Table ronde sur les changements climatiques en Afrique

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First batch of PhD Students graduated at Climate Change Economics School in Dakar

The following six students defended their theses successfully in front of an academic committee on April 13-15, 2015:

Pilo Mikemina from Togo. His doctoral thesis was about Collective action and farmers’ private climate change adaptation strategies in the Savanna region in Togo.

Elhadji Iro Illa from Niger wrote his thesis on Integrated assessment of vulnerability of rural households to climate stress across regional levels in Niger.

Yameogo Bindayaboa Thomas from Burkina Faso did his doctoral research on Social capital and farmers’ adaptations strategies to climate change in Burkina Faso.

John Appah from Ghana wrote his doctoral thesis about Psycho-socioeconomic analysis of rural farm communities’ risk perception and adaptive behavioural responses to climate change and variability in the Atankwidi River Basin of Northern Ghana.

Boris Lokonon from Benin wrote his thesis about Vulnérabilité des agriculteurs et des communautés, résilience aux chocs climatiques et stratégies d’adaptation dans le Bassin du Niger au Bénin.

Raymond Jatta from The Gambia graduated about Climate risk management strategies for rural communities in The Gambia and Senegal. Assessing the usefulness of cereal banking.

The ceremony in Dakar on April 17 was attended by the following officials:

Professor Ahmadou Aly Mbaye, Director of the WASCAL-UCAD program;
Dr. Mamadou Ouattara, Director of the PhD WASCAL program;
Dr. Laurent Sedogo, WASCAL Executive Director and Prof. Moudibo Haidara, Head of the WASCAL Governing Board;
Dr. Tobias Wünscher, Senior Researcher at ZEF and lecturerer at WASCAL-UCAD, representing ZEF-Director Professor von Braun;
Bernhard Kampmann, Ambassador of Germany in Senegal;
Abdoulaye Balde, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Senegal.

The ceremony was broadcast on RTS1 (Radiodiffusion Télévision Sénégalaise) on April 22, 2015. You can watch the tv-report below.

98 doctoral and 60 master students have been enrolled in the complete WASCAL program to date. Twenty of the master students and 16 of the doctoral students (including the six in Senegal) have completed their studies.

Link:
www.youtube.com/watch

UCAD : un programme doctoral en économie du changement climatique à la FASEG

La Faculté des sciences économiques et de gestion de l’Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD) de Dakar a été sélectionnée pour accueillir un programme doctoral en Economie du changement climatique (WASCAL), indique un communiqué reçu à l’APS.

Cette sélection s’est fait ‘’dans le cadre de l’initiative allemande de création d’un Centre sous-régional de recherche sur les changements climatiques’’, selon la même source.

Elle souligne que la mise en place de ce programme ‘’’résulte d’un constat selon lequel les pays d’Afrique, en particulier, ceux d’Afrique de l’ouest sont parmi les plus exposés au monde face aux conséquences des changements climatiques’’.

Elle relève aussi que malgré la faible contribution du continent africain au niveau des émissions de gaz à effet de serre, ‘’il subit la réduction des cycles hivernaux, les inondations récurrentes et l’augmentation de la fréquence de certaines maladies’’.

Le communiqué ajoute qu’au vu de ces problématiques, ‘’ce programme doctoral va permettre aux décideurs du continent de disposer d’éléments scientifiques nécessaires pour convenablement défendre les intérêts de l’Afrique à l’échelle internationale’’.

Lancé en 2011 à l’UCAD, le programme WASCAL concerne les pays suivants : Bénin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambie, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigéria, Sénégal et Togo.
Tags: UCAD doctorat programme doctoral environnement changement climatique FASEG

L. Sedogo et R. Zougmouré: «Au Sahel, agriculture et changement climatique vont de pair depuis des années»

VIDÉOS. Grandes sécheresses, variabilité climatique, le Sahel subit les aléas du climat depuis des dizaines d’années. Les paysans ont dû s’adapter via des systèmes innovants et non seulement des technologies, devançant en cela l’approche actuelle de l’agriculture climato-intelligente. La composante changement climatique a également été intégrée aux politiques agricoles, condition nécessaire pour rendre ces dernières efficaces. Explications et exemples concrets avec Robert Zougmouré, coordinateur régional pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest du programme de recherche sur le changement climatique, l’agriculture et la sécurité alimentaire du CGIAR, et Laurent Sedogo, ancien ministre de l’agriculture et de l’environnement du Burkina Faso.

