West Africa

Climate change impacts on West African Agriculture (CIWARA) —
A regional assessment

Teams of crop, economic, and climate scientists in Western Africa are assessing climate change impacts on agriculture in semi-arid and sub-humid Western Africa (Fig.). The project is standardizing an open-access database, comparing and improving crop model performance, improving spatial coverage of agrometeorological advisories for smallholder farmers, updating selected policy instruments at the national and regional levels, and building research capacity for integrated climate change impacts assessments.

This assessment will increase representation of climate, crop, and economic data in West Africa, enrich agro-biodiversity in crop models, apply representative agricultural pathways to study future regional climate change impacts, and will refine crop calendars and agro-meteorological advisories into location and ecotype specific decision support tools.West African policy-makers will be briefed on possible local impacts of climate variability and change, to inform decisions in adaptation and mitigation.

Capacity building will include graduate student internships, exchange visits, and technical training, as well as outreach activities for the media and policy-makers; data sharing and joint publication. The aim is to create a network of AgMIP alumni from local universities in their country of origin who are continuously involved in the project’s research activities.

The research project assesses regional climate change impacts on Western African agriculture by improving the characterization of food security risks due to climate variability and change and enhances the adaptive capacity ofWest African populations for changing environmental and technological conditions.