L’UL décerne son 1er diplôme «Docteur Honoris Causa» à l’Allemand Wilfried Kraus, directeur adjoint du Département “Développement Durable, Climat et Energie”, au ministère Fédéral allemand de l’Education et de la Recherche

Lomé, le 08 février 2018. Auditorium de l`UL. L’Université de Lomé décerne son 1er diplôme «Docteur Honoris Causa» à l’Allemand Wilfried Kraus, directeur adjoint du Département “Développement Durable, Climat et Energie”, au ministère Fédéral allemand de l’Education et de la Recherche. La cérémonie officielle de remise du diplôme s’est déroulée à l’auditorium de l’UL en présence de nombreuses personnalités parmi lesquelles l’ambassadeur de lé République Fédérale d’Allemagne au Togo, le président de l’UL et de plusieurs enseignants-chercheurs des universités publiques du Togo. Cette distinction est une marque de reconnaissance de l`UL à l’un des acteurs-clé de la coopération germano-togolaise à travers le programme WASCAL (West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use), section Afrique de l’Ouest.

Ghana to Benefit from New Regional Weather Stations

The stations would be an improvement of the sub-region’s 150 operational Synoptic Weather Stations since according to the World Meteorological Organisation, West Africa needs 2000 of the stations to help close meteorological data gaps in West Africa.WASCAL has signed a Memoranda of Understanding agreement with the Ghana Meteorological Services Department and this Ghana one of the first beneficiaries of the new weather stations.

Professor Jimmy Adegoke, the Executive Director of WASCAL, said this on Thursday at the opening session of its 11th board meeting in Accra.He said WASCAL was determined to establish a fully operational climate services programme by 2021 to provide relevant climate services for West African governments, regional economic bodies, basin authorities and other stakeholders for decision making.

Prof Adegoke said WASCAL received one million euro from the African Development Bank to build a world-class Climate Change Competence Centre in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso.The Centre would serve as West Africa’s foremost Climate Research Center and regional hub for climate services, multi-purpose conferences, capacity building in climate change and other related activities.

Prof Adegoke said since WASCAL establishment in 2013, it has graduated 152 students whilst 106 students were currently in the WASCAL Graduate Studies Programmes located in the 10 member countries.He said plans were far advanced to commence a new Masters Programme in Informatics for Climate Change in Burkina Faso in 2018.

“The vision of WASCAL is to become one of Africa’s leading institutions in the provision of climate services to protect and improve livelihoods across West Africa through capacity building, research and climate services”, he said.Prof Kwabena Frempong-Boateng, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, said the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that global temperatures could rise another 1-2 °C by 2050 and 2-5 °C by 2100 depending on the additional quantity of greenhouse gases humans emit into the atmosphere over the coming decades.

He said the fight against climate change was mainly attributed to man-made activities, resulting in the adverse impact on livelihoods and commended WASCAL for its role to address the situation.Prof Frimpong-Boateng said the country would collaborate with WASCAL and ensure that any support needed are provided and urged member countries to deliberate on the sustainability of WASCAL.

Mr Christoph Retzlaff, the German Ambassador to Ghana, said the approach to climate change involves a concerted effort and that German research policy is oriented towards international cooperation.He said research on climate change and adaptive land use are key priorities for guaranteeing the livelihood of mankind, hence the need for more support to address the concern.

WASCAL was established in 2013 after an agreement was signed between Germany and ten West African countries to address the growing challenge of climate change.The countries are Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote de Ivoire, the Gambia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo.

Ghana to Benefit from New Regional Weather Stations

By Kodjo Adams, GNA
Accra, Oct. 19, GNA – The West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adopted Land Use (WASCAL) is developing 50 new Automatic Weather Stations and 20 Hydrological Measuring Stations across the sub-region.

The stations would be an improvement of the sub-region’s 150 operational Synoptic Weather Stations since according to the World Meteorological Organisation, West Africa needs 2000 of the stations to help close meteorological data gaps in West Africa.

WASCAL has signed a Memoranda of Understanding agreement with the Ghana Meteorological Services Department and this Ghana one of the first beneficiaries of the new weather stations.

Professor Jimmy Adegoke, the Executive Director of WASCAL, said this on Thursday at the opening session of its 11th board meeting in Accra.

He said WASCAL was determined to establish a fully operational climate services programme by 2021 to provide relevant climate services for West African governments, regional economic bodies, basin authorities and other stakeholders for decision making.

Prof Adegoke said WASCAL received one million euro from the African Development Bank to build a world-class Climate Change Competence Centre in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso.

