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The WASCAL Research Action Plan WRAP2.0, valued at 11 million euros, with funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) of Germany, and made up of six main research projects, selected under a comprehensive consultation with partners at the local, national, and regional levels has been launched at the WASCAL Competence Centre, Ouagadougou.

This was made known by Dr. Karsten Hess, Head of Division Global Change, Climate and Biodiversity at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany at the official kick-off workshop of the WASCAL Research and Action Plan 2021-2022 (WRAP2.0) which took place in Ouagadougou-Burkina Faso.

 ‘’Unlike other research programme we have positioned WASCAL as research institution meant to prevail as WASCAL is founded to support research, capacity building, data management and the provision of climate services to end users with long term perspective’’.

The six research projects will, among others, tackle issues related to greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation, current and future risks of urban and rural flooding, contribute to a better understanding of the phenomenon of West African rural migration, deliver a scientific technological framework for assessing the processes, drivers, and factors of rural urban and cross-border migration in West Africa, and develop a high-resolution regional Earth system model for West Africa.

The WRAP 2.0 comprising Land use and Cover/Land Degradation/Climate Change Nexus, Risks and Vulnerability to Climate Extremes, Rural-urban and Cross Border Migration in West Africa and Sustainable Agriculture/Climate Smart Landscapes Nexus is a roadmap to a Climate and Environmental Services Centre (CESC) to deliver, by 2024, key-demand driven climate and environmental services for use by policymakers and other key stakeholders, including smallholders

It aims at building resilient socio-economic landscapes, conducive to sustainable development, which in turns requires synergy of action between scientists and policy makers through, among others, the generation of scientific data and the provision of reliable climate information. That also entails that much more attention should be given to climate change research and climate services in respect to their cardinal role in building the capacity of states, policy makers and other key actors involved in climate risk management.

WASCAL will actively coordinate high quality or evidence-based and impact-oriented research for development and support climate and environmental services delivery in the context of Climate Change and Climate Variability in West Africa.

The Executive Director of WASCAL, Dr. Moumini Savadogo, acknowledged all who have contributed to the initial phase of the development of the plan and still continue to contribute to the research and services provision for the benefit of different communities and the region.

On his part, the Scientific Advisory Committee Chair, Prof. Brice Sinsin, recalled that young Africans are eager and willing to study and for that purpose, he paid tribute to the Federal Republic of Germany for availing enormous resources to mitigate Climate Changes impacts in collaboration with ECOWAS countries.

The Minister of Higher Education Research and Innovation of Ouagadougou, who chaired the ceremony, appreciated the active collaboration between WASCAL and its partners, in the joint effort to fight Climate Change in West Africa through the implementation of WRAP2.0.

“Building a resilient socio-economic landscape, conducive to sustainable development, requires a synergy of action between scientists and policy makers through, among other things, the generation of scientific data and the provision of reliable climate information”, he said.

The results of this Research Action Plan will contribute to existing mitigation and adaptation strategies 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.

The Workshop was also attended by representatives of DLR_PT/BMBF, WASCAL Country members’ diplomatic authorities, representatives of national and international institutions, and other partner institutions. 

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