ALFA Sahel 2020 – Multi-disciplinary exchange and learning on resilience in the Sahel

ALFA Sahel 2020 offered a multi-disciplinary and interactive virtual platform to exchange knowledge and approaches, discuss difficult questions and co-create learning towards climate-resilient and secure livelihoods, landscapes and development in the Sahel and dryland areas of West Africa.  

The platform brought together practitioners, researchers and government policy makers from 10 Sahelian countries plus regional and global organisations that support resilience in the Sahel.  Through a webinar series in English and French four themes were discussed, each of them with an overall aim of strengthening understanding across disciplines and countries of how to reduce vulnerability and conflict for rural and mobile communities engaged in pastoralism, agro-pastoralism, farming, fishing and other livelihoods across the Sahel.

76 participants from 38 organisations  joined the webinars, hosted by CARE’s CLAR programme in collaboration with IDRC and presenters from CARE, WASCAL, ANACIM, Oxfam, the AMMA2050 programme and IRD. Learning outcomes from each thematic webinar have been documented and the source materials and presentations made public through a dedicated ALFA Sahel website in English and French.   

Explore the webinar outcomes and learning in these reports:

1. Current and future trends and impacts for climate resilient and secure livelihoods and landscapes in the Sahel. What does climate science and livelihood research tell us?

April 2020

2. Natural resource governance for climate resilience and conflict management

June 2020

3. Climate services for inclusive decision making on resilience in the Sahel

July 2020

ALFA Sahel 2020 was inspired by the increasing challenges for achieving resilient livelihoods and landscapes in the Sahel in the context of multiple risks, including from climate change, degrading ecosystems and conflict. These risks affect farmers, pastoralists, agro-pastoralists, fisherfolk, men, women and youth who live in rural Sahel in widely differing ways, according to their unequal rights and access to resources, social capital and decision making spaces. This makes sustainable management and governance of natural resources and strengthening the resilience of all actors highly complex. When governments and development programmes focus on sector or livelihood specific solutions, they risk breaking the intricate inter-connection of diverse and often mobile livelihoods and social categories inherent in managing the fragile Sahel environments, thereby contributing new drivers of conflict. New approaches are needed which break-down sectoral silos and seek to strengthen coordinated local decision-making and complementarities across livelihoods, at the community level and within the local and national economy, markets and policy environment. Adaptive capacity, collaborative mechanisms, governance and innovation in the face of uncertainty are required together with an integrated, multi-actor and locally-owned approach to support decision making for long-term and continuous adaptation responses to changing climates.