SFA Network Seeks New Ways of Managing Elephants

The University of Botswana’s Department of Adult Education led an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the Sustainable Futures in Africa (SFA) Network for a workshop on human-wildlife interactions at the Mmadinare Main Kgotla on August 14, 2018. The Patriot on Sunday, a Botswana national Sunday newspaper, has featured the Sustainable Futures in Africa’s research trial, community event and community partnerships in a recent article discussing wildlife management:

http://www.thepatriot.co.bw/news/item/6003-ub,-sfa-network-seek-new-ways-of-managing-elephants-in-mmadinare.html


Local Knowledge for Environmental Sustainability

By DrTwine Hannington Bananuka, Dr Alex Okot and Dr Mia Perry 

Sustainable Futures in Africa (SFA) hubs in Scotland and Uganda partnered together to publish in The Daily Monitor to celebrate World Environment Day.  The article discusses research conducted by SFA Ugandan hub in partnership with partners ECOaction and the community members of  both Apala and Albertine region.


North-South Research Partnerships Must Break Old Patterns For Real Change

By Dr Mia Perry and Dr Deepa Pullanikkatil

Since the 1940s major world powers like the US, the UK and the United Nations have made moves to spread their scientific, economic, industrial, and human rights progress to countries and regions that are seen as less developed, vulnerable or deprived in one way or another.

And yet from where we stand as individual researchers, with funding and passion to share, we see an unsettling and consistent characteristic of this development history. The global north has experienced a gradual increase of economic strength and environmental protection, through jobs, career development, cheap goods and services.

Meanwhile, the global south has undergone a sustained degradation of autonomy, fertile land, food security and cultural literacies. All this has occurred through an imposition of foreign ideas, materials, ideologies and knowledge systems. That’s why we’re trying to do things differently.

Read a recent publication by Sustainable Futures in Africa’s Co-Directors Dr Mia Perry and Deepa Pullanikkatil in The Conversation on why beating poverty needs partnerships and collaboration – not just money …


Beating Poverty Needs Partnerships and Collaboration – Not Just Money

Nigeria recently surpassed India to become the country with the highest number of people living in extreme poverty: 87 million. Nigeria is oil rich and boasts Africa’s fastest growing economy. Yet six of its people fall into extreme poverty every minute.

Read a recent publication by Sustainable Futures in Africa’s Coordinators Dr Mia Perry and Deepa Pullanikkatil in The Conversation on why beating poverty needs partnerships and collaboration – not just money …


Dr Mia Perry on The Voice of the Cape

On Monday 20th August the Sustainable Futures in Africa network was delighted when Dr Mia Perry, network co-Coordinator was invited to speak on The Voice of the Cape, a South African radio show to speak about the recent article in The Conversation on ‘beating poverty’.(https://theconversation.com/beating-poverty-needs-partnerships-and-collaboration-not-just-money-101145)

We’re incredibly excited to be live on @VOCfm today at 16:45pm CAT. Network PI @MiaJPerry will be discussing “Beating poverty”  @UofGGCID #SouthAfrica #beatingpoverty #sustainabledevelopment pic.twitter.com/hwX2kINedX


On Tuesday 14th August, over 300 people attended SFA Botswana's workshop Creating Sustainable Community Partnerships.

The overall goal of the workshop was to establish the significance of Sustainable Community Partnership for addressing pressing social and economic needs using the Mmadinare Human-Wildlife conflict study as a case.  This was to ensure that the findings of this study, conducted July 2017, are shared and taken forward for the benefit of Mmadinare, and many other similar communities. The event took place on Tuesday 14 August 2018 under the theme Creating Sustainable Community Partnerships. The turnout was fantastic, as over 300 people attended including the High Commissioner of Nigeria and Nigerian parliament officials, a representative from World Health Organisation and there was a great attendance from local parastatal organisations.  Many Botswana Ministers were also in attendance including those from the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Tourism led by the Director of Wildlife and National Parks and Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM), were among the many stakeholders who attended.

The local community of Mmadinare, a village in the central district of Botswana, came up with numerous suggestions to tackle the negative effects caused by Human- Wildlife interaction, among them were the following:

  • Culling not killing of elephants.
  • Awareness creation on how to live with elephants.
  • Creation of wildlife camps
  • Establishment of game reserve
  • Tracking and monitoring of elephants’ movement-collaring
  • Building of an educational park

The Director of Operations and Engineering, on behalf of all stakeholders, observed that the problem discussed affects infrastructure development as this is often damaged by elephants. The presence of the Wildlife Director helped in clarifying and identifying the possible options available raised through the community discussion. The Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Botswana underscored the significance of the University of Botswana and both industry and community partnerships in collectively finding a sustainable solution to the issues.

