Venue: Desmond Tutu Conference Centre
Register: Building Capacity for Conservation & Resource Management in Africa
Description: Why this conference is needed: conservation organisations and agencies in Africa are faced with a growing diversity of environmental issues. Sustainable solutions to these problems will require actions to be implemented by strong organisations and communities with the skills, knowledge and data to undertake a broad range of technical and process-based activities. There are already a broad range of capacity-related initiatives in Africa that are working to tackle capacity building issues. This meeting will provide an opportunity to review existing regional initiatives, exchange ideas, develop and enhance capacity networks, and formulate effective and lasting solutions to common capacity problems.
A regional approach: in 2013, ERT Conservation organised the first international conference to discuss capacity building for conservation, held in Colombia (South America). It became clear at that meeting that there are a number of key issues that are ‘universal’ across the entire global conservation sector. However, the importance of region-specific approaches was also recognised, and the pan-African conference has been structured to address specific issues affecting sub-Saharan Africa.
CONFERENCE THEMES & CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES
Theme 1: Protected areas
Theme 2: Community engagement & rights-based governance
Theme 3: Professional e-Learning
Theme 4: Effective leadership and strong organisations
Details of each theme and cross-cutting issues can be seen here….
The key cross-cutting capacity issues are:
- Conservation in politically unstable areas and ‘disabling’ environments
- Solutions to internal organisation and community ‘barriers’
- Supporting skilled individuals
- Effective pooling of resources across the conservation sector
- Sustainable resource management within wider economic development
Conference structure, process and langauges: the conference has been designed to promote innovative and creative thinking around key issues and draw on the experience and participation of all conference attendees. The meeting will be in English but with simultaneous translation into French.
Four 1-day thematic sessions will begin with two ‘invited’ talks, followed by facilitated workshops with specific tasks. The invited talks will act as ‘demonstration projects’ to bring out the core issues, barriers, problems and potential solutions. This will be achieved through structured and facilitated group discussions. Within the conference programme ‘free’ time has also been allocated to allow networking between delegates, and also attendance at atraining events and demonstration workshops. These are FREE for all conference delegates.
There will also be a number of special evening side events covering:
– Biodiversity informatics
– Environmental Justice
– Report from the Wold Parks Congress 2014
– Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for conservation
WHO WILL ATTEND
The geographical focus of the meeting is sub-Saharan Africa, but the themes discussed will include reference to initiatives from other regions in the global conservation community. Importantly, this unique meeting has been explicitly designed to foster an exchange of ideas and opportunities between practitioners and resource managers at all levels across the sector. Delegates will include some of the leading voices in capacity building in Africa, as well as representatives from local community groups and civil society organisations, conservation NGOs, government agencies, funding bodies, the international conventions, academics, educators and students.