West Africa is exposed to extreme weather events, such as intense rain that causes devastating flooding, or prolonged dry spells that endanger agricultural activities and rural livelihoods.
As part of the West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) project, UNU-EHS taught the students from the M.Sc. Programme on Climate Change and Human Security at the University of Lomé in Togo for two weeks with Dr. Fabrice Renaud. Dr. Yvonne Walz lectured on the assessment of vulnerability and risks as well as the identification of approaches to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
The students represented 10 West African countries and each brought with them the experience of types of disaster and impacts in their country of origin. As part of the course, three flood prone regions of Togo were specifically examined, i.e. the urban center of Lomé, the coastal rural area in the Mono river basin and the inland rural region at the Oti river. The group work consisted ofthe assessment of ecosystem services in the three regions, the design of ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction strategies (Eco-DRR) and resulting new ecosystem services and the assessment of stakeholders involved in disaster risk reduction and Eco-DRR at multiple governance scales. A field visit to the Lomé case study area also took place, to determine if and where Eco-DRR measures would be possible.