The Centre would serve as West Africa’s foremost Climate Research Center and regional hub for climate services, multi-purpose conferences, capacity building in climate change and other related activities.

Prof Adegoke said since WASCAL establishment in 2013, it has graduated 152 students whilst 106 students were currently in the WASCAL Graduate Studies Programmes located in the 10 member countries.

He said plans were far advanced to commence a new Masters Programme in Informatics for Climate Change in Burkina Faso in 2018.

“The vision of WASCAL is to become one of Africa’s leading institutions in the provision of climate services to protect and improve livelihoods across West Africa through capacity building, research and climate services”, he said.

Prof Kwabena Frempong-Boateng, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, said the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that global temperatures could rise another 1-2 °C by 2050 and 2-5 °C by 2100 depending on the additional quantity of greenhouse gases humans emit into the atmosphere over the coming decades.

He said the fight against climate change was mainly attributed to man-made activities, resulting in the adverse impact on livelihoods and commended WASCAL for its role to address the situation.

Prof Frimpong-Boateng said the country would collaborate with WASCAL and ensure that any support needed are provided and urged member countries to deliberate on the sustainability of WASCAL.

Mr Christoph Retzlaff, the German Ambassador to Ghana, said the approach to climate change involves a concerted effort and that German research policy is oriented towards international cooperation.

He said research on climate change and adaptive land use are key priorities for guaranteeing the livelihood of mankind, hence the need for more support to address the concern.

WASCAL was established in 2013 after an agreement was signed between Germany and ten West African countries to address the growing challenge of climate change.

The countries are Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote de Ivoire, the Gambia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo.

Men and women farmers in Benin are responding differently to climate change

As climate change brings with it increased extreme weather events, one of the pressing issues for Africa’s farmers will be how to address these challenges. One dimension to be factored in is that men and women farmers are responding to the pressures differently. The Conversation Africa’s Samantha Spooner asked Grace Villamor about her research on gender-specific responses by farmers in Benin.

How are extreme weather events affecting farmers in Benin?

Volatile climatic conditions and dwindling natural resources have been cited as the reason for persistent emigration from Benin to other West African countries.

The northern part of Benin, in particular, is highly vulnerable. Floods have become more intense and there have been more droughts as well as erratic rainfall patterns.

The impact of this has been evident. In 2013, the River Niger overflowed its banks and caused massive damage in the areas of Karimama and Malanville. The majority of the population in those areas are farmers and fishermen so families along the river lost crops, livestock and fishing grounds. Approximately 3,000 houses were destroyed, forcing more than 10,000 people to move and find shelter. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the value of crop losses was estimated at $20 million.

Another study conducted in Tanguieta, north-west Benin, found that winds have become increasingly violent and are responsible for the destruction of crops. Farmers also told the researchers that they had suffered delayed rainy seasons and less rain. As a result, the FAO estimated cereal production in northern Benin to have declined by about 5% in 2014 over the previous year’s harvest.

How important is agriculture to Benin and the Beninois?

Benin is predominantly a rural society. About 80% of the country’s 10.9 million people earn a living from agriculture and the sector contributes 40% to the country’s GDP. Most agricultural production is based on subsistence farming and 93% of that goes into food production.

Women play a crucial role in this sector. About 70% of women live in rural areas where they are responsible for 60%–80% of agricultural work. They are more vulnerable to the impact of climate change than men because of their locally defined roles as wives and mothers, while they have limited access to natural resources and little voice in decision making.

Is there a difference between how male and female farmers are coping with extreme changes in weather patterns?

I did a study on gender-specific responses to climate variability in northern Benin. A total of 260 respondents – of which 197 were male and 63 were female – were surveyed using a semi-structured questionnaire. There were also role-playing games related to climate change adaptation that were conducted with men-only and women-only groups.

The questionnaire covered respondents’ socio-economic characteristics (such as income or occupation) and land-use preferences. It also included questions on decisions about farm and household-level adaptation strategies.

One of my key findings was that men and women are equally aware of climate variability and share similar coping strategies. For example they adopt new, improved crop varieties when possible.

But they differ in their specific land-use strategies such as crop expansion or intensification. They also differ in relation to preferences of crop types and motivations – if they are motivated to reduce household expenses or by income security.

For example, women chose to plant maize and rice to satisfy food consumption whereas men chose cotton for which they receive government subsidies. Women planted things which can be eaten, men planted things that earned them an immediate income. We believe these differences emanate from their specific gender productive and reproductive roles, norms and identity.

