Urban Natural Assets for Africa

Urban Natural Assets for Africa (UNA Africa) is the first part of the UNA project.

 

ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center together with project partners SwedBio, Stockholm Resilience Center, JRS-Foundation, Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), and the African Center for Cities, are designing a cutting edge program to support the local implementation of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, to conserve and protect nature in cities in sub-Saharan Africa. This program has been enabled through generous funding from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) through SwedBio at Stockholm Resilience Centre.

The Urban Natural Assets (UNA) for Africa program supports knowledge exchange between important stakeholders in cities across the African continent, through capacity development with regards to biodiversity and ecosystem services.This capacity building is based on a thorough needs-assessment conducted in each of the participating cities.

The aim of this capacity building program is to contribute to meeting the objectives of sustainable use of regional biodiversity and ecosystem services, and to improved human well-being, poverty alleviation and strengthening resilience amongst the urban poor. The UNA Africa program is being run in four countries in Sub-Saharan Africa:

  • Dar es Salaam, Tanzania;
  • Lilongwe, Malawi;
  • Addis Ababa, Ethiopia;
  • Cape Town, South Africa.

Documents to download

 

Project details

UNA Africa aims to:

i) Support the exchange and co-production of knowledge through dialogues between important stakeholders in each of the participating cities (e.g. experts, local government stakeholders, urban planners, researchers and civil society organizations);
ii) Educate and provide access to a wide variety of information resources and tools adapted to the African context;
iii) Increase local information and collaboration, including through potential associated postgraduate research projects; and
iv) Provide tailor-made training in relation to biodiversity, and how ecosystem services can contribute to improving human well-being in each participating city.

UNA Africa is conducted in phases:

Phase 1: Data-gathering consultations
A focus group of representatives from the cities, including decision-makers, planners, experts and representatives from different civil society organizations, are identified and contacted.
Following this, stakeholder workshops, which ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center has considerable experience with, are held in the cities. These workshops function as needs assessment consultations, where constraints and challenges are identified.
The findings of these workshops are used to create insights into how biodiversity and ecosystem services can assist in addressing city challenges, which feeds into the second phase of the project.

Phase 2: Course modules
Supporting knowledge transfer, exchange and co-production is achieved mainly through capacity-building workshops. ICLEI Africa’s (which coordinates the ICLEI Biodiversity Center) energy, adaptation, water and food work streams contribute to integrated training content within the respective themes. Themes could centre on the food-energy-water nexus that biodiversity underpins, and the links to livelihoods and human-well-being, as well as social-development and poverty alleviation. The number and subject content of the modules is determined during the consultation phase (Phase 1) and in conjunction with partners and city practitioners. These workshops/modules are practical, with a strong awareness-raising component, and offer some easily-applied tools or first steps, which local governments who have low capacity can implement.

Phase 3: Development of case studies
Emanating from the project implementation, case studies of on-the-ground interventions applicable to the African context will, in coming years, be created and disseminated, i.e. the program may contribute to science-practice exchange.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

PHASE 1:
This workshop was an interactive and open forum, aiming to build on and strengthen existing partnerships within urban biodiversity management in Addis Ababa, with ICLEI playing a mediating role in the process. As in other UNA Africa Phase 1 workshops, the objectives were to:

  1. Increase understanding of the value, importance, economic and social benefits of the sustainable management of natural assets and green infrastructure.
  2. Identify priority regional agendas around natural assets.
  3. Determine the accessibility of required biodiversity information for decision making.
  4. Strengthen the internal working relations within and between government departments (both vertically and horizontally), as well as between government departments and other important actors such as researchers, local NGOs and civil society representatives, regarding natural asset management. Achieved by opening up dialogue around this topic.
  5. Identify capacity constraints regarding biodiversity management and identify desired biodiversity information/ tools/ resources.
  6. Define the desired type of training to be provided at subsequent workshops.

The workshop, held on 7-8 May 2015, was organised and facilitated by ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, with the support of project partners SANBI, the African Center for Cities, the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC), with substantial input and support from Addis Ababa’s Mayoral Office and Environmental Protection Authority. The event brought together some of the primary role-players involved in conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services in Addis Ababa. The core partners used this workshop to outline and define the priority agendas around natural assets in the city region in order to inform the desired type of capacity building to be provided at subsequent workshops.


PHASE 2:
The tailor made thematic training focused on urban rivers and in particular centered around facilitating input for the planning of Addis Ababa’s rivers, specifically for the Bante-Yeketu, Kurtme and Kechene River Corridor Development Project. The workshop aimed to strengthen cross sector collaboration and coordination to deal with urban river rehabilitation and management in the future.

The objectives of the workshop were:

  1. Capacity building and information sharing on the importance of the sustainable management of green/ blue infrastructure (biodiversity and rivers) for human well-being and urban resilience in Addis Ababa.
  2. Gaining feedback and input on technical approaches and the planning process of the river rehabilitation project.
  3. Strengthening cross-sector collaboration and coordination on how can we ‘fill the gaps’ and work better together.

