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Climate changeGerman-West African consortium develops strategies to address the effects of climate change

Published 8 June 2017

The impact of global warming has resulted in increased droughts, flooding, and other environmental consequences in many African countries. Scientists from more than ten West African countries met to discuss strategies to deal with the threats posed by climate change under the auspices of the West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), a joint research consortium on managing and adapting land use under changing climatic conditions. Germany is sponsoring the work of the West African research consortium.

The impact of global warming has resulted in increased droughts, flooding, and other environmental consequences in many African countries.

Scientists from more than ten West African countries met to discuss strategies to deal with the threats posed by climate change under the auspices of the West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), a joint research consortium on managing and adapting land use under changing climatic conditions. The German government has allocated more than $56 million to WASCAL.

Our first [goal] is to combat climate change, and the other is to improve livelihoods. We are doing that by training experts in the region through master and graduate level programs. Finally, we deliver various kinds of products and services, water resources, and weather services across the region,” explains Professor Jimmy Adegoke, executive director of the Accra-based center.

DW notes that Germany’s Federal Ministry of Research and Education is currently funding the project, but the aim is to pass on financial responsibility for the program to West African governments.

WASCAL is our crown jewel, and we think that it is really a very important institution here in the region to deal with the consequences of climate change. What we would also like to see is increased ownership in the region. That means all countries coming together, and working together in WASCAL so they can also pay membership fees,” said German ambassador to Ghana, Christoph Retzlaff.

Gregor Laumann, an official of the German education ministry, emphasizes that the ultimate goal is to sustain the work of WASCAL through sources of regional funding

It is still very important that more and more of the West African countries assume [greater] responsibility than in the past for driving this initiative,” he says.