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UNU’s Activities in and on Africa

Environment


Kenya, Dambas, North Eastern Province — A young woman stands on the edge of a polluted watering hole in the village of Dambas. Diarrhoea is a primary health risk in this region due to contaminated drinking water. Photographer © Ami Vitale

Completed projects appear below those ongoing.

International satoyama initiative

UNU Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS)

Contact: Yoshihiro Natori, Fumiko Nakao, Akane Minohara

Timeframe: 2009 ongoing

The Satoyama Initiative is an international effort initiated by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan and UNU-IAS, aiming to realize societies in harmony with nature, where positive human-nature relationships are maintained.

As a part of the activities to develop and promote the Initiative, a case study was conducted in Malawi in September 2009, where small scale catchment management has been carried out by villagers living near Lake Malawi. Three workshops were also held in different regions in Malawi to introduce the Satoyama Initiative as well as to obtain feedback from various stakeholders in each region. The report is available at the Satoyama Initiative portal.

The Third International Forum Planet Terroirs was held in Chefchaouen, Morocco from 31 May to 2 June 2010 under the theme of “Diversity, Sustainability, Soils and Development”. A UNU-IAS Senior Fellow made a presentation on the Satoyama Initiative, whose targeted area is socio-ecological production landscapes including terroirs known in French-speaking African countries and the Mediterranean region. The forum presented opportunities to deepen understanding of the Initiative among these countries and to seek synergies with Planet Terroirs.

The Satoyama Initiative was introduced and explained by a UNU-IAS Senior Fellow during the Expert Meeting of Conférence panafricaine de haut niveau - Biodiversité et lutte contre la pauvreté: quelles opportunités pour l'Afrique which was held in Libreville, Gabon from 13 to 15 September 2010. Following the Expert Meeting, the Senior Fellow also made a presentation on the Satoyama Initiative at a side event entitled “the Satoyama Initiative and Development in Africa”, organised by the Government of Japan and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) during the High-level Ministerial Segment (16-17 September).

Location: Malawi, Morocco, Gabon

Tags: conservation, ecosystems, sustainability/sustainable development

2011 StEP General Assembly

UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP) StEP Initiative

Contact: Ruediger Kuehr

StEP Initiative

Timeframe: May 2011

The annual Assembly of all StEP members will take place in Africa for the first time.

Location: Cairo, Egypt

Tags: IT, sustainability/sustainable development, trade, e-waste

E-waste management forum: green business opportunities

UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP) StEP Initiative

Contact: Ruediger Kuehr

StEP Initiative

Timeframe: 23-24 November 2010

Based on the success of the First E-waste Management Forum, on “Circulating Success” that was held last year in Cairo, Egypt, this forum pilots and calls for innovative and competitive solutions in electronic waste management (e-waste) to create green business opportunities.

In the pursuit of this goal, success stories and lessons learnt presented at the forum will showcase how e-waste helps achieve considerable breakthroughs in generating business opportunities, conserving natural resources, adding value and creating jobs along the supply chain, and abating health and environmental hazards effects. A key objective of this forum is to share knowledge about e-waste management success stories from international, regional, and national perspectives.

The target participants are executive-level entrepreneurs from ICT private sector enterprises, ICT governmental organizations, environmental affairs organizations, and non-governmental organizations.

Location: Marrakesh, Morocco

Tags: IT, pollution, sustainability/sustainable development, e-waste

United Nations University Cooperation Unit for Southern Africa

United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)

Contact: Dusan Sakulski

UNU-EHS is hosting the UNU Cooperation Unit for Southern Africa (UNU-CUSA), based in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Southern African region has been constantly impacted by various hazards. The most frequent are droughts, floods, strong winds as well as human induced hazards. South African government is in the process of implementation of the disaster management legislation. It requires synchronised effort in four parallel activities: Disaster management framework development and implementation, institutional re-structuring, implementation of a manageable communication and information technologies and tertiary education in disaster risk management. United Nations University Cooperation Unit for Southern Africa (UNU-CUSA) is involved in those processes acting as an advisor and coordinator.

