Southern Africa Regional Fire Workshop and African Learning Exchange Dec 2014

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ISFMI. 2014. Final Report Namibia UNU Fire Workshop Learning Exchange 2014.

Southern Africa Regional Workshop

From 4 – 5 December 2014 in Swakopmund, Namibia, the ISFMI co-hosted a Southern African workshop in conjunction with the non-governmental organisation Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC).

The objective of the workshop was to enable a broader audience of Southern African officials, scientists and non- government organisations to hear of outcomes from the successful learning exchange that immediately preceded the workshop and share information about their own fire management context and experience.

Southern African Regional Fire Workshop participants. Photo: ISFMI
Approximately 30 participants attended including representatives from Angola, Australia, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The Southern African workshop was an activity of the ISFMI supported by the Australian Government through its aid budget. The initiative aims to raise awareness globally of Australia’s experience in methodology based fire management and explore the feasibility of the approach as a tool for emissions reductions, biodiversity protection and creating sustainable livelihoods opportunities for indigenous and local communities in fire dependent landscapes globally.

Learning Exchange

From 24 November – 3 December 2014 in Namibia, the United Nations University (UNU) Traditional Knowledge Initiative (TKI) co-hosted an African learning exchange in conjunction with the non-governmental organisation Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC).

The purpose of learning exchange field trip was to explore savanna burning practices, particularly in communal conservancies and the National Parks in the far north-east of Namibia, as well as Etosha National Park in the north-central part of the country. The history of burning and current fire strategy in this vast park, one of the largest savanna conservation areas in Africa was highlighted. Zambezi-Kanvango regions border on Angola, Botswana and Zambia. IRDNC, which pioneered community-based natural resource management in Namibia, also works in partnership with government, NGOs and neighbouring communities in these countries.

During the learning exchange, a small group including indigenous representatives, scientists and other fire management experts, travelled to areas in and around the Caprivi and Etosha National Parks, Namibia to learn about the local fire management and social context and exchange information about experience in Africa and Australia.

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Participants in African Fire Learning Exchange, Namibia. Photo: UNU

The learning exchange was an activity of the UNU TKI’s International Savanna Fire Management Initiative, supported by the Australian Government through its aid budget. The initiative aims to raise awareness globally of Australia’s experience in methodology based fire management and explore the feasibility of the approach as a tool for emissions reductions, biodiversity protection and creating sustainable livelihoods opportunities for indigenous and local communities in fire dependent landscapes globally.

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Namibian rangers discuss fire management with indigenous Australian fire ecologists in Nambia. L to R: Shaun Ansell, Wardekken Land Management Australia; Singwanga Matambo, a Namibian Parks Ranger; Nigel Gellar, Wardekken; Dean Yibarbuk, Wardekken. Photo: ISFMI

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