West Africa is exceptionally rich in biodiversity and ecosystem services. The sub-region is also home to experts with a wealth of expertise in the field of biodiversity and ecosystem services. There is, however, a lack of effective interfaces between science and policy, particularly with regard to IPBES-related activities. Within WABES, science - policy interface is promoted and strengthened by bringing together experts and facilitating exchanges between academia as well as government and non-government actors.
Through our annual workshops, networking is encouraged between sub-regional experts, and via trainings tailored to their capacity building needs, our stakeholders are supported and provided with guidelines to effectively perform their duties as members of national delegations at IPBES plenary sessions and/or Working Group Assessments. In addition, strengthening the capacity of regional experts would also help to improve the balance of interventions at IPBES plenary sessions, and the expert groups in which (Western) African experts are currently under-represented.
WABES first regional experts workshop was held from November 28 – December 1, 2017 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The second regional experts workshop took place on June 21 -25, 2018 in Accra, Ghana. The third regional experts workshop was organised in May 2019, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Due to the emerging global pandemic, in 2020, WABES is organising series of virtual mini-workshops to advance the objectives of the sub-regional experts’ platform.
WABES aims to bring together experts from all fields relevant to Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (BES) at the Science-Policy interface across West Africa and beyond. Our workshops are complemented during intersessional periods by web-based (online) discussion forum. In our exchange hub:
- Experts are informed about current IPBES activities, its future developments and are also able to share their expertise and experience,
- Experts exchange information on IPBES related topics, gain insights from other national and international communities already participating in the IPBES work programme, and from members of the IPBES Secretariat and TSU Capacity Building Task Force,
- Experts are informed regularly about the WABES project, its objectives, scheduled activities, as well as ways of engaging and benefitting from this initiative.
If you are working in biodiversity-relevant fields as a researcher, practitioner, NGO actor and/or decision-maker and would like to connect with other regional and international experts, we invite you to be part of our community of experts and subscribe to WABES experts network.