West Africa is one of the most affected regions by climate change due to its dependency on rain-fed agriculture. Agriculture is a mainstay for most countries and a potential way out of poverty for millions of small-scale farmers. Policies and strategies therefore need to effectively address climate change adaptation within the agriculture sector, so as to achieve the millennium development goals and promote sufficient food for all.
One major constraint when it comes to adaptation is poorly institutionalized communications efforts that can disseminate scientific information to ensure that developing country policy-making is based on evidence. With the increasing needs of science-based policies on climate change adaptation, strengthening the communication at the science–policy interface becomes critical.
Recognizing the gap in communication, knowledge and understanding by policy-makers of researchers associated processes and vice-versa, CCAFS West Africa Regional Program hosted a high-level policy session in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso at the end of October.
The aim was to exchange information and ideas on challenges and ways forward for better inclusive communication such as knowledge sharing and dialogue that are needed to promote climate-smart agriculture in the region.
What are we doing in West Africa?
Presentations during the high-level panel discussion highlighted the effects of climate change in West Africa and key challenges and opportunities to develop appropriate policies and technologies needed to reduce the vulnerability of agriculture to climate change.
Achieving sustainable food security in a world of growing population and changing diets is a major challenge under climate change. Successful mitigation and adaptation will entail changes in behavior, technology, institutions and food production systems. These changes cannot be achieved without improving interactions and communication among scientists, policy makers and civil society.
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