In terms of livestock, women view livestock animals (such as goats or cattle) as a source of investment capital to expand their farms. For their part men sell livestock and use the proceeds to emigrate from the area to find work elsewhere, particularly during extreme weather events.

In the long run, these differences could lead to differentiated vulnerabilities and challenges. For example, in areas where men migrated to non-farm jobs, women would bear the entire responsibility of cultivating the family plot. This would include post-harvest storage, processing of food products for household consumption and marketing agricultural products.

What can be done to help farmers cope?

Due to the increasing role of women in agriculture in Benin, agricultural extension services – such as new crop varieties resistant to drought – should target women. These services should also include access to climate and weather related information, credit and farming technology. However, because the majority of female farmers in rural areas do not have any formal education, extension services and the decision making process are currently always shared by men.

Adjustments such as knowing the best time to train the women and a solid means of communication are needed on the part of government and non-government projects or services to reach more women.

WASCAL schools West African climate managers, scientists

The Capacity Building Department of the West African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Land Use, WASCAL, has organized a five-day intensive workshop on climate change impact, mitigation and adaptation for fifteen scientists drawn from the ministries and government departments of environment, agriculture, water resources, meteorology, space and environmental protection agencies from Ghana, Benin, Togo and Nigeria.

The workshop which was organized at the headquarters of WASCAL in Accra is the first in the series of workshops lined-up by WASCAL under the sponsorship of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany (BMBF).

The workshop was part of WASCAL’s strategic vision to extend its capacity building beyond its graduate studies programmes run in partnership with ten lead universities in West Africa.

In an interview with Professor Janet Adelegan, WASCAL’s Director of Capacity Building Programme and workshop coordinator at WASCAL, she highlighted the key objectives of the workshop;

“The essence of this workshop was to educate West African managers and scientists in relevant government agencies on the implications of climate change variability on livelihood, adaptation and mitigation strategies in West Africa”

“Also, the workshop was designed to promote linkage between research and practice, create an environment for the exchange of experience, identify research priorities, and highlight capacity building needs for policy research in Climate Science in West Africa”. She expounded.

WASCAL seeks to strengthen the existing human capacity of member countries to allow them participate in the on-going global discourse on climate change and respond to current and future adaptation and mitigation challenges. Its training programmes are intended to build the capacity of mid-level scientists and policy analysts, and produce first class students interested in careers in academia.

WASCAL schools West African climate managers, scientists

The Capacity Building Department of the West African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Land Use, WASCAL, has organized a five-day intensive workshop on climate change impact, mitigation and adaptation for fifteen scientists drawn from the ministries and government departments of environment, agriculture, water resources, meteorology, space and environmental protection agencies from Ghana, Benin, Togo and Nigeria.

The workshop which was organized at the headquarters of WASCAL in Accra is the first in the series of workshops lined-up by WASCAL under the sponsorship of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany (BMBF).

The workshop was part of WASCAL’s strategic vision to extend its capacity building beyond its graduate studies programmes run in partnership with ten lead universities in West Africa.

In an interview with Professor Janet Adelegan, WASCAL’s Director of Capacity Building Programme and workshop coordinator at WASCAL, she highlighted the key objectives of the workshop;

“The essence of this workshop was to educate West African managers and scientists in relevant government agencies on the implications of climate change variability on livelihood, adaptation and mitigation strategies in West Africa”

“Also, the workshop was designed to promote linkage between research and practice, create an environment for the exchange of experience, identify research priorities, and highlight capacity building needs for policy research in Climate Science in West Africa”. She expounded.

WASCAL seeks to strengthen the existing human capacity of member countries to allow them participate in the on-going global discourse on climate change and respond to current and future adaptation and mitigation challenges. Its training programmes are intended to build the capacity of mid-level scientists and policy analysts, and produce first class students interested in careers in academia.

African countries urged to seek pathways for climate-resilient growth

African countries have been called upon to seek development pathways that could propel climate-resilient economic growth.

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has argued in a press release copied to ghanabusinessnews.com, that it is possible to attain the objective if an enabling environment that promotes innovation and collaborative actions for climate change solutions is put into place.

According to the release, the issues on the matter were discussed at a side event organized by the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) of the ECA at the ongoing COP 22 in Marrakech, Morocco.

The event themed “innovations and African collaborative approaches for transformative climate policy solutions”, was an opportunity for experts to showcase a number of initiatives on collaborative research and capacity development, which included the Southern African Regional Universities Association (SARUA) Programme for Climate Change Capacity Development (PCCCD); and WASCAL (the West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use), the release said.