Mit Wissenschaft gegen den Klimawandel

Die Wetterextreme sind südlich des Äquators besonders spürbar. Dafür verantwortlich sind hauptsächlich die Industriestaaten. Forscher aus Afrika und Deutschland untersuchen die Veränderungen.
Tobias Wuenscher ist Wirtschaftswissenschaftler am Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung (ZEF) der Uni Bonn. Doch selten sitzt Wuenscher an seinem Schreibtisch. Oft ist er im Auftrag von Wascal unterwegs: Das “West African Science service center on Climate change and Adapted Land use” ist ein Netzwerk von deutschen und afrikanischen Wissenschaftlern, das im Auftrag des Bundesforschungsministeriums agiert und in Ghanas Haupstadt Accra ein eigenes Zentrum hat. 56 Millionen Euro hat der Bund dafür bereitgestellt. Deutschland kommt mit Projekten wie Wascal seiner Verpflichtung nach, Entwicklungsländer bei der Anpassung an den Klimawandel zu unterstützen.
Wuenscher beschäftigt sich mit landwirtschaftlichen Innovationen und fördert diese: “Es gibt Landwirte, die selbst Ideen entwickeln, dem Klimawandel zu begegnen, die sie aber nicht an die große Glocke hängen.” Denn Not macht bekanntlich erfinderisch. Und viele Landwirte in Benin, Burkina Faso, Elfenbeinküste, Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal und Togo sind in Not geraten, weil sich die Regenzeit verkürzt, die Temperaturen ansteigen und Trockenperioden verlängern. Die Bauern und ihre Familien spüren das an den leeren Mägen: “Die Menschen essen nur noch eine Mahlzeit am Tag, besonders außerhalb der Erntezeit. Fleisch gibt es selten. Obst und Gemüse sind teuer. Die Leute leben am Existenzminimum. Es geht um Leben und Tod”, hat Wuenscher erfahren.

Wissenstransfer durch Innovationswettbewerb

Heftige Winde zerstören Strohdächer und ganze Häuser, Hochwasser und veränderte Wetterperioden wirken sich nachhaltig schädlich auf Aussaat und Ernte aus. Wuenscher befragt Bauern, und er hat einen Trailer entwickelt, der in afrikanischen Radiosendern abgespielt wird. Darin werden die Landwirte aufgefordert, ihre eigenen Strategien kundzutun. Dem Wissenschaftler geht es um Wissenstransfer. Er will eine Basis schaffen, um Konzepte für die Landnutzung zu entwickeln und diese einem breiten Anwenderkreis zu vermitteln. Den Einsendern winken Motorräder, Wasserpumpen oder Baumaterialien als Belohnung. “Ein solarbetriebener Brutkasten zum schnelleren Ausbrüten von Eiern wurde so entdeckt. Aber meistens sind es phytomedizinische (Anm. d. Red.: “pflanzenmedizinische”) Methoden für Tiere oder Böden, die die Erfinder weitergeben.”
Wuenschers Erkenntnis: Die Produktivität werde nicht genügend ausgeschöpft. Der Klimawandel stelle eine zusätzliche Herausforderung dar. Andererseits würden die Menschen die Natur sehr genau beobachten. Dabei entdeckten sie Rinden, Wurzeln und Früchte, die sie zur Behandlung ausprobieren. Ein Landwirt habe berichtet, wie er mit Zwiebelblättern, die er auf seinem Acker verteile, Striga – ein aggressives, lippenblütlerartiges Unkraut – zurückdrängen konnte.

Ein anderer Bauer habe die Erkenntnis gewonnen, dass er seine Schweine mit Wurzeln erfolgreich gegen das Virus der afrikanischen Schweinepest behandelt habe. “Es wäre eine kleine Sensation, wenn diese Methode funktionieren würde. Wir müssen die Vorschläge natürlich alle auf ihre Wirksamkeit wissenschaftlich überprüfen”, sagt Tobias Wuenscher.

Regionale Unterschiede in Bezug auf den Klimawandel

Besonders deutlich sind die Folgen des Klimawandels in seiner Heimat, dem Norden Ghanas, zu beobachten, erzählt Stephen A. Adaawen: Schwere Dürren und Überschwemmungen, erhöhte Temperaturen und deren Folgen machen Menschen, Tieren und der Umwelt zu schaffen. Männer und Frauen, die gleichermaßen von der Landwirtschaft gelebt haben, werden arbeitslos. Andere Erwerbsmöglichkeiten gibt es aber nicht. Schlechte Ernährung bedingen Krankheiten, Epidemien und Konflikte. Weil das Überleben in der einstigen Kornkammer so schwierig geworden sei, entschieden sich viele Bewohner zur Migration:
“Sie bleiben nicht mehr nur periodisch weg, um Arbeitsausfälle zu überbrücken, sondern verlassen ihre Heimat auf Dauer und ziehen in den urbanen Süden des Landes, um in Goldminen oder auf Kakaoplantagen Arbeit zu finden, oder in andere fruchtbarere Regionen”, sagt Adaawen. Er hat die durch den Klimawandel bedingte Migration untersucht: “Aber an den neuen Orten haben sie nicht automatisch Zugang zu Land. Es ist ein Teufelskreis.”

