Capacity Building in West Africa


In April 2018, experts  of the ELD Initiative conducted initial trainings on the economic valuation of ecosystem services in four West African countries in the framework of  the EU-funded and BMZ co-financed project “Reversing Land Degradation in Africa by Scaling-Up EverGreen Agriculture”.

In each of the countries, we were happy to welcome participants from various institutions,highly motivated and keen to learn more about the ELD Initiative and the basics of economic valuation. We would like to thank all training participants  for their active participation and cooperation. 

The trainings were only the first step  to familiarise participants with the holistic approach of the ELD Initiative. The second step will consist of a hands-on practical application. The aim of the initial training was to introduce the basics of economic valuation and  to bring together representatives from policy and research sectors as well as from civil society to enable a science-policy dialogue.

The trainings in Senegal, Mali and Niger have been conducted by Emmanuelle Quillérou from  University of Brest, France. In Ghana, the training was guided by Robert Costanza and Ida Kubiszewski from the Australian National University. All trainings followed a similar outline, which had been developed during an workshop of the ELD Initiative together with its partners in January 2018. A summary of the workshop can be found here.

General overview of the ELD Initiative, its objectives and its role

Introduction to the ELD 6+1 approach

Introduction to systems’ thinking and modelling as well as modelling methods

Introduction to scenario planning 

Introduction to ecosystem services and environmental evaluation methods

Cost-benefit analysis incorporating environmental and social costs and uncertainty

The last day of each training was reserved for a discussion between the participants and the study leader of the upcoming ELD study in each country. The aim of this session was to identify potential contributions by the participants as part of the second step of the training. A hands-on experience under the guidance of the international study leader will enable the participants to actively put the theory into practice. The results of each study will then be presented to national stakeholders during a dissemination workshop.

Furthermore, an ELD Ambassador will be selected in each country over the next months to act as a focal point for further national activities. The ELD Ambassador of each country will be invited to an international conference to exchange experiences with other ELD Ambassadors and the international research community.

The next trainings of the ELD Initiative will take place in Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia in July 2018 and will again be conducted by Robert Costanza and Ida Kubiszewski from the Australian National University. 


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