December 21, 2016
The Research Workshop: “Overcoming the Challenges of Land Use Changes in the Transboundary Mara Basin” took place from the 21st to the 25th of November in the Narok County, one of the counties relating to the Mara River Basin. The workshop is one of this year’s research measures supported by CNRD and was organized by Prof. Dr. James B. Kung’u from the Kenyatta University and Dr. Rui Pedroso from the TH Köln. The Mara River Basin is a transboundary basin shared between Kenya and Tanzania. The catchment area of the basin is ca. 13,750 km². The upper part is 8,941 km² large and located in Kenya making about 65% of the whole basin. The lower part is located in Tanzania with an area of ca. 4,809 km², which is about 35% of the whole basin. It is the lifeline to the Maasai Mara and Serengeti Game reserves, world-famous for their rich biodiversity. Mara River plays a very important ecological role, especially during the annual wildlife migration between the two parks. Mara River also supports very rich natural forests at its source on the Mau Escarpment, large-scale mechanized farming, smallholder subsistence farms, communal pastoral grazing lands and some wetlands. The river drains into the Lake Victoria and ultimately forms the upper catchments of the Nile Basin. The Mara basin is considered to be one of the more serene sub-catchments of the Lake Victoria basin. This perception notwithstanding, there is growing evidence of unprecedented land use change in the upper catchments, resulting from deforestation affecting the headwaters, while current privatization of pastoral lands is attracting immigrants to the watershed with the population growth reaching 7% annually. This deterioration from the “pristine” catchment affects the hydrology of the Mara river and its environments, with great adverse impacts on wildlife and humans. There is need to determine the impacts of land use change on the Mara basin, consequent impacts on the flow regimes of the river and to identify solutions for overcoming the challenges of the land use change. The proposed research workshop will bring stakeholders together to identify the challenges and develop a research proposal for the Mara basin.
Researchers from different organizations such as Kenyatta University, ITT TH Köln, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, World Agroforestry Centre, Maasai Mara University, UNEP, Kenya Forestry Service, Narok County government and NGOs were brought together to identify the challenges and to give advice on the way forward. Various research methods and tools for the study were discussed to identify changes in land use/cover, hydrology and hydrochemistry impacts. Another focus of the workshop was the identification and discussion of the most suitable landscape rehabilitation methods, their potential impacts on the watershed services and involved costs.
November 25, 2016
From the 14th to 16th of November 2016, a workshop on “Water balance and accounting for the Eastern Nile using advanced methodologies” was hosted by the Water Research Center (WRC), University of Khartoum. This workshop was sponsored by the Center for Natural Resources and Development (CNRD) at the ITT, Cologne University of Applied Sciences.
The workshop gathered participants from Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt, who come from academia and governmental bodies. In the three day workshop, intensive sessions of presentations and discussion were conducted. The main theme was investigating the potentiality of using advanced methodologies, products and tools in water balance and accounting for the Eastern Nile region.
The sessions included presentations covering a wide spectrum of data, methods and tools which could be useful in developing accurate water balance and water accounting for this area. Among others, sessions included cases on using remote sensing to estimate actual evapotranspiration and rainfall and evaluating hydrological models. Several participants showed applications of using remote sensing to manage surface water and groundwater, and many applications on identifying potential water harvesting sites.
Many participants contributed to the theme by showing case studies of real applications of products, methods and tools. For instance, using remote sensing data to advance multi-criteria drought index, and using satellite-based actual evapotranspiration to analyze the efficiency of water use in agricultural schemes. Moreover, validation of open-source precipitation data on river basin level and using these data for water accounting in the Nile basin region were presented and discussed extensively.
Results of the fruitful discussions during this workshop emphasized the importance of advanced approaches in water resources management generally, and specifically in estimating water balance and conducting water accounts. One of the major outcomes of this workshop was developing a research concept using these advanced approaches for water accounting to ensure food security in the region. This research concept has potential to act as a collaborative effort, where researchers, governmental bodies and other stakeholders could work jointly in using these advanced data and tools and following these up-to-date methods. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop useful products needed by end users to ensure water and food security in this area.
November 14, 2016
Here is a short film by the Deutsche Welle Akademie, which presents the Exceed project and how it tackles wicked problems such as forced migration.
The program “Higher Education Excellence in Development Cooperation” (Exceed) is composed of five German higher education institutions – Technical University Braunschweig, University of Hohenheim, University of Kassel, TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences) and Ludwig-Maximilians-University München. Exceed was established by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in 2009 and funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) since its inauguration. Since then, these centers in collaboration with their 37 partners in developing countries, have been establishing think tanks to contribute to the post-2015 development agenda.