“Der Klimawandel macht die Erfindung von trockenheitsresistenterem Saatgut und schnellwachsenderen Nutzpflanzenarten nötig, die wegen der verkürzten und heftigeren Regenperiode in Kürze reifen könnten”, fügt Jan-Niklas Bamler hinzu, der die Produktivität in Nordghana untersuchte. Hirse oder Erdnüsse, traditionelle Feldfrüchte und indigenes Saatgut können sich an die widrigen Witterungsbedingungen besser anpassen als Mais, Reis, Tomaten oder Chilis, die dort traditionell nicht angebaut wurden. Außerdem benötigten sie Dünger und Pestizide, die sich viele Bauern nicht leisten könnten. Düngemittel, die von Hilfeorganisationen zur Verfügung gestellt würden, seien nicht nachhaltig, für die Böden ungeeignet oder würden von korrupten Eliten außer Landes geschmuggelt, ehe sie die Bedürftigen erreichten, sagen beide Wissenschaftler.
Die Redaktion empfiehlt
Shiweda: “Der Klimawandel kennt keine Grenzen”

Deutschland erforscht gemeinsam mit afrikanischen Staaten den Klimawandel. Davon profitieren beide Seiten, glaubt Anna Shiweda, Vize-Direktorin eines multinationalen Forschungszentrums in Namibia. (20.03.2014)
Deutsch-afrikanische Klimaschutz-Zentren

Kein Erfolg mit Tomatenanbau

“Von Tomaten kann sich auf Dauer niemand ernähren, außerdem sind sie nur eine Woche nach der Ernte verdorben. Das Produkt eignet sich nur für den Verkauf. Dazu benötigten die Bauern einen schnellen Marktzugang”, sagt Bamler. “Auch gab es mal eine Fabrik, die Tomatenmark produzierte, weil es in Ghana zu fast jedem Gericht gehört, aber sie war nur ein Geschenk der Politiker. Es bestand aber kein Interesse daran, dort zu produzieren. Auch eigneten sich die Tomaten aus der Region qualitativ nicht für Tomatenmark. So muss die ohnehin preiswertere – weil subventionierte – Paste aus Italien importiert werden.”

Zehn Monate hat Bamler in Ghana verbracht. Bei seinen Untersuchungen hat er auch festgestellt, dass Entwicklungshilfe oft nur wenigen zugute komme. Jetzt schreibt er seine Doktorarbeit über seine Erkenntnisse. “Ich hoffe, dass sie eine breitere Öffentlichkeit erreichen.”

Sein Vater hat nach einem Besuch beschlossen, eine Schule zu bauen. Und auch Wascal fördert die Bildung durch ein Graduiertenprogramm. Die ersten zehn Doktoranden wurden in Accra bereits verabschiedet.
WWW-Links
WASCAL

Datum 09.04.2015
Autorin/Autor Karin Jäger
Themenseiten Klimawandel
Schlagwörter Umwelt, Klimawandel, Wascal, Uni Bonn, Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung (ZEF)
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Suivi des pluies : Rain Cell Africa veut expérimenter une nouvelle technique en Afrique

Ouagadougou a accueilli du 30 au 31 mars 2015 le 1er colloque Rain Cell Africa consacré à l’estimation des précipitations en Afrique à l’aide des réseaux de télécommunication. Cet atelier a pour objectif de développer les collaborations scientifiques et méthodologiques entre les acteurs scientifiques et opérationnels du Nord et du Sud. La rencontre a été suivie d’une école thématique destinée aux étudiants intitulée : « liaison hertziennes et précipitations : techniques et applications » les 1er et 2 avril 2015.

Des scientifiques venus entre autres d’Allemagne, de la France, d’Israël de la Suisse, des Pays Bas, du Mali, de la Tanzanie, du Burkina Faso ont échangé durant les deux jours sur une nouvelle technique qui devrait révolutionner l’estimation des pluies en Afrique. En effet, les scientifiques du consortium Rain Cell Africa viennent de tester avec succès au Burkina Faso une méthode extrêmement innovante de suivi des pluies.

Le principe est simple. Il s’agit de tirer parti d’une propriété des pluies bien connue des professionnels de la télécommunication. Selon le coordinateur de Rain Cell Africa, Pr François Zougmoré, les gouttes d’eau atténuent le signal radio transmis entre deux antennes. Deux phénomènes interviennent. D’une part, elles absorbent une fraction de l’énergie véhiculée par les ondes. De l’autre, elles diffusent ces ondes et les détournent de leur trajet initial. Ainsi, lorsqu’il pleut entre deux antennes relais, l’intensité des signaux reçus chute. Une préoccupation majeure pour les compagnies de téléphonie mobile, qui mesurent et enregistrent ces perturbations du signal hertzien afin de connaître en permanence l’état de santé de leur réseau.

