The Head of Division Global Change, Climate and Biodiversity at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany, Prof. Dr. René Haak, has stated that the establishment of The West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), is the contribution of the Federal Republic of Germany to the fight against Climate change and Land Degradation.
He also stated the essence and mandate of the establishment of WASCAL,
“WASCAL was founded to be a Leading Regional Science Centre in integrated climate change and adaptive land management, climate services and Capacity Building by generating and implementing scientific knowledge. The partners in WASCAL work together in Regional -Interdisciplinary Research Projects on priority thematic areas.”
Professor Haak said this when he addressed a cross-section of Ghanaian media in the maiden edition of the WASCAL Media Engagement held at its headquarters in Accra.
According to Professor Haak, the current processes of global change, including demographic change, climate change and the globalization of economic systems, are an enormous challenge for societies worldwide.
He expressed the adverse impact of climate change globally and the role of the German government in tackling it.
“Climate change is affecting the lives of millions of people in all parts of the world. Current projections on future developments indicate that there is an urgent need to develop concepts on how to adapt to these challenges in due course. Science and research offer proactive approaches to deal with the current and the expected changes. In this regard, the role of science is to be understood as a service to those societies that are most severely affected by climate change and to provide decision-makers with evidence-based results and advice. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is very supportive to enhance this fight together with its partners.”
Other speakers at the programme include; the Governing Board Chair of WASCAL, Mr. Peter Dery, who answered questions on Ghana’s commitment toward the sustainable Development Goal 13 on climate action and the Executive Director of WASCAL, Dr. Moumini Savadogo, who also spelt out the facts and figures behind the success stories of WASCAL.
WASCAL is a joint initiative of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, the Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo and Germany in response to the challenges of global change. Guinea Conakry and Cabo Verde signed their adhesion with WASCAL. Guinea Bissau, Liberia, and Sierra Leone are on the verge to accede.