WIN Dialogues Namibia
WIN Dialogues Namibia - Day 1
Reviving Drylands: Sustainable Use of Water in Sub-Saharan Africa
Tuesday 17 September 2013
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
The host of the workshop was Suhel al-Janabi, Coordinator of the ABS Capacity Development Initiative and managing Director of GeoMedia. Mr. al-Janabi gave a brief introduction to the issue of water sustainability and noted the centrality of local and indigenous community leadership to achieving water management goals in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Bernadette Shalumbu of the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia (DRFN) shared an overview of water sanitation and preservation projects implemented by DRFN over the past five years (download presentation). She outlined how technologies such as the Otji toilets, underground tanks and irrigation networks have been introduced into communities to great effect.
Viviane Kinyaga, also representing DRFN, gave a comprehensive presentation on the water management strategies and policies prioritized by DRFN since its inception. She emphasized the central role that local community engagement and participation had in the success of the projects.
Gebremikael Gedy Berhe, representing the Abrha Weatsbha Community, an Equator Prize 2012 winner, outlined the challenges of working in drylands ecosystems in Ethiopia and discussed agriculture rehabilitation and water and irrigation practices carried out by the community to improve socio-economic conditions (download presentation). He presented the achievements of Abrha Weatsbha Community over the past decade, including the construction of 51 micro-dams, 519 dug wells, three free-water springs, and a network of irrigation channels.
Bokayo Sora, representing Pastoralist Integrated Support Programme (PISP), an Equator Prize 2004 winner, introduced the mandate and activities of PISP, including the progress made by the initiative in sand dams, pans, tanks, rock catchments, and shallow wells (download presentation).
Mr. Al-Janabi opened the floor for questions and concluded the session by summarizing three lessons that could be taken away from the experiences of the panelists: i) financial resources can be invested only after communities have been informed and engaged in the construction/development process; ii) community engagement in water management requires capacity building and training toward maintenance of the newly installed facilities; and iii) hard work leads to solid long term socio-economic outcomes.
Beyond the MDGs: Combating Desertification, Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss Post-2015
Tuesday 17 September 2013
11:15 AM – 12:45 AM
Of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), one focuses on ensuring environmental sustainability. There is some consensus that in the post-2015 development agenda environmental sustainability deserves greater prominence and higher visibility.
Jasmin Metzler, Programme Officer for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), stressed this point in her comments. A discussion followed on the ways in which local civil society groups and organizations could be more actively engaged in shaping the post-2015 development agenda.
David Ainsworth, Information Officer for the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), gave an overview of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS), while Suhel Al-Janabi, ABS Capacity Development Initiative, discussed Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) and Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT), suggesting these are two indicators of collaborative relationships between governments and external investors.
Eva Gurria, Programme Consultant of the Equator Initiative, provided an overview of “The World We Want” platform that linked local, national and regional communities with the goal of scaling up local action in order to strengthen the post-2015 development strategy (download presentation).
Fatima Ahmed, President of Zenab for Women in Development, an Equator Prize 2012 winner, concluded the session by giving an overview of CSO involvement in the Leadership Meeting on Environmental Sustainability in Costa Rica during 2012 that discussed the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and also reflected on her role moderating the online discussion on environmental sustainability.
Engaging with Extractive Industries, Can It Work?
13:15 – 14:45
The session began with Ibrahima Aidara, Economic Governance Program Manager for Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), who suggested that the impact of extractive industries is an incredibly important issue in Sub-Saharan Africa and that there are a number of lessons learned from the continent, including the potential for negotiating local employment opportunities, benefit-sharing arrangements, and raising awareness among the farthest and most remote communities on extractive industry plans and interests (download presentation).
Ally Coe, representing Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation in New South Wales, Australia, shared the story of the Barrick Gold mining company and the Wiradjuri Native Title Party, highlighting the ways in which the mining company and local community were able to negotiate mutually beneficial agreements.
Claude Kabemba, representing Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW), discussed the importance including government representatives in the process of negotiating between private sector and community interests (download presentation). He stressed that: i) the government must act as an intermediary with negotiations; ii) the mining company must recognize the privacy of the local community; iii) resettlement accommodations must be an improvement to existing living conditions; and iv) mining companies must take the time to educate themselves on local traditions, rules and culture.
