The One Planet Fellowship aims to set up an intergenerational network of researchers: future leaders in the fight against climate change in Africa.
A pan-African program to support French and English-speaking researchers
AWARD, a BNP Paribas Foundation partner, is organising a Science Week in Casablanca from 25 November to 1 December. During Science Week, the programme was announced to researchers from two new eligible African countries: Morocco and Algeria. Two of the programme’s partners, AWARD and the BNP Paribas Foundation, organised this large-scale event together with the BMCI Foundation.
On 28 November, high-level representatives met to highlight the need for strong financial cooperation between the private sector, civil society, public research and private philanthropy stakeholders to urge researchers and young people to work together on climate adaptation issues. Local decision-makers such as Malawi's Ministry of Agriculture and Water Irrigation, climate experts and research centres including IGAD (Climate Prediction and Applications Centre) and East-West Seed International in Benin will join the discussion.
The decision to open the programme up to the eight new eligible countries stems from a real desire for South-South cooperation, which is in the One Planet Fellowship initiative’s DNA. This will make it possible to develop innovations in synergy and accelerate their dissemination in order to effectively meet the needs, challenges and priorities of a growing population.
Mentoring: a key programme to train researchers in more responsible agricultural practices in Africa
Closely based on the AWARD model, the One Planet Fellowship is a $20-million mentoring and career acceleration programme for African researchers. It meets a real need to address the vulnerability of Africa's food production systems. The winners will study innovative systems to back African farmers' efforts to adapt to climate change at a mentoring centre for three years.
The 45 winners of the One Planet Fellowship’s first call for applications are starting their training programme. During the Science Week in Casablanca, climate change experts and other speakers will share their knowledge of climate change in relation to agricultural systems and the implications for society. The programme includes interactive sessions, presentations, group projects, field visits and various hands-on activities. The training aims to:
- Deepen scientific knowledge, especially on the process of climate change, and envisage innovative adaptation and mitigation measures.
- Strengthen gender integration capacities in research to effectively meet the needs, challenges and priorities of different groups.
- Promote research partnerships and professional networks for arguments based on proof, policies and sustainable development practices.
A far-reaching programme to back Africa’s new generation of scientific leaders
Created in December 2017 at the One Planet Summit, the One Planet Fellowship aims to create a community of African and European researchers working on climate change adaptation in Africa’s agricultural sector. This five-year program is supported by the BNP Paribas and Bill & Melinda Gates foundations, the European Commission and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC, Canada). It is operated by AWARD (ICRAF, Kenya) and the Agropolis Foundation.
Photo header ©Mike Goldwater for AWARD