It also noted that, Ms. Penny Urquhart, an independent analyst and a member of the SARUA Curriculum Review Team said there is a need for funding in order to scale up these initiatives to a continental scale to support Africa’s development aspirations, reduce vulnerability, increase resilience and optimise low-carbon options for growth.

Ms Simbisai Zhanje, Project Manager at the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) was cited as saying that while capacity is important, capability is equally significant as the context in which implementation takes place can be an enabler or barrier.

“Political will is an important capability factor in different contexts,” she added.

Other speakers at the event included Daouda Kone, Director of the WASCAL doctoral programme in Climate Change and Biodiversity, Université Felix Houphouet Boigny, Côte d’Ivoire; Dr Wilfran Moufouma Okia, Head of Science, Technical Support Unit, IPCC and; Professor Roland Roesch, Senior Programme Office, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The event was moderated by Linus Mofor, ACPC Senior Natural Resources Officer responsible for energy, infrastructure and climate change, the release stated.

Scaling up climate policy and solutions requires “enabling environment”

An African development pathway that could propel climate-resilient economic growth is possible if an enabling environment that promotes innovation and collaborative actions for climate change solutions is put into place, concluded a side event themed “innovations and African collaborative approaches for transformative climate policy solutions” at COP22 today.

Organized by the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the side event was an opportunity for experts to showcase a number of initiatives on collaborative research and capacity development, which included the Southern African Regional Universities Association (SARUA) Programme for Climate Change Capacity Development (PCCCD); and WASCAL (the West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use).

The SARUA Programme for Climate Change Capacity Development (PCCCD), has led to a consortium of seven universities from five SADC countries developing a regional Master’s curriculum in Climate Change and Sustainable Development, based on the principles of trans-disciplinarity and innovation; while WASCAL pools the expertise of ten West African countries and Germany to strengthen climate change research infrastructure and capacity. Ms. Penny Urquhart, Independent analyst and member of the SARUA Curriculum Review Team said there is a need for funding in order to scale up these initiatives to a continental scale to support Africa’s development aspirations, reduce vulnerability, increase resilience and optimise low-carbon options for growth.

Other speakers included Daouda Kone, Director of the WASCAL doctoral programme in Climate Change and Biodiversity, Université Felix Houphouet Boigny, Côte d’Ivoire; Dr Wilfran Moufouma Okia, Head of Science, Technical Support Unit, IPCC and; Professor Roland Roesch, Senior Programme Office, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The event was moderated by Mr Linus Mofor, ACPC Senior Natural Resources Officer responsible for energy, infrastructure and climate change.

In summing up the session, Ms Simbisai Zhanje, Project Manager at the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) said that while capacity is important, capability is equally significant as the context in which implementation takes place can be an enabler or barrier. “Political will is an important capability factor in different contexts.” she added.
Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa ( UNECA ).
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Scaling Up Climate Policy and Solutions Requires “Enabling Environment”

Marrakech — An African development pathway that could propel climate-resilient economic growth is possible if an enabling environment that promotes innovation and collaborative actions for climate change solutions is put into place, concluded a side event themed ” innovations and African collaborative approaches for transformative climate policy solutions” at COP22 today.

Organized by the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the side event was an opportunity for experts to showcase a number of initiatives on collaborative research and capacity development, which included the Southern African Regional Universities Association (SARUA) Programme for Climate Change Capacity Development (PCCCD); and WASCAL (the West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use).

The SARUA Programme for Climate Change Capacity Development (PCCCD), has led to a consortium of seven universities from five SADC countries developing a regional Master’s curriculum in Climate Change and Sustainable Development, based on the principles of trans-disciplinarity and innovation; while WASCAL pools the expertise of ten West African countries and Germany to strengthen climate change research infrastructure and capacity.

Ms. Penny Urquhart, Independent analyst and member of the SARUA Curriculum Review Team said there is a need for funding in order to scale up these initiatives to a continental scale to support Africa’s development aspirations, reduce vulnerability, increase resilience and optimise low-carbon options for growth.

Other speakers included Daouda Kone, Director of the WASCAL doctoral programme in Climate Change and Biodiversity, Université Felix Houphouet Boigny, Côte d’Ivoire; Dr Wilfran Moufouma Okia, Head of Science, Technical Support Unit, IPCC and; Professor Roland Roesch, Senior Programme Office, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The event was moderated by Mr Linus Mofor, ACPC Senior Natural Resources Officer responsible for energy, infrastructure and climate change.
In summing up the session, Ms Simbisai Zhanje, Project Manager at the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) said that while capacity is important, capability is equally significant as the context in which implementation takes place can be an enabler or barrier. “Political will is an important capability factor in different contexts.” she added.