The West African Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (WABES) is an initiative with the aim of facilitating networking and capacity-building across West Africa to support the scientific assessments of Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). It is made up of a consortium of partner institutions across West Africa (including WASCAL) and Europe, is funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).  Thus, WABES is a pioneer in strengthening the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (BES) sub-regional pool of experts in West Africa to support and disseminate IPBES assessments.

As part of its networking activities, training workshops, bringing together BES experts from universities, research institutions, science-policy interfaces (SPIs), government agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and Indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) holders in West Africa and beyond, are held annually to serve as the exchange platforms and distribution hubs for IPBES developments. The face-to-face workshops are complemented by an online platform available on our website. In parallel, a Master’s programme on “Managing the Science-Policy Interface on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for sustainable development in West Africa – SPIBES” was established in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire in collaboration with the University Felix Houphouët-Boigny (UFHB). This interdisciplinary graduate programme is open to qualified students from each of the fifteen member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Project indicatorSummary of results
Outcome of ProjectsRegional West African experts in the fields of biodiversity and ecosystem services exchanged experiences on IPBES developments with their colleagues at international level (external speakers) during annual workshops.Capacity of regional experts are strengthened through annual workshops and via the online platform established.
Capacity buildingFifteen MSc students (one from ECOWAS member countries)

WASCAL Contact: Dr. Sylvestre DA (