Paul Seneyal from Ujamaa Community Resource Team, an Equator Prize 2008 winner, concluded the session with a discussion on land grabs and how his organization works to secure land and resource rights for pastoralist, agro-pastoralist and hunter-gatherer communities (download presentation). He shared his experience with reducing vulnerabilities of target groups and increasing their capacity to adapt to environmental change in relation to securing land for local use instead of use by extractive industries.
Overcoming the Challenges of Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought: Best Practices and Strengthening Livelihoods
15:15 – 16:30
In this session, participants formed break-out groups to share best practices. Each group was tasked with documenting a list of best practices and key messages on their theme that could be shared with the larger group. The breakout groups focused, respectively, on education and awareness raising, food security and nutrition, and land degradation and deforestation.
On the topic of food security and nutrition, participants summarized their small group discussion which explored how capacity building can be crucial in promotion of food security and health projects. They also suggested that risk and disaster management, livelihood diversification, and relationship building in terms of communication strategies can also help with issues of food security.
During the discussion of education and awareness-raising, the group touched upon ideas that issues of sustainable development could benefit from becoming embedded into school curriculum, and both formal and informal methods of education could go hand-in-hand. Additionally, this group explored the role semantics play in development, and brainstormed how others might react if the focus shifted from “deforestation”, as an example, to a focus of “reforestation”.
With land degradation and deforestation, the small group first focused on agricultural needs which included educational inputs, adaptable seeds, and sustainable planting practices. Additionally, they spoke on environmental conservation, environmental impact assessments, and community land and how those factor into sustainable development.
In conclusion, the group decided upon three main elements that they had identified as making an impact on land degradation and deforestation, which included legislation, community ownership and sustainable energy.
Knowledge Exchange for Capacity Building: Networks and Learning Platforms
16:45 – 18:00
This session was chaired by Eileen de Ravin, Manager of Equator Initiative. She outlined the importance of networks for local communities, particularly those engaged in land management and biodiversity conservation.
Victoria Haraseb, Deputy Coordinator of the Working Group of Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa (WIMSA), shared some Southern African traditional land management practices, along with strategies for knowledge sharing used by WIMSA across Namibia, South Africa and Botswana.
Charles Nyandiga, Programme Advisor for the GEF-Small Grants Programme (SGP), shared an overview of SGP work at the global level as well as specific work in Sub-Saharan Africa (download presentation). He invited participants to connect with SGP global knowledge networks.
Noel Oettle, Rural Programme Manager of The Adaptation Fund, outlined how, over the past two years, The Adaptation Fund has committed more than US$ 180 million to increase climate resilience in 28 countries around the world (download presentation).
Emmanuel Seck, Programme Manager of the Energy, Environment & Development (ENDA) shared an overview of ENDA activities in Namibia and South Africa.
Nahid Naghizadeh, representing the Centre for Sustainable Development (CENESTA), introduced the ICCA Consortium, a global institution that promotes local community rights, documents best practice, promotes appropriate legislation, provides support between regions, and demonstrates community best practice.
Patrice Burger of DryNet offered examples of some actions and ways forward.
The Equator Initiative launched the case study compendium entitled “Community-Based Sustainable Land Management: Best Practices in Drylands from the Equator Initiative” at the Eleventh Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP11). The case study compendium brings together detailed case studies on 20 Equator Prize winners that have demonstrated outstanding achievement and success in sustainable land management. Each is from the African continent and each tells the story of community leadership in addressing those social, environmental and economic issues that are specific to drylands ecosystems.
The intention of the compendium is to present and promote these community projects as best practices in sustainable land management, and to offer them as instructive examples of the environment and development dividends that are possible from empowering local and indigenous community management of dryland ecosystems and resources.
The book was launched by Eileen de Ravin, Manager of the Equator Initiative. The event included remarks by Trine Hay Setsaas, Government of Norway, and Romeo Bertolini, Government of Germany. The launch took place during the World Indigenous Network (WIN) reception at the Rio Conventions Pavilion. The reception was an introduction to the WIN which has been recently hosted by the Equator Initiative after being launched by the Australian government.
The World Indigenous Network has a vision of bringing together indigenous peoples and local community land and sea managers to share best practices on ecosystem management, the protection of nature, and sustainable livelihoods. The Equator Initiative has assumed leadership of the World Indigenous Network and will guide it through its next phase of development. Eileen de Ravin offered remarks about why the partnership is well positioned to take the network forward along with some reflections and lessons learned on UNDP experiences with network development to date.