ECOWAS, WASCAL commit to combat climate change
In a bid to combat the adverse effects of climate change in the region, the Economic Community of West African States and the regions Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) have renewed their commitment to combat climate change by implementing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between both organizations.
WASCAL was established in May 2012, with the aim of providing information and knowledge at the local, national and regional levels to its West African member countries in order to cope with the adverse impacts of climate change.
Currently, the organisation has ten West African member countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d‘Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo), with Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau in the process of joining the organization.
With the effects of climate change cutting across various sectors of the economy and affecting the lives of Community citizens, the signing of the MoU between ECOWAS and WASCAL, highlighted the importance placed on this challenge.
The ECOWAS President, Marcel de Souza, who was represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tchambakou Ayassor, emphasized the need for all ECOWAS Member States to partner with WASCAL in a bid to combat the adverse effects of Climate change in the region.
In a remarks during the meeting held in Abuja, Nigeria, Commissioner Tchambakou Ayassor stated that due to the population of West Africa, it is a priority of the Commission in collaboration with WASCAL to build the capacity of the region on a national and institutional level in order to achieve significant results.
Similarly, the chairman of the WASCAL Board of Directors, Mr Peter Dery noted that its technical team will liaise with ECOWAS in order to strategize on an implementation plan for the MoU with focus on climate services, climate research and capacity building.
To this end, ‘the WASCAL Capacity Building Programme facilitates academic education amongst 10 West African universities in collaboration with German institutions. The activities focus on the training of Doctoral and Master’s Programmes in climate change thematic areas’, he said.
Furthermore, the WASCAL Executive Director, Prof. Jimmy Adegoke informed the Commissioner that with the support of the German government, 50 automatic weather stations and 20 automatic hydrological stations have been procured and will be distributed to member states to enable them generate relevant climate information.
The delegation from WASCAL requested ECOWAS to use its influence to ensure that Member States, which are also Members of WASCAL fulfil their financial obligations by remitting their dues.
Also in attendance of the meeting were the ECOWAS Director for Environment, Dr. Johnson Boanuh and the Director for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr.Alain Sy Traore.