The West African Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (WABES) supports the contribution of West African countries to the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). WABES is funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).

WABES – A Regional Expert Platform for West Africa

WABES facilitates exchange amongst experts on biodiversity and ecosystem services (BES) in West Africa. We provide a virtual online platform as well as the organization of annual workshops to establish and foster connections within the regional BES experts’ community. These initiatives enhance networking activities amongst BES stakeholders (academia, NGOs, policy makers, amongst others) and increase their willingness to contribute to the IPBES work programme. 

 “In the long history of humankind, those who learned to collaborate most effectively have prevailed’’ Charles Darwin 


  • Act as a knowledge-policy interface between the 15 ECOWAS member countries and IPBES. 
  • Facilitate options to exchange and build networks amongst West African BES experts. 
  • Pool together West African BES experts from different disciplines and backgrounds on IPBES relevant topics. 
  • Discuss strategies and possibilities to increase awareness and recognition of IPBES in the region. 
  • Provide baseline knowledge on the IPBES work programme, recent IPBES developments, and guidelines for active involvement in its processes. 
  • Encourage pathways for the uptake of IPBES assessments as national and regional policy instruments.

Please register to the WABES BES experts’ network at our webpage ( ) to connect and share your professional experiences with other regional experts in West Africa and beyond.

The WABES Master program – SPIBES

The WABES Master of Science (MSc) in ‘managing Science-Policy Interface on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for sustainable development in West Africa’ – SPIBES hosted by the University Félix Houphouët-Boigny (UFHB) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, is a 2-year interdisciplinary course designed to provide prospective students with broad, high-quality understanding, knowledge and skills needed to make active contributions to biodiversity science-policy interfaces such as IPBES, and the attainment of the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) 2030 in West Africa. The SPIBES program, which started in 2018 is dedicated to scientists interested in sustainable biodiversity and ecosystem services management through science-based policy and decision-making. It is funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) through the WABES project.  


  • Educate and empower a new generation of scientists to contribute to the IPBES assessments processes and uptake of its products and those of other science-policy platforms on biodiversity conservation.
  • Establish the capacity required to take up lead roles in biodiversity science-policy interfaces in their respective countries – provide necessary tools and skills to translate scientific results into policy instruments.
  • Build the capacity of experts to tackle complex environmental challenges (biodiversity erosion, climate change) and support the implementation of the UN SDGs agendas.
  • Reinforce inter- and transdisciplinary thinking in tertiary institutions in West Africa. 
  • Strengthen South-South collaboration through the SPIBES alumni network.

In partnership with:

This consortium brings together institutions from across West Africa and Europe:

In co-operation with:

Telephone: +49 (0) 228 73-1725