Oval 377 Created with Sketch Beta. Urban Natural Assets for Africa (UNA Rivers)

ICLEI together with project partners SwedBio, Stockholm Resilience Center, JRS-Foundation, Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), and the African Center for Cities, designed 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.

Through generous funding from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) through SwedBio, this project supported knowledge exchange between important stakeholders in cities across the African continent, through capacity development with regards to biodiversity and ecosystem services.This capacity building was based on a thorough needs-assessment conducted in each of the participating cities.

The aim of this capacity building programme was to contribute to meeting the objectives of sustainable use of regional biodiversity and ecosystem services, and to improve human well-being, alleviate poverty and strengthen resilience amongst the urban poor.  This project worked in 4 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, namely: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Lilongwe, Malawi; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and Cape Town, South Africa.

Oval 377 Created with Sketch Beta. PROJECT DETAILS

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

This project worked in two phases:

Phase 1: Data-gathering consultations (November 2014 – February 2015)
Key cities of interest for the project were determined through consultations between ICLEI CBC and their local networks, and SRC and SwedBio. A focus group of representatives from the cities, including decision-makers, planners, experts and representatives from different civil society organizations, were identified and contacted.
Following this, stakeholder workshops were held as in some of the key cities, to function as needs assessment consultations, identifying constraints and challenges in city management.
The exact cities were determined in consultation with the local representatives.
The findings can now be used to create insights into how biodiversity and ecosystem services can assist in addressing city challenges which will feed into the second phase of the project.

Phase 2: Course modules (2015)
Supporting knowledge transfer, exchange and co-production were achieved mainly through capacity-building workshops. ICLEI Africa’s energy, adaptation, water and food work streams contributed to integrated training content within these respective themes. The number and subject content of the modules were determined through the consultation phase (Phase 1) and in conjunction with partners and city practitioners. These workshops/modules were needed to be practical, with a strong awareness-raising component, and offering some easily-applied tools or first steps which Local Governments with low capacity can implement.

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