Les compagnies nationales de téléphonie possèdent ainsi quantité d’informations sur les pluies dans leur pays. Une aubaine pour les études de suivi et spatialisation des précipitations, en particulier en Afrique. En termes simples, lorsque le signal télécom est émis entre deux pylônes, il transporte de l’information et lorsqu’il rencontre un nuage de précipitation pluie, ce signal perd en puissance et c’est la mesure de cette perte de puissance qui est utilisée pour déterminer la quantité d’eau de pluie tombée au sol. « C’est une première au plan mondial de pouvoir extraire ces types de données sur des fréquences aussi basses. Notre objectif c’est de pouvoir également exporter cette technique dans des pays voisins », a précisé le Pr Zougmoré.
Durant le colloque, l’un des initiateurs du Projet Rain Cell Africa, Marielle Gosset de l’Institut de Recherche pour le Développement(IRD) a indiqué que les chercheurs de certains pays comme les Pays-Bas et l’Allemagne ont démontré que ces techniques expérimentées dans leurs pays constituent un véritable succès. Selon elle, l’avantage de cette technique est qu’il dispense des Etats comme le Burkina de non seulement dépenser d’énormes sommes d’argent pour estimer la pluie sans pour autant couvrir le territoire, mais aussi elle va permettre d’avoir des alertes précoces sur des risques de sécheresses ou d’inondations.

« En général, pour estimer la pluie on utilise les radars, les satellites ou les jauges. Le problème est que les radars coûtent très chers, les satellites ne donnent pas toujours les précisions nécessaires et les jauges ne couvrent tout le Burkina, alors qu’avec notre technique nous couvrons pratiquement tout le pays si nous arrivons à travailler avec le maillage des trois téléphonies mobiles », a ajouté le Pr François Zougmoré.

Une technique qui gagnerait à être vulgarisé en Afrique

Rain Cell Africa a par ailleurs pour ambition, de vulgariser la technique dans d’autres pays, c’est pourquoi l’atelier entre chercheurs a été suivi d’une formation des étudiants sur la thématique de l’estimation des pluies.

« L’objectif de cette formation est de faire en sorte que la technique que nous avons mis au point au Burkina puisse être maîtriser, diffuser et disséminer par les jeunes chercheurs d’autres pays africains », a fait savoir le Pr Zougmoré.

Pour l’étudiant-doctorant, Ali Doumounia, cette initiative renforce leur capacité en matière d’estimation de la quantité d’eau de pluie tombée, en utilisant les signaux des téléphonies mobiles à travers les algorithmes qu’ils ont étudiés.

Selon, Frédéric Cazenave, ingénieur de recherche au Laboratoire d’étude des transferts en hydrologie et environnement (LTHE) à Grenoble et à l’IRD, la technique permet de couvrir le territoire sans pour autant dépenser énormément dans la mesure où les infrastructures ont déjà été réalisés par les opérateurs, lesquelles opérateurs compte tenu des besoins commerciaux sont obligés d’avoir des lignes correctes. « Ce qui suppose que nous aurons des informations de qualité sur tous les réseaux des téléphonies mobiles. Et nous n’avons pas besoin de se déplacer sur le terrain pour le faire, c’est à partir de Ouagadougou qu’on peut le faire », a-t-il souligné.

En rappel, c’est grâce à un partenariat avec l’opérateur burkinabé Télécel Faso que les chercheurs du laboratoire Lame de l’université de Ouagadougou et des laboratoires GET (IRD / CNRS / université Toulouse 3) et LTHE (IRD / CNRS / université Grenoble 1 / Grenoble INP) ont pu accéder aux précieuses données sur l’atténuation du signal hertzien, enregistrées par la compagnie lors de la mousson de l’année 2012. Ils en ont déduit les volumes de pluies tombés durant cette période et les ont comparés avec les mesures classiques de radars et pluviomètres.
L’efficacité de la méthode est démontrée : 95 % des événements pluvieux ont été détectés.

Rain Cell Africa est un consortium de scientifiques issus de différents instituts de recherche et d’universités : l’université de Ouagadougou et la Direction Générale de la Météorologie (Burkina Faso), universités Yaoundé et Douala (Cameroun), IRD (France), WASCAL, KIT (Allemagne), université de Tel Aviv (Israël), KMNI (Pays-Bas) etc.

Wendyaam Sawadogo
pour Lefaso.net

WASCAL graduates 10 PhD students

The West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) in conjunction with the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), has trained 10 students in research on climate change and sustainable land management.

The graduands, who bagged PhDs, were from Nigeria, Ghana, Cote D-ivoire, Burkina Faso, Niger and Senegal.

They were trained in two programmes-Climate Service and Research.

Speaking at FUTA’s graduation, the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Laurentia Mallan, said WASCAL started in 2009 when the German government proposed to set up two Regional Science Services in Africa.
The minister, who was represented by Mr. Peter Tafa, noted that the aim of the centre was to develop capacities of African institutions to conduct climate change research.