The SFA Hub in Botswana is happy with the progress made so far and plans to have a retreat to map the way forward.

Read the Research Trial Report Here:

‘Unearthing the Dynamics of Human Wildlife Interaction: The Case of Mmadinare Community in the Central Region of Botswana’

Botswana Research Trial

 

For more information visit The Patriot, Botswana's national Sunday paper, or the University of Botswana's website below:

Aid is all very well but fair exchange and self awareness may matter more

by Dr Mia Perry

If you have £10 in your pocket and you want to do some good for the world, what is the best way to spend the money? Is it more helpful to donate to an international charity, or pay steep prices for local produce over cheaper, often more accessible products, that have been imported from Africa?

I ask myself this question frequently. My work takes me to places far removed from my home to ‘help,’ to ‘develop,’ to ‘solve problems.’ What makes me think that my good 
intentions, my money, my version of developed/sustainable/happy have any relevance to communities in Malawi or Uganda? How can I make choices at home that create a positive impact?

In the name of “development” and “aid” billions of pounds have been spent from the Global North on challenges materialising in the Global South: from poverty to environmental protection, from gender equality to health. Countless academics, development workers, and administrators have focused on innovation, intervention, programmes and practices on supporting development in the “developing world”.

In the name of #Development #GCRF @SF_Africa https://t.co/mjDU1uvtz1

— Molly Gilmour (@MVGilmour) April 12, 2018

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The Sustainable Futures in Africa Network (www.sustainablefuturesinafrica.com), a consortium I lead, 
is a collective of researchers, educators, development workers, and communities that spans the UK (primarily the University of Glasgow) and countries across Africa (Malawi, Uganda, Botswana, and Nigeria in particular).

We work across diverse areas of expertise, sectors, and geographies to address the social, cultural, and ecological aspects of sustainable development. Together, we focus on questions about how to rethink the development research status quo for more positive future outcomes.

The flow of aid money and resources, coupled with increasing global morality and mobility is broadening pipelines between the Global North and South, yet there is an unsettling current to development trends.

In reality, the Global North (albeit an ever-decreasing section of the Global North) becomes ever more powerful and prosperous, and more resilient to climate change; while the Global South addresses an ever-decreasing area of fertile land, a growing population of people living in poverty, and an increasing threat of food security. For all of our good intentions and promises of funding and expertise, global inequalities and development challenges persist – in many areas increase.

The Sustainable Futures in Africa Network has grown out of questioning this type of development and development-related research.

The Sustainable Futures in Africa Network has grown out of questioning this type of development and development-related research. We are convinced that there are fundamental oversights in the practices, processes and natures of collaborations.

Unless we make decisive changes to the ways we collaborate, across the vastly different settings of our homes, cultures, and disciplines then substantial resources will continue to be spent at a rapid pace; but the trajectory of change and development in the world will remain consistent with that of the past 50 years. The north gets richer, the south gets poorer. Why would we expect anything different if we continue as normal?

Global challenges relating to poverty and environmental sustainability in the Global South require engagement with multiple disciplines, knowledge, and stakeholders.

The challenge goes beyond working across science, society, and culture. It encompasses working across very different perspectives and lived experiences.

We cannot genuinely support positive change or sustainability without ways to communicate and collaborate across these differences. As we do so, we find that no one alone has the solution, no one knows ‘best,’ but together we discover directions and possibilities that make sense (and often surprise) all involved.

As I give, donate, or purchase to 
create positive change, I am 
making a difference to others and also to myself. I am accountable for the giving, but also for the impact of the giving. I am mindful of the consequences of my donation or contribution; conscious that I do not want to contribute to the same systems of global inequality that I am trying to alleviate.

So, I choose to spend my £10... in exchange for a product or cause that I am engaged with and understand. This might look like a fair-trade purchase from a market in my neighbourhood instead of a cheaper 
version at the large chain supermarket, or choosing to purchase a locally produced or second-hand shirt rather than the cheaper new one from a brand-name company who source labour and materials from resource-poor countries such as Bangladesh. Positive influence in the world must be based on fair exchange and self-awareness, not simply good intention or aid.

For More Information:

https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/mia-perry-aid-is-all-very-well-but-fair-exchange-and-self-awareness-may-matter-more-1-4718285