West and Southern Africa ministers, responsible for climate change and higher education will be meeting in Berlin, Germany from February 21-22, under the invitation and auspices of the Federal German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), as part of activities to climax the decade celebrations of the West African Science Service on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) and the Southern African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted land management (SASSCAL).
The activities lined up for the two-day meeting include a tripartite engagement amongst West and Southern Africa, Ministers and the BMBF. The conversations will seek to take stock of the contributions of the various parties, while deepening the existing partnerships towards a sustainable fight against climate change.
The ministers will also engage global partners in a networking conference to look at sustainable ways of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal 13 on climate action. Over 100 stakeholders across the world including government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, policy makers, NGOs, development partners and private sector leaders are expected to participate in the two-day event to reflect on the progress made by these institutions and identify areas for further collaboration. The event will also provide an avenue for the exchange of ideas and knowledge, as well as prospects for new collaborations to be established.
Key speakers for the opening session include the Hon. Bettina Stark-Watzinger, German Federal Minister of Education and Research, SASSCAL’s Hon. Kereng, WASCAL’s Ministerial Council Chairperson and Mali Minister of Education and Research, H.E. Prof. Amadou Keita, SADC Executive Secretary, H.E. Elias M. Magosi, and ECOWAS Commission President Dr. Omar Alieu Touray.
In a statement issued by Dr. Moumini Savadogo, Executive Director of WASCAL, he expressed his gratitude to all partners across the world, with particular mention to the German government.
“We are celebrating 10 years of successfully combating climate change and improving livelihoods, because our partners and stakeholders made it possible. The strategic alliances, and collaborations has made our work worthwhile. We are even more thankful to all the countries in West Africa for their contributions, with special mention to the BMBF for the collaboration that has, today made WASCAL a reference point for climate change centre of excellence. We really look forward to optimizing this relationship to new heights as we mark this milestone of fighting climate change in the sub-region.” He said.
Established in 2012, WASCAL and SASSCAL have played very pivotal roles in their respective regions and in Africa extensively in the fight against climate change their unique capacity building programmes, research and climate change services. The two institutions have collaborated with various partners, and especially with the technical and financial support of the German government to finding innovative solutions and implementing projects that mitigate the impact of climate change on communities in Southern and West Africa. These efforts have included the promotion of renewable energy, the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices, and the protection of local ecosystems.
WASCAL has made giant strides in West Africa, providing 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
SASSCAL is also dedicated to its mission to strengthen the regional capacity to generate and use scientific knowledge products and services for decision making on climate change and adaptive land management through research management, human capital development and services brokerage, have chalked many successes as a regional centre in integrated climate change and adaptive land management science services for improved quality of life in southern Africa.
Together, the German government has contributed both technically and financially towards the success of their operations. For instance, scientists from the two institutions have worked together with scientists from Germany to ensure a global perspective in tackling the issue of climate change in Africa.
WASCAL and SASSCAL are proud to be working together with their German partners to address one of the most pressing global security challenges. They will be looking forward progressing their joint efforts, with the confidence to attain meet the goal set by the UN on the development goal 13 in seven years’ time, and even, more importantly to sustain the future of the people of Southern and West Africa.
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;
The Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) is a joint initiative of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Germany in response to the challenges of global change.
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