November 14, 2016
CNRD partner universities join forces at the annual network meeting at Vietnam Academy for Water Resources, Da Nang
From October 31 – November 04, 2016, 36 representatives from 20 CNRD partner universities as well as members of the CNRD Advisory Board came together at this year’s network meeting, hosted by Vietnam Academy of Water Resources (VAWR) in Da Nang, Vietnam. Particularly gratifying at this year’s meeting was the participation of four new partners of the network. This shows, on one hand, the high relevance of CNRD and its topics in this world. On the other hand, the network expansion is also a confirmation of the efforts made so far and the work done in recent years. The fact that all new partners have been integrated directly into the planning of the activities for 2017 is a positive signal for the future and represents a further milestone in the consolidation of a sustainable network, which has declared its goal to continue even after the end of the funding period in 2019. Following this logic, the meeting focused on strengthening sustainable collaboration structures among the partners, defining future activities and developing an outlook for the following years. The network meeting started with warm welcome notes from the hosting university CNRD partner Prof. Tung Phong Nguyen and the Director General of VAWR Prof. Nguyen Vu Viet.
The first day of the network meeting was conducted in form of a symposium. CNRD had the opportunity to present its activities and achievements of the last years to the public and regional stakeholders from the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the World Bank (WB), representatives from CNRD’s donor the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) – just to name a few. In various roundtable discussions, potentials for cooperation within the scope of research and education were elaborated and identified. A basis for future cooperation was created.
In the short time of the meeting, it was possible to successfully define the planning for 2017. Through intensive cooperation of the participants, numerous activities were prepared and a concrete schedule was made. Noteworthy and appreciated by all participants was the exploration of common interests and the interdisciplinary approach of the CNRD. Particularly pleasing is the fact that different (new) working groups were formed here and that these common interests have been transferred directly into joint workshops and other activities.
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October 31, 2016
Migration is currently one of the main issues worldwide, however, the topic is not as new as often suggested by the public media. The reasons for migration or rather people are forced to escape from their living environment are manifold. They are not only fleeing from war, violence, suppression and persecution, but many thousands are leaving their homes because of hunger and poverty induced by a lack of economic opportunity, an ever-increasing degradation of their natural environment and the growing number of natural disasters.
As focal point of the Centers for Natural Resources and Development, the Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT), TH Köln together with four other universities organize the first exceed Conference on “Forced Migration – environmental and socioeconomic dimensions” from the 19th – 20th October 2016 in Berlin.
In 2009, five German higher education institutions – Technical University Braunschweig, University of Hohenheim, University of Kassel, TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences) and Ludwig-Maximilians-University München – were selected to be part of the Excellence for Development Cooperation (Exceed) Program by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Since then, these centers in collaboration with their 37 partners in developing countries, have been establishing think tanks to contribute to the post-2015 development agenda.
These five Exceed centers have now combined their forces to take a closer look at the environmental and socioeconomic dimensions of forced migration together with scientists, politician and the public from all around the world by organizing this first Exceed conference. During the course of the conference, current research results were presented, challenges were discussed and new strategies to prevent forced migration were identified in an interactive conference set-up.
After two days of intensive work, proposals and ideas for cooperation projects on the topics of development-induced displacement, water security, decent work, food & nutrition security and many more were developed. Particularly noteworthy are the many south-south cooperations that were formed. The focus of their work is on aspects of rural areas (agriculture, health), but also on the analysis of the effects of forced migration on the economies of different countries. More specifically, there will be workshops in 2017, research groups have been formed and networks were created. It is currently being considered to incorporate these diverse topics into the framework of a follow-up conference in 2017, thus providing the different working groups a platform to present their results of the project in 2017.
For further information please refer to the exceed website
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October 26, 2016
The annual CNRD Network meeting will be held in Da Nang, Vietnam, from October 31st to November 4th, 2016. Here, representatives from thirteen worldwide members of the CNRD network gather to discuss the relevant issues of the network, share their experiences and decide on the activities for the following year. The first day of the meeting is organized in the form of a symposium in which the network’s activities are presented to regional and national organizations and potential areas for future cooperation are highlighted. International experts from academia and political stakeholders from Vietnam come to Da Nang to attend the event; these include representatives from the Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE). Moreover, representatives from global directed organizations, such as the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) as well as the CNRD-exceed project funding organization, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) will participate to foster a community of practice on natural resources management and development. The results of the discussions and the high density of experience presented during the network meeting serve as a framework for a future strategy and increases the visibility of the CNRD network in its field of interest – natural resources management.
