Sustainable Development in Africa

Additional Potential Regional Pilot Projects

To maximize the potential for the ISDAf to make a real difference in how development plans, resource management plans, development projects and conservation programmes are implemented in Africa, we hope to raise adequate funds to implement the following regional pilot studies.

Coincident with the Phase two meetings undertaken with four LID communities in each region (East, West and South Africa for a total of 12 LID communities), the local anthropologist/social scientist would gather information about natural and cultural resources important to each community.  Although questions to be asked would be refined, broadly we anticipate gathering information on the size of their traditional territory e.g., (where they gather plant/forest resources, hunt, fish); how they gather, process, and use these resources; other LID communities they work with/engage with (and in what way); locations of their ancestral cultural sites and other areas that are sacred to them; what is their vision of a good future for their community now and for future generations (e.g., blend of traditional practices and access to modern resources; all traditional; all modern).

With the permission of the participating LID communities, information derived from the Phase two field meetings would be used to develop confidential maps of natural and cultural resources important to each community. These maps will be generated in a Geographic Information System (GIS) so that data shared by neighbouring groups can be overlain and examined relative to national development planning initiatives. These maps and written summaries of the results of the field meetings with LID communities would be shared through a secure Drop Box site with other Phase Three workshop participants. Each participant would be provided two months to review the materials.

The GIS maps and information about natural and cultural resources would be used to determine if there are shared areas that LID communities want conserved and identify natural linkages (rivers, valleys) between these proposed conservation areas. These materials would be reviewed within the context of the original Phase three workshops. At that time meeting participants would determine who should attend an in-person meeting with local and national government officials (e.g., LID community representatives of each community, the respective ESIA expert for each community, others). The meeting would likely need to be planned for 6 to 12 months after the Phase three workshop for scheduling and fund raising.

In-person Meeting with Government Officials

At the in-person meetings with local and national government officials, the workshop attendees would lay out printed versions of the GIS maps showing physiography, hydrology, natural vegetation, and existing development. These baseline maps would be overlain with the information provided by the four LID communities interviewed in the Phase two meetings. This information would include current and traditional territories for each LID community, areas of natural resource procurement/traditional agriculture, ancestral sites, and sacred places.  These data could provide the basis for formulating proposals of areas to be set aside as conservation easements and conservation corridors that potentially followed traditional trails, natural waterways or valleys connecting them. Collaborative meetings with government officials could pave the way for changing local and national development policies, as well as integrating the planning results into existing and future development plans and natural resource management plans.  These conservation areas could be co-managed by LID community members and the government(s) and serve to better protect natural and cultural resources important to LID communities in the region, including nutritious traditional foods, medicinal plants, and which also promotes biodiversity conservation.  The process and results of these studies could be audited over a period of years to determine their success – with criteria audited including: no violent protests, limited non-violent protests, higher standard of living for LID community members (e.g., reduced infant and child mortality, easy access to clean drinking water, electricity, etc.), quality paid jobs for LID community members (e.g., range and resource management jobs), opportunities to develop LID managed co-ops for sale of products both within and outside of the immediate community (e.g., fruits, vegetables, livestock, arts and crafts – such as carvings and furniture, from non-endangered trees). Lessons learned could be compiled and systems and programs improved and extended to other regions in Africa.

Anticipated Timetable of Activities

The schedule of activities is dependent upon funding, but we anticipate the three phases of meetings for each location:

East Africa —  July 2022 through December 2023

South Africa — July 2024 through December 2025

West Arica — July 2026 through December 2027.

The Phase one meetings in each region would take place in July/August of the designated year, coincident with regional conferences, and Phase two and three meetings would take place over the intervening 12 months, with white papers and policy briefs prepared within 18 months of each Phase one meeting.