SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM – Call for participation

2018-05-14 – 22:00h to 2018-05-26 – 17:20h

1.  The West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) is an inter- governmental  organization  dealing  with  training,  capacity  building  and  research  to  devise  tools  and services that will help reduce risks from natural disasters (e.g. droughts, floods) and strengthen the resilience  of  socio-ecological  landscapes  across  West  Africa.  To  fulfil  its  mission,  WASCAL  has  (i) established a strong network of Graduate School Programs (GSP) in 10 ECOWAS member states (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo) in collaboration with their public universities; (ii) rolled out a first-class research program from 2013 to 2017 which established field laboratories, on-site ecological and agronomic field experiments and hydro-meteorological stations for  standard climate  measurements  in the  Sudanian savanna  belt (Benin,  Burkina  Faso,  Ghana). 

The outputs of these initiatives were expected to provide insights into social and environmental drivers of climate  change  and  climate  variability  (CC&CV)  along  with  pathways  to  strengthening  the  adaptive capacity  of  smallholder  farmers  and  improve  their  livelihoods.  Recently, WASCAL  has  re-focused  its research program to make it more development- and impact-oriented by addressing the main challenges faced by policy-makers, stakeholders, smallholders (end-users) in connection with CC&CV and generate quick wins in terms of climate and environmental services provision within the next few years.

In order to transition towards the new strategic plan, a scientific gathering seems necessary to take stock of the achievements and interact with key stakeholders prior to deploying the new program.   Therefore, the WASCAL Science Symposium (WASS) aims to showcase WASCAL achievements and launch the new research program termed as WASCAL Research Action Plan 2018-2021.

2. Expected outputs
The expected outputs of the symposium include the following:
• A catalogue of the major achievements of WASCAL and their contribution to delivering climate and environmental services (CES)
• A report on the state-of-the art of CES implemented in West Africa to combat the devastating impacts of CC&CV
• Official launch of WASCAL Research and Action Plan (WRAP) 2.0 call for proposals
• Reinforcement of WASCAL ties with policy makers, ECOWAS, Africa Union and other key stakeholders active in Climate Service domain.

3.Target audience
• West African doctoral and postdoctoral researchers with less than 10 years’ experience
• Scientists and stakeholders working in any area of climate change and climate service provision
•Policy makers
• Donors
• Civil society.
4. Call for abstracts
Potential  participants  are  encouraged  to  submit  abstracts  for  consideration.  They  will  have  the opportunity to present results of their research activities in an oral or poster session. Twenty-five (25) participants will be chosen for oral presentations (20 min + discussion) while the others will participate in the poster session.

• Deadline: Abstracts may be submitted until May 26, 2018 and must include (in English):
    – a letter of motivation (max. 300 words, Microsoft word format)
    – abstract of presentation (max 500 words, Microsoft word format), including preference for oral or poster session
• Applicants will be informed about the acceptance or rejection of their abstract by May 31st.
Complete   applications   may   be   submitted   to    the   following   addresses:;

 5. Symposium programme in a nutshell
Tuesday, 19/06                  Wednesday, 20/06                          Thursday, 21/06
High Profille Forum     Oral and poster session    Plenary session on climate services                                                       

Opening Session              Opening ceremony                         Recap of day 2
Plenary session 1             Parallel session 1                      Plenary session 1
Plenary session 2             Parallel session 2                      Plenary session 2
Plenary session 3             Parallel session 3                      Plenary session 3
Plenary session 4             Parallel session 4                      Plenary session 4
Plenary session 5             Poster session                           Plenary session 5

 6. Symposium details
High Profile Forum: “Achieving sustainable development under a changing and variable climate in West Africa”

• Climate Change and its potential impact on key developement sectors of West Africa
• Climate Change as a threat to the development of West African States
• Climate Change and food security in West Africa: demand for integrated Climate Services
•  Impacts  of  climate  change  on  cocoa  production  in  Ghana:  mitigating  adverse  effects  through agroforestry-based options
• Mainstreaming climate services into African Union development plan through effective science-policy dialogue

Parallel poster and oral sessions
• Theme 1: Agriculture and Food security
• Theme 2: Climate Monitoring and Disaster Risk Reduction
• Theme 3: Water Resources Management
• Theme 4: Renewable Energy
• Theme 5: Resilient Socio-Ecological Landscapes

Plenary sessions on WASCAL
• WASCAL in a nutshell
• Achievements of the Capacity Building Program
• Achievements of the first research Program
• The new Resarch Program: WASCAL Reaecrh and Action Plan 2018-2021 (WRAP 2.0)

Plenary sessions on climate services

• Delivering on Climate Services‘ promises in West Africa: what is the current situation?
• Effectiveness of Climate Smart Agriculture in improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers
• Pathways towards setting up tailored-climate service delivery systems in West Africa
• Strategies to scale up demand-driven climate services in West Africa
• West Africa under the global warming scenario: what solutions from the Paris Agreement?