She said lack of adequate, reliable and verifiable scientific research findings, data and information on climate change in Africa and indeed, in Nigeria, had continued to be a major challenge against effective policies and actions to combat climate change.

She said: “It is for this reason and considering Nigeria’s existing facilities, vast manpower and resources that would put the centre in good stead to effectively deliver on its goals, that the Nigerian government vigorously pursued the opportunity provided by the German government’s initiative, which led to the establishment of two centres in Nigeria – one at the FUTA (the Centre for Climate Change and Monsoon to run Graduate Research Programmes for PhD), while the other at Federal University of Technology Minna (FUT Minna) was offered a status to run programmes, leading to Master of Science degrees (MSc) under the WASCAL initiative.”

Mallan said the Federal Government installed a state-of-the-art high performance computing (HPC) system in the FUTA centre to further enhance the centre’s data management ability.

She urged the university management and the centre to explore options of availing wider spectrum of stakeholders the services of the centre.

The Director, WASCAL Graduate Studies Programmes, Dr. Mamadou Ouattara, said the programmes are intended to provide science-based advice to policymakers and stakeholders on climate impacts, mitigation and adaptation measures.

He revealed that Germany has spent over 50 million Euros on the programmes in West African nations.

The WASCAL Director in FUTA, Prof. Bayo Omotosho, said climate change is one of the key challenges to pave the road to sustainable development, describing the graduands as well equipped to be true West African asset.

Climate Change Centre inaugurated in Ghana

Accra, March 27, GNA – The West African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) has been inaugurated in Accra to provide evidence base information to support sustainable adaptation and mitigation of climate change effect in West Africa.

WASCAL is also to help the region to build resilience to climate change through the provision of the necessary scientific evidence and policy briefs on sustainable management of the environment.

The Centre, located at the premises of the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Accra, was inaugurated by Mr Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, Minister of State at the Presidency, on behalf of Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur on Friday.

WASCAL was established in 2012 by 10 West African countries namely, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, the Gambia, Senegal and Benin while the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany funded the infrastructure, to assist in the scientific study and research into climate change issues.

The Centre among other things, is to assist policy and decision makers in design and implementation of land use patterns at watershed level that ensure the provision of the essential ecosystem services while supporting the livelihoods of local communities.

It is also to help educate the next generation of scientists and policy makers that have intimate knowledge of the different climate related issues that can help the region in developing suitable coping strategies.

In a speech read on his behalf, Vice President Amissah-Arthur described WASCAL as a very important developmental tool through which science and education could interface to find appropriate responses to the phenomenon of climate change and its attendant adverse effects on the livelihood of people.

‘For the millions of people and our sub-region, WASCAL is a source of hope that our environment can be managed in a sustainable manner to ensure their future and our generations yet unborn’.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur said climate change is a threat to the basic foundation of the lives of people, adding that about 80 per cent of the populations depended on agriculture and that the exploitation of and use of natural resources for their livelihood and agriculture contribute about 50 per cent of GDP of most countries.

He noted that in Ghana, the current power crisis being experienced was partly the creation of climate change.

He therefore commended the German government for it support towards WASCAL and gave assurance that Ghana would continue to support WASCAL to ensure that the ECOWAS region collectively benefited from its work.

Mr Wilfried Kraus, Director in charge of WASCAL at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, in Germany said the German government was committed to the programme and it was prepare to support the first phase of WASCAL scheduled for the end of 2016, with 50 million Euros to advance the course of climate change research and capacity building in the West Africa.

He said another WASCAL Competence Centre has been built in Ouagadougou, which host the climate research and climate service programmes while the capacity building programmes would be coordinated from WASCAL in Ghana.

GNA

Climate Change Centre inaugurated in Ghana

Accra, March 27, GNA – The West African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) has been inaugurated in Accra to provide evidence base information to support sustainable adaptation and mitigation of climate change effect in West Africa.

WASCAL is also to help the region to build resilience to climate change through the provision of the necessary scientific evidence and policy briefs on sustainable management of the environment.

The Centre, located at the premises of the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Accra, was inaugurated by Mr Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, Minister of State at the Presidency, on behalf of Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur on Friday.

WASCAL was established in 2012 by 10 West African countries namely, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, the Gambia, Senegal and Benin while the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany funded the infrastructure, to assist in the scientific study and research into climate change issues.

The Centre among other things, is to assist policy and decision makers in design and implementation of land use patterns at watershed level that ensure the provision of the essential ecosystem services while supporting the livelihoods of local communities.

It is also to help educate the next generation of scientists and policy makers that have intimate knowledge of the different climate related issues that can help the region in developing suitable coping strategies.

In a speech read on his behalf, Vice President Amissah-Arthur described WASCAL as a very important developmental tool through which science and education could interface to find appropriate responses to the phenomenon of climate change and its attendant adverse effects on the livelihood of people.

