Indigenous People of West Africa (IPWA)

PI: Prof. Jürgen Runge

Funder: German Research Council (DFG)

Period: 07/24 to 07/27

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has awarded Prof. Dr. Jürgen Runge (FB11 & ZIAF) a grant for the regional sub-project IPWA(Indigenous People of West Africa) from 2024-2026. The project is embedded in a consortium on global environmental and climate change among indigenous groups with researchers from Canada (University of Alberta [lead]), Brazil, Switzerland, Thailand and the USA.

The Frankfurt IPWA project aims to investigate and critically evaluate “green colonialism” using the example of the Kabyè and the Peulh in Togo and Benin. Indigenous peoples are empowered through the disclosure of restrictive social and political structures in order to promotegood governance that includes indigenous leaders. This inclusion and recognition is necessary to pave the way for indigenous communities to be involved in identifying innovations, solutions and pathways to adapt and mitigate environmental and climate change. The main objectives of the project conducted with Kabyè and Peulh representatives in Togo and Benin are (1) to document the impact of “green colonialism” on indigenous peoples of West Africa, (2) to identify indigenous environmental and climate solutions that contribute to sustainable livelihoods, and (3) to extend traditional research innovations to policy.

The three-year project starts on 01.07.2024 and has a budget of € 620,000.

Semi-nomadic Peulh in Togo and their cattle invade the fields of local smallholders through transhumance and cause land use conflicts in the savannah forest ecosystem. This process will intensify in the future under the influence of climate change and dwindling resources (Photo: J. Runge 2013).