Particular focus is in the field of education and practical implementation satellite and information technologies for disaster risk reduction as a component of broader activities ‘Science and Technology for Africa for Human Security’. Research topics include disaster risk management policy and implementation relevant research. Main focus was in the area of risk assessment methodologies with special attention on the implementation of the satellite and information technologies in assessing risks and vulnerabilities.

Tags: Africa, environment, disaster management, flood, IT, satellite, risk

Ph.D. and Internship Programmes at UNU-EHS

United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)

Contact: Fabrice Renaud

Time frame: ongoing (Pre-submission of thesis to University of Bonn done in January 2009)

Programme website

Adelina Maria Mensah from Ghana is currently a Ph.D. Researcher at UNU-EHS and at the Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung (Centre for Development Research) at the University of Bonn, researching the influence of land use on nutrients in small upland catchment streams in Ghana. The research investigates how increasing land use intensity influences upstream nutrient loading and how this impacts water quality for domestic use and aquatic ecosystem health both upstream and downstream.

Ms Mensah obtained her M.Sc. and M.Phil. degrees from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (UK) in Tropical Coastal Management and Marine Sciences, respectively. She is a senior staff member of the Oceanography and Fisheries Department, University of Ghana, and lectures both undergraduate and post-graduate students in Marine Pollution, Limnology, Coastal Ecosystems, Chemical Oceanography and Introductory Biogeochemistry.

She also serves as a national representative (Ghana) of both the Nutrient and Pollution Working Groups of the Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem Project (GCLME) and a facilitator of the Coastal Environmental component of the Environmental component of the Environmental Sustainability domain of the Scholarship Research Institute (TSSRI).

Papers in preparation:

  1. Factors influencing increasing land use in small upland catchments in the Ashanti Region, Ghana
  2. Impacts of land use on stream physico-chemistry and nutrient yields in small upland catchment streams, Ghana
  3. Macroinvertebrate assemblages and responses to increasing land use activity, in small upland catchments of south western Ghana
  4. Using the DPSIR framework to assess the impacts of land use on stream ecosystems, Ghana

Locations: Ghana, West Africa

Tags: ecosystems, Ph.D. programme, pollution

New for Old Donations in Tanzania

UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP) StEP Initiative

The project aims at: identifying the waste status in Tanzania and investigating the possibilities for a return stream of collected old IT-equipment and potentially small partial dismantling activities.

NVMP-StEP E-Waste Summer School

UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP) StEP Initiative

Contact: StEP Secretariat

Timeframe: ongoing

StEP Initiative

This summer school on e-waste management is aimed at young academics (doctoral candidates, post-doctoral researchers and assistant professors) from industrializing and industrialized countries.

The aims are to (i) share existing knowledge and research, (ii) exploit synergies of interdisciplinary research, (iii) build an international e-waste research network of young scholars, and (iv) promote project collaboration.

Establishing a disaster risk management system in cooperation with the government of Congo Brazzaville

UNU Vice-Rectorate in Europe (UNU-ViE)

Contact: Jessica Johmann

Timeframe: 2008–2012

This project is a joint initiative between UNU-ViE, UNU-EHS and the Disaster Risk Management Training and Education Centre for Africa (DiMTEC) of the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa. It aims at supporting the government of the Republic of Congo in the development of a disaster management system for the country that encompasses risk reduction as well as response and recovery through the organization of tailor-made training and education courses on vulnerability and risk reduction, joint workshops on principles and concepts of disaster risk reduction and country visits to South Africa.

It further envisages the creation of a distance-learning master's programme on Disaster Risk Management in French language by 2011 in cooperation with DiMTEC, the National University Marien Ngouabi, UNU-ViE and UNU-EHS. The vision is to generate a regional hub for francophone Africa. In this connection, four Congolese officials enrolled in the master's programme on Disaster Risk Management at DiMTEC in South Africa which is being supported by UNU-ViE and UNU-EHS through mentoring and language support.