“For the millions of people and our sub-region, WASCAL is a source of hope that our environment can be managed in a sustainable manner to ensure their future and our generations yet unborn”.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur said climate change is a threat to the basic foundation of the lives of people, adding that about 80 per cent of the populations depended on agriculture and that the exploitation of and use of natural resources for their livelihood and agriculture contribute about 50 per cent of GDP of most countries.

He noted that in Ghana, the current power crisis being experienced was partly the creation of climate change.

He therefore commended the German government for it support towards WASCAL and gave assurance that Ghana would continue to support WASCAL to ensure that the ECOWAS region collectively benefited from its work.

Mr Wilfried Kraus, Director in charge of WASCAL at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, in Germany said the German government was committed to the programme and it was prepare to support the first phase of WASCAL scheduled for the end of 2016, with 50 million Euros to advance the course of climate change research and capacity building in the West Africa.

He said another WASCAL Competence Centre has been built in Ouagadougou, which host the climate research and climate service programmes while the capacity building programmes would be coordinated from WASCAL in Ghana.

GNA
Source: GNA Story (http://www.ghananewsagency.org/science/climate-change-centre-inaugurated-in-ghana–87623)
Published: 2015-03-28 17:57:11
© Ghana News Agency

Inauguration of the WASCAL Headquarters

On March 27, 2015 the headquarters of WASCAL was officially inaugurated in Accra, Ghana. As part of the ceremony the first graduates of the WASCAL doctoral program West African Climate System, led by the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Nigeria, were presented with their graduation certificates from WASCAL. Representatives of the West African Economic Community (ECOWAS), government representatives of Germany, various Ambassadors in Ghana and the ten participating West African countries, as well as partners from universities and research institutions attended the ceremony.

The move to the new WASCAL building and the inauguration of the headquarters on March 27, in Accra mark important steps in establishing WASCAL as a regional and international institution in the long run. As an additional cause for celebration, the first ten students of the WASCAL Doctoral Program received their graduation certificates. Coming from different WASCAL countries, the students graduated from the Doctoral Program “West African Climate System” located at the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), Nigeria, where they worked on such topics as micrometeorology, climate modeling, impact studies in hydrology and agriculture, rainfall onset and secession, extreme events such as droughts as well as rainfall recovery over West Africa. Dr. Laurent Sédogo, the Executive Director of WASCAL, acknowledged the ten graduates as the first doctoral students to graduate from the WASCAL Doctoral Program. Ten more doctoral students from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana will defend their thesis in the coming weeks adding up to a total of 98 PhD and 40 MSc Students that will be graduating by the end of the year 2015.

At the inauguration ceremony for the new headquarters the international organization was honored by high-ranking guests from all WASCAL countries and Germany. Honourable Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, the Minister of State of Ghana, who presented a speech on behalf of the Vice President, Mr. Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, described WASCAL as a very important developmental tool through which science and education could interface to find appropriate responses to the phenomenon of climate change and its attendant adverse effects on the livelihood of people. „For the millions of people and the subregion, WASCAL is a source of hope that our environment
can be managed in a sustainable manner to ensure the future and the generations yet unborn“, he further emphasized and stressed that climate change is a threat to the basic foundation of the lives of the people of West Africa as about 80 per cent depend on agriculture. Similarly, the use of natural resources for their livelihood and agriculture contribute about 50 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of most countries in the region. He commended the German government for the support it continues to give WASCAL and further gave assurances that Ghana would continue to support WASCAL to ensure that the ECOWAS region collectively
benefited from its work.

The milestone that was achieved with the commission of the WASCAL headquarters in enhancing the visibility of science in West Africa was welcomed by Mr. Wilfried Kraus. The BMBF’s representative further expressed that WASCAL’s continued efforts will strengthen the long-lasting cooperation between African and German universities and research institutions, support working and career options for scientists in Africa, and strengthen the capabilities of the scientists and organizations in Africa to manage and to implement knowledge for their own objective over time.

FUTA PRODUCES FIRST SET OF WASCAL DOCTORAL GRADUATES

The Federal University of Technology, Akure has produced its first set of Doctoral graduates under the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) Graduate Research Program in West African Climate System (GRP-WACS). Speaking at the passing out ceremony of ten Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) graduands Monday, March 23rd 2015, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adebiyi Daramola expressed excitement at the initiative’s commitment to the advancement of Climate Science in West Africa and the development of the manpower needed to address climate change that particularly threatens the sub-region. He expressed appreciation to the German government for establishing the GRP-WACS Centre in Nigeria which is one of the six in operation across West African Universities.
Daramola highlighted with satisfaction FUTA’s trailblazing role in the production of PhD graduands. He said FUTA enjoyed the unique privilege of being the only University in West Africa offering full degree programmes in Meteorology, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels from 1984 until recently when it was joined by Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana and Universite Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal.
The Vice-Chancellor noted that the passing out ceremony reminds the system that it owes the future of the environment to the men and women who are well-trained and equipped to ask questions and provide answers to the many Climate Change challenges for decades to come, pointing out that FUTA already serves as the University component of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Regional Meteorological Training Centre (RMTC) of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency. He said “today we send the first ten PhD candidates produced by the WASCAL programme into the world to be teachers, climate scientists, planners and possibly revolutionaries ready to tackle issues of deficient rainfall, floods, drought, food security, environmental management, climate modeling and prediction as well as climate change adaptation and mitigation. We must continue to provide necessary funds to attract and support many more of such talented students in order to ensure the fullest development of their capacities in a rapidly changing world”.

