The African Regional Workshop of the Global Dryland Ecosystem Programme and the Second Conference on Climate, Ecosystems and Livelihoods in Africa were convened from 23 to 25 September 2019 in Dakar, Senegal. The overall goal of the workshop/conference was to establish a permanent mechanism for partnership to support Chinese-African cooperation in achieving sustainable development goals.
About 100 researchers, and administrative and technical staff from more than 10 African nations and China, representing some 30 national and regional organizations attended the conference.
At the opening ceremony held on the morning of 23 September 2019, Prof. Doudou Ba, the President of the Senegal Academy of Science & Technology (ANSTS), Prof. Doctor Toure, Vice President of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), Ms. FENG Kai, Deputy Director from the Bureau of International Cooperation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and Prof. ZhANG Linxiu, Director of The United Nations Environment Programme-International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP) made their remarks on behalf of the sponsoring organizations. They pointed out that this event was a key follow up to the first Conference on Climate, Ecosystems and Livelihoods in Africa held in Kenya in September 2017.
On the afternoon of 24 September, a high-level round table was organized to analyse the presentations and discuss the questions as above, giving rise to a communiqué for the event at the end of the day.
In the draft of communiqué, participants acknowledged the link between increased climate-related vulnerability and poverty and therefore the need to work more on building the resilience of farmers and rural communities, to take a broad, integrated approach towards food systems and land use, to scale up adoption of proven technologies, to strengthen Africa’s scientific and technological capacity and capability within the framework of ongoing China-Africa cooperation, and to put the human in the center of interventions and enhance the human capital.
On 25 September, the representatives from the African academies wrote to express their appreciation and satisfaction for the excellent organization of the workshop/conference and their hope that the relationship among the technical partners that were present in Dakar will become stronger. Because the event enhanced mutual understanding between Chinese and African scientists and institutions, pushed forward the implementation of existing collaborative research projects, and achieved all the expected objectives.
The workshop/conference was co-sponsored by the UNEP, TWAS, the CAS, the National Natural Sciences Foundation of China, the University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar (UCAD) – Senegal, the United Nations Development Programme, the Pan-African Agency of the Great Green Wall (PAGGW), and the National Agency of the Great Green Wall of Senegal. Additional support was provided by UNEP-IEMP and ANSTS.
UNEP-IEMP is a centre for collaboration on ecosystem management between the CAS and UNEP. It has offices at the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR) in Beijing. IGSNRR provides financial management and administrative services for UNEP-IEMP.