Steffanie Schirren
Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture

Bundesallee 65
38116 Braunschweig
Phone: +49 531 596 2602
Fax: +49 531 596 2699



Measurement tower in the Kenyan Savanna (c) Lutz Merbold
Measurement tower in the Kenyan Savanna (© Lutz Merbold)

Supporting EU-African Cooperation on Research Infrastructures for Food Security and Greenhouse Gas Observations

The project SEACRIFOG designs an adaptive concept for a pan-African observational system on radiative forcing, building at the same time a network of African and European research infrastructures.

Background and Objective

African societies face growing global change risks, with rapidly changing patterns of human settlements and intensity of use of ecosystem services. At the same time, climate variability and climate change trends are intensifying stress on the ecosystems that ensure environmental security, both locally (e.g. ecosystem services), regionally (e.g. sustainable development options) and internationally (e.g. carbon sequestration). Approaches that can address this challenge in an integrated and multidisciplinary way are urgently needed in many places in Africa where there is a close relationship between societal well-being and environmental condition, relating particularly to biomass for energy and food production, and hydrological considerations such as water yields.

Policymakers and land-use decision makers are increasingly dependent on knowledge on the state of the environment. Long-term observational systems and research infrastructures have been identified to be indispensable elements of knowledge generation to serve climate change adaptation, food security, and climate change mitigation. This proposal supports EU-African cooperation on research infrastructures. Its aims are to increase coherence and interoperability between infrastructures in Europe and Africa, to enhance technical competence, science awareness and lifelong learning in Africa in order to facilitate the use of research results for evidence-based policy making, and to identify knowledge gaps for future research directions. The project will

  1. identify the essential parameters needed to develop science based strategies to improve food and nutrition security including early warning systems and to mitigate climate change,
  2. formulate a roadmap towards fully interoperable and accessible research infrastructures in agricultural and climate research in the EU and Africa that match the needs of the users, and
  3. deliver a contribution to capacity building and human capital development in Africa.

Simplified overview of the SEACRIFOG project structure, central aims and the main role of the individual work packages.

Atmospheric observation site at Cape Verde
Atmospheric observation site at Cape Verde (© Johannes Beck)


SEACRIFOG is a joint research project with 10 European and 6 African partner institutions. The Thünen Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture takes the overall coordination of the project.

Links and Downloads

The SEACRIFOG consortium in Mindelo in June 2018
The SEACRIFOG consortium in Mindelo in June 2018 (© Arne Körtzinger)


Involved Thünen-Partners

Involved external Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • European Union (EU)
    (international, öffentlich)


3.2017 - 8.2020

More Information

Projekt type:
Project funding number: 730995
Funding program: EU - Horizon 2020 - Reinforcing European policy for research infrastructures
Project status: ongoing


hits: 1

  1. Lopez-Ballesteros A, Beck J, Bombelli A, Grieco E, Lorencova EK, Merbold L, Brümmer C, Hugo W, Scholes R, Vackar D, Vermeulen A, Acosta M, Butterbach-Bahl K, Helmschrot J, Kim D-G, Jones M, Jorch V, Pavelka M, Skjelvan I, Saunders M (2018) Towards a feasible and representative pan-African research infrastructure network for GHG observations. Environ Res Lett 13:085003, DOI:10.1088/1748-9326/aad66c
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