He congratulated the graduands on what he termed laudable achievement in preparation for their contribution to solving the myriads of environmental challenges facing the region and commended their hard work, patience, endurance and dedication which he attributed to their success. He wished them the best in future endeavours and charged them to be ambassadors of WASCAL and FUTA.

Earlier, the Honourable Minister of Environment, Mrs. Laurentia Laraba Mallam who was represented by a Director in the Ministry, Mr. Paul Tafa congratulated the University Management on the timely completion of the first circle of the programme which she attributed to the dedication and commitment to duty of the WASCAL Centre alongside the cooperation and encouragement from the University authority and the community as a whole.

The Minister who traced the establishment of the WASCAL GRP-WACS Centre, in West Africa (FUTA) from 2009 explained that the lack of adequate, reliable and verifiable scientific research findings, data and information on Climate Change in Africa and indeed in Nigeria had continued to be a major challenge against effective policies and actions to combat climate change, hence the Centre which is aimed at engaging in research with Africa to develop excellence as well as build Institutions and capacities. She said “it is for this reason and considering Nigeria’s existing facilities, vast manpower and resources that will put the Centre in good stead to effectively deliver on its goals that the Nigerian government vigorously pursued the opportunity provided by the German government’s initiative which led to the establishment of the Centre in FUTA”.

The Minister who expressed gratitude to the German government for the laudable initiative highlighted socio-economic implications, added benefit to the nation’s research potential, proximal benefit to research Institutions and the opportunity for the nation to drive the process as benefits to Nigeria for hosting one as WASCAL’s Centres, adding that the graduation is the beginning of such benefits.

She noted that the best gift any country could give another was the tool to enhance its ability to tackle challenges and chart a well-defined course for its people to attain their full potential and share knowledge through quality research and education. She explained that the Federal Ministry of Environment built on the WASCAL initiative to further enhance the Centre’s data management by installing a state-of-the-art High Performance Computing (HPC) System at FUTA WASCAL Centre and also undertook a training on “Establishing and Use of the E-infrastructure for Climate Change Data and Information Management System in Nigeria” between 5th August and 30th September, 2014 towards better policy formulation and implementation.

She therefore urged the University Management and the Centre to explore options of availing wider spectrum of stakeholders the services of the centre and the climate information for use in research and other socio-economic sectors of the nation. She assured the Centre and the University as a whole of government’s support in sustaining the beneficial initiative in fulfilling its obligations under the WASCAL cooperative agreement and to also support and partner the Centre to initiate, plan and finance training activities that will showcase the importance and practical use of climate information. She congratulated the graduands and called on them to use the knowledge acquired effectively in their respective countries and beyond.

Dr. Laurent Sedogo, the Executive Director, WASCAL who was represented by the Director, Department of Graduate Studies, Dr. Mamadou Ouattara said the graduation was a landmark for both WASCAL and FUTA. He praised the exemplary collaboration received from the Vice-Chancellor and Management teams of FUTA WASCAL had worked with. He said “the commitment and efficient conduct of the Programme’s activities by your team and the support provided by your colleagues in other Universities of Nigeria, of West African Countries, Germany, South Africa, United States of America and so on have allowed reaching the results we are celebrating today”.

The Executive Director explained that WASCAL is an ambitious initiative owned by ten African Countries of the ECOWAS region, Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo, strongly supported by the Federal Government of Germany to carry out research intended to provide science-based advice to policymakers and stakeholders on Climate Change impacts, mitigation and adaptation measures. Expressing joy over the success of the graduands, he told them to be aware that they are the first tangible and probably the most important products of WASCAL. He urged them to always represent a unique and important investment that the West African region can count on; reminding them of the uniqueness of the training they had received.

He promised WASCAL and FUTA’s continued support for the graduands in order to successfully play their roles in the society, asking them to keep in mind the necessity to cherish and maintain the relations established during their studies at the Centre.

The Chairman, WASCAL International Board, Professor Haidara who couldn’t hide his excitement on the production of PhD graduands under the initiative in the region expressed gratitude over the excellent collaboration between WASCAL and FUTA and hoped that the partnership would continue.

