Supporting IPBES capacity building in West Africa
As of: August 2020
Objective and activities
The project initializes a capacity-building framework across West Africa to support the work-programme of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversityand Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and in particular the assessments. The overarching goal is to connect biodiversity- and ecosystem-experts from West African universities, research institutions and existing science-policy interfaces. Annually conducted workshops will act as exchange platforms and as distribution hubs for IPBES developments, supplemented by a web-based discussion group to connect experts and policy makers across the region and beyond.Complementarily, a Master of Science (MSc) program on biodiversity- and ecosystem-assessments will be established at one West African university and comprise of participants from 15 partner countries. Altogether, the framework shall act as pioneer for strengthening the sub-regional expert pool to support and disseminate assessments within the scope of IPBES.
State of implementation/results
- Mid of 2019, WABES launched the second call of application to its SPIBES graduate between. 238 applications were received from 15 ECOWAS member states. From these, the 15 best-qualified students from all 15 West African countries were selected.
- In the beginning of 2020, the interdisciplinary master's programme "Managing the Science-Policy Interface on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for Sustainable Development in West Africa", which was newly initiated in 2018, is producing the first year's graduates from 13 West African countries and continue its work by admitting the second year's students.
- Since 2017, West African experts from more than 20 countries have been meeting in annual workshops to exchange information and views on the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and its work programmes in the region.
- The project promotes communication between West African experts and the international IPBES community, e.g. through joint participation in the review process of IPBES products such as the new assessments, and through networking activities around the IPBES plenary sessions.
- Stakeholders contributed to the review of ongoing IPBES assessments such as the transformative change assessment & the nexus assessment.
- WABES contributes directly and indirectly to the IPBES capacity building mandate, amongst others, through participation of WABES staff as a resource person in the IPBES capacity building task force and through all its project activities.