Locations: Congo Brazzaville - Francophone Africa

Tags: disaster management, flood, Master programme, south-south cooperation, sustainability/sustainable development, vulnerability/risk

South Africa Sub-Global Assessment (SGA)

UNU Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS)

Contact: Maiko Nishi

Timeframe: 2009–2014

As a part of the work for International Sub-Global Assessment (SGA) network, South Africa SGA (the Comparative Marine and Terrestrial Ecosystem Services and Human Livelihood Assessment: South Africa Component) was endorsed by the SGA Working Group Co-chairs as a SGA for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) Implementation process on 1 December 2009. As the South Africa SGA has been planned as a part of a trilateral SGA involving scientists from and covering areas in South Africa, Brazil and India, a workshop was organized from 19-21 May 2010 in Pretoria, South Africa, with the support from the SGA secretariat, and convened the delegates from South Africa, Brazil, and India to develop a comparative ecosystem assessment framework and an action plan and to establish a structure that will coordinate the trilateral SGA project.

SGA is an assessment at the sub-global scales, using the MA conceptual framework to assess the links between ecosystem services and human well-being. UNU-IAS as a Secretariat for the SGA Network for the MA implementation process, is coordinating the network and providing technical support for SGAs including the South Africa SGA.

Locations: South Africa

Tags: conservation, ecosystems, policy, sustainability/sustainable development

Completed Projects

GMF transatlantic study team on climate change and migration

UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)

Contact: Koko Warner

Timeframe: June 2009 - May 2010

Funded by The German Marshall Fund of the United States, the project of the Transatlantic Study Team on Climate Change and Migration was proposed by the Institute for the Study of International Migration, in collaboration with UNU-EHS, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Migration Dialogue, the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC), Adelphi Research and the Overseas Development Institute.

The Transatlantic Study Team 2009/2010 investigated the impact of climate change on migration patterns in Senegal, Mexico and Bangladesh. Environmental deterioration, including natural disasters, rising sea level, and drought problems in agricultural production, could cause millions of people to leave their homes in the coming decades. GMF's study team addressed knowledge gaps and helped bring the topic to the attention of policymakers and other stakeholders in Europe, the US and in some affected countries.

The first project phase took place from June 2009 until May 2010. The project is extended until December 2011.

Location: Senegal

Tags: adaptation, human security, migration, vulnerability/risk

Publications: Warner, K., 2010, Assessing Institutional and Governance Needs Related to Environmental Change and Human Migration, Background Papers of the Study Team on Climate Change and Migration, German Marshall Fund, (UNU-EHS Co-Chair)

Collington, S., 2010, Developing Adequate Humanitarian Responses, Background Papers of the Study Team on Climate Change and Migration, German Marshall Fund, (UNU-EHS Co-Chair)

Laczko, F., 2010, Migration, the Environment and Climate Change: Assessing the Evidence, Background Papers of the Study Team on Climate Change and Migration, German Marshall Fund, (UNU-EHS Co-Chair)

Leighton, M., 2010, Climate Change and Migration: Key Issues for Legal Protection of Migrants and Displaced Persons, Background Papers of the Study Team on Climate Change and Migration, German Marshall Fund, (UNU-EHS Co-Chair)

Martin, S., 2010, Climate Change and International Migration, Background Papers of the Study Team on Climate Change and Migration, German Marshall Fund, (UNU-EHS Co-Chair)

Martin, P., 2010, Climate Change, Agricultural Development, and Migration, Background Papers of the Study Team on Climate Change and Migration, German Marshall Fund, (UNU-EHS Co-Chair)

Warnecke, A., Tanzler, D., Vollmer, R., 2010, Climate Change, Migration and Conflict: Receiving Communities under Pressure, Background Papers of the Study Team on Climate Change and Migration, German Marshall Fund, (UNU-EHS Co-Chair)

Project Information at UNU-EHS

GMF Publications Archive

First workshop on climate-induced migration and displacement in MENA

UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)

Contact: Tamer Afifi

Timeframe: 15-16 June 2010

The First Workshop on Climate-Induced Migration and Displacement in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) was organized by the World Bank and the Agence Française de Développement, in partnership with the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

Theworkshop shared knowledge of current research on climate induced migration and displacement carried out in and on the region, creating networks of researchers on these themes, and defining the agenda for future research.

