WABES - Supporting IPBES capacity building in West Africa


WABES, IPBES, “Intergovernmental Platform”, Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services, Science Policy, Expert Network, Master’s Program, capacity building, West Africa


Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, West Africa


The project will initialize a capacity-building framework across West Africa to support the Work Programme of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and in particular the assessments.

The overarching goal is to connect BES 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 BES 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.


The project will make use of the experience of its partners in (a) bringing together interdisciplinary expertise in a science-based context, (b) building expert networks and interfaces, (c) implementing graduate programs in West Africa, and (d) developing and disseminating tools and approaches to conduct BES assessments.

The approach of linking regional universities, regional experts and international institutions while bridging the gap between basic and applied research, and different disciplines through interdisciplinary knowledge and by approaching the science-policy interface holds a high multiplication potential.

Main Cooperation Partners

  • Université Félix Houphouët Boigny (UFHB), Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
  • Université Nangui Abrogoua (UNA), Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
  • WASCAL (West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use) Headquarters Accra, Ghana
  • WCMC (World Conservation Monitoring Center) Cambridge, UK
  • Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Leipzig, Germany
Main Funding Partners

International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)

Duration of the Project

02/2017 - 07/2022

Project Homepage


Jan Henning Sommer

Dr. Jan Henning Sommer


Project Homepage
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