Workshop Report: Earth and Environmental Science for Sustainable Development (Lusaka, September 2017)

Gill, J.C.; Mankelow, J.. 2017 Workshop Report: Earth and Environmental Science for Sustainable Development (Lusaka, September 2017). British Geological Survey, 34pp. (OR/17/064) (Unpublished)

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This report describes the outcomes of a two-day interactive workshop in Lusaka (Zambia), conducted in September 2017. We gathered 26 delegates from 14 organisations based in Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe to determine sustainable development priorities and consider the role of Earth and environmental science in addressing these. Delegates came from diverse disciplines (e.g., geology, agriculture, geography, hydrology) and sectors (e.g., academia, commercial, government). Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a reference tool, participants identified primary development challenges and their research and data needs to help address these. Key themes included food security and nutrition, clean water and sanitation, and energy and climate change. Participants co-designed a set of draft science-for-development projects relating to these themes. BGS are using this information, together with the results of additional workshop activities, to inform the development of collaborative science-for-development activities in eastern Africa as part of our commitment to Official Development Assistance (ODA) in the region. We will further develop specific project ideas, using information gathered at this workshop, with appropriate regional and international partners. Information from this workshop provides supporting evidence of expressed development need and stakeholder expertise in eastern Africa. This information will guide future project applications to the Global Challenges Research Fund, and other appropriate research and innovation funding sources. Key Results and Conclusions During the workshop, small group discussions and group voting generated a collective ranking of SDG priorities. Participants also reflected on where they believe Earth and environmental science can make the greatest contribution to development impact. These rankings were: Overall SDG ranking (Eastern Africa) based on summing of small groups votes: 1. Quality Education (SDG 4) 2. No Poverty (SDG 1) 3. Water and Sanitation (SDG 6) 4. Good Health and Wellbeing (SDG 3) 5. Zero Hunger (SDG 2) Role for Earth and environmental science rankings: 1. Climate Action (SDG 13) 2. Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6) 3. Zero Hunger (SDG 2) =4. Good Health and Well-Being (SDG 3) =4. Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7) =4. Life on Land (SDG 15) Group discussions suggested that interconnectedness of SDGs and basic (immediate) development needs were likely to influence the prioritisation process. For example, participants noted that improving access to education (SDG 4) would improve access to jobs and economic growth (SDG 8), which enables enhanced investment in water and sanitation (SDG 6) and health (SDG 3). We used these rankings to establish three thematic working groups, with each tasked to identify specific challenges, research priorities, information needs and potential projects. Groups were:  Food security and nutrition. This group explored the environmental inputs required to improve nutrition in humans and animals.  Clean water and sanitation. This group explored water pollution, emphasising the need for stronger and more informed management of activities causing pollution.  Energy and climate change. This group explored ways to raise awareness of climate change and its impacts, and improve the understanding of future energy demand and locations. Developing these activities will require effective science-for-development partnerships. Partnership characteristics of greatest importance to participants attending this Lusaka workshop were (i) sharing of data, (ii) access to training and capacity building, (iii) sharing of project outputs, (iv) shared responsibility for project design, and (v) respectful dialogue.

Item Type: Publication - Report
Funders/Sponsors: Official Development Assistance (ODA) Research Platform
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This workshop was an activity of the BGS Eastern Africa Official Development Assistance (ODA) Research Platform. This item has been internally reviewed but not externally peer-reviewed
Date made live: 19 Dec 2017 13:49 +0 (UTC)

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