WASCAL has joined forces with the German Climate Services Centre (GERICS). The partnership materialized during a two-day inception workshop held at the WASCAL Headquarters in Accra, marking the commencement of a 36-month project named “Customised and Integrated Climate and Environmental Services for Improved Resilience and Sustainable Socio-Economic Development in West Africa (CICLES).”

Addressing the media in a press conference following the workshop, Professor Kehinde Ogunjobi, the Interim Executive Director of WASCAL, shed light on the project’s overarching goal. He explained that CICLES aims to bolster the adaptive capacity and resilience of nations susceptible to climate risks in West Africa. This will be achieved through the collaborative development of end-to-end climate environmental services.

“The project is expected to result in the operationalization of customized Climate and Environmental Service (CES), interactive science-policy for action and sustainability, and to also establish feedback loops and impact evaluations of CES for cost effectiveness and self-reliant CES for West Africa,” Prof. Ogunjobi emphasized.

The project will be structured around five key pillars, including data and scientific computation, timely information on extreme climate events, cross-border rural and urban migration, climate change policy and action, and training.

Prof. Ogunjobi highlighted the crucial need for climate change scientific data among various stakeholders, particularly in the financial and environmental sectors. “WASCAL’s role will be to provide science-based evidence and training to empower climate change actors in negotiating effectively on behalf of member countries at the international level”.

Underlining the commitment to sustainability, the Interim Executive Director outlined a series of activities that will be undertaken, including a WASCAL science symposium, a policy dialogue workshop, policy briefs, annual bulletins, a climate factsheet, and fundraising events.

Mr. Torsten Weber, the GERICS representative, expressed optimism about the project’s potential to establish self-reliant climate and environmental services in West Africa. The project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), is expected to benefit a diverse range of stakeholders, including governments agencies, policymakers, researchers, students, and a regional and international audience. Additionally, the project aims to impact banks, farmer cooperatives, SMEs, NGOs, and others invested in the sustainable development of West Africa.