Addressing the gathering, the Director, WASCAL, FUTA, Professor Jerome Omotosho described the occasion as unique. He reiterated that it was the first of its kind in FUTA, Nigeria and West African as a region. He noted with pride that FUTA was the first University in the region to receive the privilege to host WASCAL PhD programme in Climate System. He thanked the immediate past Professor Adebisi Balogun led-administration for keying into the initiative that has become a reference point for FUTA. He expressed gratitude to God and the German government for the success of the programme in FUTA thus far and commended the Vice-Chancellor for the special attention and encouragement the Centre had enjoyed from him and his administration.

Delivering his goodwill message, the Director General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency, Dr. Anthony Anuforom described the event as another major achievement in the training of Meteorologists in the sub-region. He said FUTA set the pace in the establishment of a department of Meteorology and today West Africa is getting to its climax on its account. He noted that almost all meteorologists in the region are products of FUTA and are excelling in their chosen field. He thanked the University Management for providing a conducive learning environment and pledged his continued support for FUTA while congratulating the graduands. The Director General was represented by Mr. Ifeanyi Nnodu, Director, Nigerian Meteorological Agency,

Charging the graduands to be conscious of their training as solution providers on climate change which he tagged a global phenomenon, the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, FUTA, Professor Adebisi Balogun urged them to see themselves as global graduates and not restrain themselves to the region. He enjoined them to make the best of the opportunity given to change the region with the acquired knowledge and congratulated them for coming, seeing and conquering.

The representative of the Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Dr. Appollonia Okhimamhe also noted that FUTA had proven that Nigeria has what it takes to move the region forward.

The graduands who are citizens of West African countries are:
S/N NAME GENDER COUNTRY
1. AKINSEYE, Folorunsho Mathew M Nigeria
2. ANNOR, Thompson M Ghana
3. AWOTUSE, Ayoola Olamitomi F Nigeria
4. BAMBA, Adama M Cote d’ivoire
5. DIASSO, Ulrich Jacques M Burkina Faso
6. QUANSAH, Emmanuel M Ghana
7. MOUNKAILA SALEY, Moussa M Niger
8. NIANG, Coumba F Senegal
9. SANOGO, Souleymane M Mali
10. TOURE, N’Datchoh Evelyne F Cote d’ivoire

Populations, natural resources and rural resiliencies to climate change in the North Benin – Workshop

The workshop was organized around four main themes and aimed to give greater visibility to research activities of WASCAL in Benin and to stimulate discussions and exchange among researchers, local communities and authorities on strategies of resilience to environmental and climate changes.

The four themes of the workshop were:

Challenges of field research in the study of populations and environmental and climate change
Collected data documentary relationship on environmental/climate change and population dynamics in northern Benin
Rural resilience to Climate Change in the northern Benin
Local resilience actions versus interim results Restitution

Chaired by the representative of the municipality of Matéri, the workshop was opened by Adolphe Sétondji Avocanh, Coordinator of the Dassari Watershed. During his welcome speech he stressed the importance of a constructive exchange on climate change effects, population dynamics and the impact of these changes on existing natural resources. He further presented WASCAL and its objectives, its centers of interests and the role of the involved stakeholders.

Papa Sow (WASCAL, ZEF), who initiated the workshop, emphazised the importance of exchange between all invited actors for a better understanding of climate change and its impacts on natural resources in the region. He further outlied the workshop objectives and presented his research on climate change and population dynamics, where he and his team focus on social aspects of climate change with a perspective from the social sciences to find solution-oriented approaches to adverse effects related to climate and extreme natural events.

The workshop offered an opportunity to present and discuss the interim research results with the participants and to submit the interim results to critical examination. The participants gave valuable feedback and supported the research with additional information. After two days of debate the discussions among participants of the workshop diverged on to the possibility of an institutional partnership, writing scientific research projects under the umbrella of WASCAL and future collaborations between scientists, local populations and policy makers.

Organization Committee

Adolphe Sétondji Avocanh, WASCAL Coordination Unit of the Dassari watershed in Tanguiéta.
Email: a.avocanh(at)yahoo.fr
Phones: 0022995151808 / 00229-97540798/ 00229-90987818

Jane Maureen Ngonjock
Email: janescorpy(at)gmail.com

Yasmina Adebi, Téléphone: 0022997160464
Email: yadebi(at)yahoo.fr

Scientific Committee

Papa Sow, Researcher, Center for Development Research, University of Bonn (Germany)
Boubacar Barry, Director of the WASCAL Competence Center, Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso)
William Fonta, Researcher WASCAL Competence Center Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso)
Karen Greenough, Researcher WASCAL Competence Center Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso)
Daniel Callo-Concha, Researcher, Center for Development Research, University of Bonn (Germany)
Kiansi Yantibossi, Executive Secretary U-AVIGREF
N´Sera Midama Parfait, Head of Ecology Service, Pendjari National Park

For further information, please download the flyer or the program in English or French:

Download program in English
Download Flyer in English

Download program in French
Download Flyer in French