Cape Town, South Africa

The Source to Sea Think Tank aimed to bring together key actors currently part of the Zandriver Catchment Forum. These key actors include: NGOs, City of Cape Town departments, external organisations, and representatives of recreational users and local land owners. The ThinkTank, held on the 26th and 27th of March 2015, at Rondevlei Nature Reserve, aimed to bolster the work of role-players already involved in communication, education and public awareness campaigns with communities around the catchment and to increase the capacity for an integrated approach to catchment management. Through assisting with developing a targeted, innovative and community inspired campaign, the workshop aimed to contribute towards maximising recreational opportunities, enhancing people’s knowledge of eco-heritage, catalysing educational, eco-tourism and employment opportunities along the catchment and providing a platform for communication and support.

Hence, the Source to Sea Think Tank objectives include:

• Catalysing the implementation of some of the Source to Sea project’s objectives through an awareness campaign, which not only brands the Source to Sea river corridor, cementing it as a connected catchment in people’s minds, but also brings the biodiversity, ecological and recreational services of the area to life, showcasing them to the residents and neighbouring communities who may not understand all the benefits that the catchment provides, and the importance of sustainable management of the catchment.

• Identifying how and where to communicate the relevant information (i.e. infographics, social media campaigns, websites, newspapers, school/ community competitions etc.)

The key outcomes of the Source to Sea Think Tank include:

  1. Development of a website for the Source to Sea project, which can be visited via www.sourcetosea.org.za
  2. Development of a business plan to motivate for adoption of the project.

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

PHASE 1:

This workshop was an interactive and open forum, aiming to build on and strengthen existing partnerships within urban biodiversity management in Tanzanian local governments. ICLEI and SANBI played a mediating role in the process.

As in other UNA Africa Phase 1 workshops, the objectives were to:

Increase understanding of the value, importance, economic and social benefits of the sustainable management of natural assets and green infrastructure.
Identify priority regional agendas around natural assets.
Determine the accessibility of required biodiversity information for decision making.
Strengthen the internal working relations within and between government departments (both vertically and horizontally), and between government departments and other important actors such as researchers, local NGOs and civil society representatives, regarding natural asset management, by opening up dialogue around this topic.
Identify capacity constraints regarding biodiversity management and identify desired biodiversity information/ tools/ resources.
Define the desired type of training to be provided at subsequent workshops.

The workshop, held on the 11th and 12th of February 2015, was organised and facilitated by ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, with the support of project partners SANBI, the African Center for Cities, the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC), with substantial input and support from Kinondoni City Council. The event brought together some of the primary role-players involved in conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services in Dar es Salaam. The core partners used this workshop to outline and define the priority agendas around natural assets in the city region in order to inform the desired type of capacity building to be provided at subsequent workshops. Kinondoni City Council was used as the focal point in certain discussions, but the event also engaged stakeholders from neighbouring municipalities (Temeke, Ilala and Dar es Salaam Municipal Council) in order to inform and meet broad city objectives and capacity needs across Dar es Salaam.


PHASE 2:

The tailor made thematic training focused on urban rivers and in particular waste management around river systems. It also aimed at helping strengthen cross sector collaboration by beginning the process of developing a coordinated framework to deal with urban rivers and environmental management in the future.

The objectives of the workshop were to:

  1. Share information and build capacity on the importance of the sustainable management of urban green/ blue infrastructure (biodiversity and rivers) for human well-being and resilience in Dar es Salaam.
  2. Map institutions and work on the ground (current projects, case studies) understanding who is doing what and where (waste management, restoration, rehabilitation, compliance, community education etc).
  3. Strengthen cross-sector collaboration and coordination with steps towards a coordination strategy.

Lilongwe, Malawi

PHASE 1:

As in other UNA Africa Phase 1 workshops, the objectives were to:

Increase understanding of the value, importance, economic and social benefits of the sustainable management of natural assets and green infrastructure.
Identify priority regional agendas around natural assets.
Determine the accessibility of required biodiversity information for decision making.
Strengthen the internal working relations within and between government departments (both vertically and horizontally), and between government departments and other important actors such as researchers, local NGOs and civil society representatives, regarding natural asset management, by opening up dialogue around this topic.
Identify capacity constraints regarding biodiversity management and identify desired biodiversity information/ tools/ resources.
Define the desired type of training to be provided at subsequent workshops.

The workshop, held on the 16th and 17th of December 2014, was organised and facilitated by ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, with the support of project partners SANBI, the African Center for Cities, The Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC), with substantial input and support from Lilongwe City Council. The event brought together some of the primary role-players involved in conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services in Malawi. The core partners used this workshop to outline and define the priority agendas around natural assets in the region in order to inform the desired type of capacity building to be provided at subsequent workshops. The City of Lilongwe was used as the focal point in certain discussions but the event engaged stakeholders from neighbouring cities (Zomba, Blantyre, Mzuzu) in order to inform and meet regional objectives and capacity needs. This workshop was an interactive and open forum, aiming to build on and strengthen existing partnerships within urban biodiversity management in Malawian local governments, with ICLEI, SANBI and the SRC playing a mediating role in the process.

PHASE 2:

The tailor made thematic training aimed to empower extension officers – that work directly with communities – with technical and practical information to effectively facilitate the compilation, implementation and monitoring of Village Level Action Plans (VLAPs) in Malawian villages within the Lilongwe River catchment. VLAPs fit into the overall strategy and process for catchment management planning as they provide guidance on physical activities that have an impact on, and improve catchment management at a grassroots level.

 
 
 
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