After an unprecedented hot summer in Europe, and as a prelude to COP27 Climate and COP15 Biodiversity, IRD scientists and their partners from Burkina Faso and Senegal are coming together for a hybrid press conference organized by IRD on 3 November 2022. They will present science-based solutions that are carried out in the Global South and applicable in the North to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss.

Opened by Valérie Verdier, CEO of the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD), followed by Philippe Charvis, deputy director of science (IRD) and Thomas Melonio, executive director of innovation, strategy and research at the Agence Française de développement (AFD), this event is an opportunity to reverse the North-South paradigm and to recall the critical need for solution-based science built through an equitable model of partnership with Southern countries. This transformative science encourages reflections on development and sustainability science for a more resilient world in the face of major global crises. 


Yvonne Bonzi, chemist, researcher and professor at the University of Joseph Ki-Zerbo (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso), member of the National Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters of Burkina Faso (ANSAL-BF).


  • Enhance the use of sorghum as an alternative to traditional cereal crops. Native to the Sahel, it requires little water and inputs, and it is resistant to diseases and pests. It also allows for crop diversification. 
  • Reconsider the traditional agricultural practices such as zaï as a technique to help soil restoration – also used in the Great Green Wall program.

These methods of selection and conservation of seeds, of soil fertilization are great successes observed in the South and applicable in the North.


Sébastien Barot, soil ecologist, IRD research director, IRD scientific advisor "biodiversity", member of the Academy of Agriculture, vice-president of the French Society of Ecology and Evolution (SFE). Sebastien focuses on the role of intensive agriculture in the North in the reduction in the diversity of cultivated plants.

Focus: Plant African savanna grasses. These plants inhibit nitrification and make the nitrogen cycle more efficient. Using them improves the action of fertilizers and reduces their use.  

Benjamin Sultan, climatologist, IRD research director, scientific advisor "climate change" of IRD, author-contributor of the 6th IPCC report.

Focus: Why does access to good climate data matter? Taking into account climate scenarios and weather forecasts, also known as "climate services" for improved adaptation strategies in climate change research, policies and financing.


Ousmane Ndiaye, exploitation director of meteorology at the Agence nationale de l'aviation civile et de la météorologie of Senegal (ANACIM) and author-contributor of the 6th IPCC report.

Focus: Advance the dissemination of climate information for local communities to enhance the management of risks of extreme events and disasters.


Flore Gubert, economist, IRD research director, and vice-president of the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme (FMSH).

Focus: Highlight the populations in the Southern countries that choose to migrate in the face of the climate emergency. This "power to act" is an adaptation strategy with a triple benefit: reduce pressure on local resources, provide a missing workforce in cereal-producing regions, for example, and a financial support in the region of origin by sending part of their income.


This event aims to shed the light on these science-based solutions that are carried out in the Global South and applicable in the North to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss.

Keynote speakers: 

With the participation of AFD, ANACIM (Dakar, Senegal) and the Université Joseph KI-ZERBO (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso)



Speakers biographies



"Together for climate – Solutions are also in the Global South"



"Protecting biodiversity – Solutions are also in the Global South"