patterns that ensure the provision of essential ecosystem services while supporting the livelihoods of local communities.
  • To help educate the next generation of scientists and policy makers by providing intimate knowledge of climate-related issues, thereby enabling them to develop suitable coping strategies and to participate in international climate change policy discussions with evidence based strength.

WHAT WE DO

Our Research Programme

The research programme represents the scientific activities of the Competence Centre, and is implemented by the scientific staff of WASCAL in collaboration with West African and German research institutes. The WASCAL research programme brings together a German research consortium and an equivalent consortium on the West African side that together have designed a joint research program on adapted land use and management of land under changing climatic conditions. To this end, WASCAL has selected the first three research watersheds that are fully equipped with extensive meteorological and hydrological equipment and in which a large number of junior scientists study the socio-ecological processes in great detail.

The Research Programme focuses on:

  • improving the resilience of land use systems in the face of climate change through adaptation of the ecological and socio-economic systems,
  • securing the flows of key ecosystem services like food production, provision of clean water, soil productivity, carbon sequestration, and services related to biodiversity, and
  • securing and improving human livelihoods.

Our Capacity Building Programme

WASCAL has a strong commitment to help educate the next generation of scientists to attain an in- depth knowledge of different climate related issues in order to help the region develop suitable management strategies.

The Capacity Building Department of WASCAL operates on two platforms; The GSP and In-service Training.

The Capacity Building Programme facilitates academic education amongst 12 West African universities in collaboration with German institutions through the Graduate Studies Programme (GSP). The Graduate studies programme handle helps educate the next generation of scientists attain an intimate knowledge of different climate related issues in order to help the region develop suitable management strategies. change and respond to current and future adaptation / mitigation challenges.

Our Climate Service Programme

The Climate Service unit at the Competence Centre is charged with organizing an observation network in member countries that will lead to consistent and quality information on weather and the hydrological cycle, as well as changes in land use, human coping strategies and biodiversity shifts or loss.

This panel data will provide the backbone for climate models that will allow projections of climate impact under various scenarios. A planning and policy network ensures that the science-based adaptation options generated in the Research Program are discussed and evaluated with the relevant stakeholders before they are formulated as policy and management actions.