The workshop focused on different dimensions of internal and international climate-induced migration. Presentations were focused on the following themes:

Location: Venue of workshop: Marseille, France. Region targeted: Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

Tags: adaptation, droughts, flood, migration, policy

Publications: Assessing Institutional and Governance Needs Related to Environmental Change and Human Migration (2 MB PDF). Koko Warner

International expert workshop on e-waste

UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP) StEP Initiative

Contact: StEP Secretariat

Timeframe: Summer 2009

StEP Initiative

This StEP workshop intends to foster high level connections between various stakeholders in the e-waste problem. It aims at

  1. working out a common problem definition and identifying the significant problem fields
  2. in a joint approach – concluding on measures which appear feasible and essential for targeting these

For this, relevant actors from bilateral and multilateral development cooperation and industry are to be involved. Exemplarily, focus of the examined equipment is put on ICT due to their importance as regards quantity and quality of products and product components.

Environmental Change and Forced Migration Scenarios (EACH-FOR) in Africa

United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)

The project Environmental Change and Forced Migration Scenarios (EACH-FOR), which is funded by the European Commission (EC) under its sixth framework programme, covers 6 regions of the world and 23 case studies. UNU-EHS is one out of seven partners involved in the project and is covering four case studies, among which three are in Egypt, Mozambique and Niger. The EACH-FOR project covers the Western African countries Senegal and Ghana as well as Western Sahara and Morocco in North-West Africa. The main purpose of the project is to assess the impact of environmental change on migration at local, national, regional and international level. The methodology includes questionnaires and expert interviews conducted in the countries surveyed. Results from the project can be found on the EACH-FOR project website: www.each-for.eu

Location: Egypt, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal, Ghana, Western Sahara, Morocco

Tags: adaptation, human security, migration, vulnerability/risk

Biodiplomacy

UNU Institute for Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS)

Contact: Wendy S. Elliot

Timeframe: 2005–May 2007 (publication date)

Project website

Download the report

Access to Genetic Resources in Africa: Analyzing Development of ABS Policies in Four African Countries.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) with the support of the Government of Ireland have carried out case studies on access to genetic resources and benefit sharing (ABS) arrangements in four African countries namely Botswana, Ghana, Uganda and Zambia. These studies exemplify the implementation of existing ABS arrangements and mechanisms in the context of the Bonn Guidelines adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at its sixth meeting, in April 2002. The report was presented the Ninth Meeting of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity CBD COP9 in Bonn, Germany in May 2008.

Location: Botswana, Ghana, Uganda and Zambia

Tags: sustainability, sustainable development, NEPAD, conservation, biodiversity, sustainable use, genetic resources

E-waste management in Africa

UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP) StEP Initiative

Contact: StEP Secretariat

Timeframe: August 2007 – December 2008

StEP Initiative

The objectives of this StEP project are an assessment of the e-waste management situation in Kenya, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia and the implementation of a replicable pilot project for the processing of e-waste in South Africa.

Sustainable Innovation and Technology Transfer — Industrial Sector Study Recycling, from E-waste to Resources

UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP) StEP Initiative

Contact: Ruediger Kuehr

Timeframe: July–December 2008

StEP Initiative

As a contract work for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) a UNU-led consortium of StEP members is researching the following:

  1. Analysis of the market potential of relevant technologies for the e-waste recycling sector in selected developing countries
  2. Application of the ‘Framework for UNEP Technology Transfer Activities in Support of Global Climate Change Objectives’ in order to foster the transfer of innovative technologies in the e-waste recycling sector
  3. Identification of innovation hubs and centres of excellence in emerging economies relevant for e-waste recycling technologies

E-waste Management Forum: Circulating Success

UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP) StEP Initiative

Contact: Ruediger Kuehr

Timeframe: February 2009

This StEP Forum will highlight inspiring success stories, where E-waste management has achieved considerable breakthroughs in the conservation of natural resources, creation of job opportunities and decreasing the hazardous health related effects. A key objective of this forum is to share knowledge about E-waste management success stories, from an international, regional, and national perspective and to guide it to a joint strategy for the Middle East and Northern Africa.

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Page last modified 2011.06.07.




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