West Africa is exceptionally rich in biodiversity and ecosystem services and hosts a wealth of expertise in research on biodiversity, ecosystem services and policy. However, there is a lack of effective interfaces between science and policy in the field of IPBES-relevant topics. Within WABES such interfaces are facilitated and strengthened by bringing together experts and initiating exchange between scientists as well as representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations.
Through a facilitated exchange through annual workshops involving targeted training, West African experts shall be supported to effectively perform their duties as members of national delegations at IPBES plenary sessions and/or IPBES working group assessments. This will also help to improve the balance of interventions at IPBES plenary sessions, and the expert groups, where (West) African experts are currently still underrepresented.