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Laying the foundation for information and knowledge sharing on climate change adaptation




  • Thanks to a performing partnership with Le Centre de Suivi Ecologique, a Senegalese state agency and research center, and  the West & Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) West Africa Regional Office won the race in early September.

    Through an intensive workshop on platforms for Information and Knowledge Sharing, held in Dakar, Senegal, stakeholders from state agencies, civil society, universities, farmers organizations and agricultural and extension systems gathered together to deliver comprehensive national action plans and facilitate the way forward to operationalize National Information Knowledge Sharing Platforms on adaptation to climate change at national level in West Africa.

    By welcoming delegates from the majority of CCAFS West Africa pilot countries, the workshop envisioned to create a regular workspace on adaptation to climate change for national stakeholders that usually do not exchange much. This lack of synergy between national decision-makers, researchers, public and private extensionists and end-users causes inadequate policy direction and strategies on adaptation to climate change.

    High-level workshop participants seen in this picture discussing knowledge sharing. Photo: J. Y. Raoul High-level workshop participants seen in this picture discussing knowledge sharing. Photo: J. Y. Raoul

    During the opening ceremony, officials of the Senegalese government reaffirmed the urge for all stakeholders, at national and regional levels, to pool efforts and develop new collaborative ways in addressing the daunting challenge of adaptation to climate change in semi-arid West Africa where climate change constitutes a major threat to sustainable food security.

     Within two days, participants were able to come up with operational action plans that give vision of what a national knowledge sharing platforms should be used for.

    After sharing on the rationale, specificities and similarities on existing mechanisms for exchange on adaptation to climate change in each country, participants were organized by country to present national platform roadmaps to be discussed and reviewed by peers.

    “This workshop was very fruitful because it provided opportunity to share experiences among participants and reflect on national priorities and especially on the complexity of climate change, and food security. Moreover, participants were able to better understand what CCAFS West Africa office aims to do and how we can fit in it.” says participant from Niger.Dr. Robert Zougmoré is surrounded by journalists. Photo: J. Y. RaoulDr. Robert Zougmoré is surrounded by journalists. Photo: J. Y. Raoul

    Not only the participants but also Media Outlets were eager learners to this event. On the first day, a myriad of local journalists has interviewed Dr. Robert Zougmoré, CCAFS Regional Program Leader for West Africa, Dr Amadou Sall and Dr Moctar Ndieye from CSE-Senegal. Dr Zougmoré highlighted the overall objectives of this workshop which can be summarized as follows:

    •  Reflect on national priorities on climate change, agriculture and food security,  
    •  Define a participatory and interactive process to collaborate, and 
    • Look into creating a wider regional platform between researchers and policymakers.

    The  majority of participants said that all expectations were successfully met. Participants agreed to meet next November to share countries roadmaps and concrete actions on how the national platforms can help enhance and support decision-making process towards mainstreaming adaptation to climate change in national policies and strategies.

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