CNRD is a worldwide university network promoting academic exchange and cooperation in the area of natural resources management, in particular related to water, land, ecosystem and renewable energy resources. The network aims to provide a valuable contribution to the Post 2015 Agenda and to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
October 12, 2016
Are you looking where to publish your research about Natural Resources and Development? The Journal of Natural Resources and Development (JNRD) is calling for papers and looking for more reviewers!
For more information follow the link: http://eepurl.com/chVWmX
September 14, 2016
The IUCN World Conservation Congress took place from the 1st to the 10th of September 2016 with a record-breaking 9,500+ participants, making it the largest ever and first time in the United States. President Obama delivered a welcome message the day before while announcing the creation of the largest marine protected area ever: the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, Hawai’i. Several speakers mentioned the importance of protected areas and ecosystems for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. These topics were also addressed in four sessions in which the CNRD participated.
In one of these sessions, the new book, “Ecosystem-based DRR and Adaptation in Practice”, that was edited by members of the CNRD and the Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR), was officially launched. Seven (of the 77) authors presented highlights of their chapters. The book is a compilation of recent developments in the field of ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction and climate change adaption (Eco-DRR/CCA) globally, with contributions from different CNRD member countries. It provides further evidence that ecosystem-based approaches make economic sense, and showcases how research has progressively filled knowledge gaps about translating this concept into practice. It presents a number of methods, and tools that illustrate how Eco-DRR/CCA has been applied for various ecosystems and hazard contexts around the world and discusses how innovative institutional arrangements and policies are shaping the field of Eco-DRR/CCA.
In the session “Ecosystems and Society in a Changing World: Experience, Exchange, and Learning about EbA and Eco-DRR that Works,” Udo Nehren presented research on coastal dunes systems in Vietnam, Indonesia and Chile that has been conducted by several researchers of the CNRD network. In his presentation Dr. Nehren pointed out that coastal dune systems are important buffers against natural hazards, such as tropic cyclones, storm surges and tsunamis. However, in many countries of the global south coastal dunes are severely degraded due to rapid coastal development and a lack of integrated management practices. The CNRD therefore fosters research and action that aims at protecting, restoring and sustainably managing coastal dune management in the partner countries.
In two sessions on learning tools for ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction and resilience building, Simone Sandholz and Udo Nehren presented teaching materials that have been jointly developed by the CNRD. These materials include the master’s module “Disasters, Environment and Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR)” that is currently being translated into Japanese, as well as the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) “Disasters and Ecosystems: Resilience in a Changing Climate,” that was jointly developed by the TH Köln, the CNRD and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The World Conservation Congress offered an excellent platform to promote the CNRD and disseminate its research activities and products.
September 6, 2016
Perspectives of higher education institutions in development cooperation
19th – 20th October 2016, Berlin
At present migration is one of the main issues worldwide, however, the topic is not as new as often suggested by the public media. The reasons for migration, or rather people being forced to escape from their living environment, are manifold. They are not only fleeing from war, violence, suppression and persecution, but many thousands are leaving their homes because of hunger and poverty induced by a lack of economic opportunity, an ever-increasing degradation of their natural environment and the growing number of natural disasters.
As a focal point of the Centers for Natural Resources and Development, the Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT), TH Köln together with four other universities are organizing the first exceed Conference on “Forced Migration – environmental and socioeconomic dimensions” on October 19th, 2016 in Berlin.
If you wish to attend the conference, please note that the registration deadline is September 30th, 2016.
July 28, 2016
Continuing the workshops’ series of the Curriculum Development of the Interdisciplinary Master Program “Resource Efficient Cities” (IMaREC) which started in Cairo, Egypt in June 2015, the 4th workshop took place in UASLP, San Luis Potosi – Mexico during the period 18th – 23rd July 2016. Four partner universities of the CNRD network in addition to UASLP participated in the workshop: TH Köln, Germany; ASU, Egypt; KU, Kenya; and UGM, Indonesia.
The workshop was twofold in that it included activities of both curriculum development and research. The curriculum development workshop aimed at defining course structures, learning units and full description of the four core courses comprising the first semester of IMaREC in terms of course aims/objectives, Intended learning outcomes (ILOs), course content, teaching method(s) and assessment method(s). The research workshop aimed at promoting the concept of resource efficient cities and prioritized relevant topics of the city as a socio-ecological and thus metabolistic system. This was done by developing a systematic urban case study approach for a scalable cities, including Cairo, Egypt (mega city), San Luis Potosi, Mexico and Yogyakarta, Indonesia (medium size cities), and Kisumu, Kenya (small size city) in order to pave the road to draft relevant and specified research proposals responding to calls of bilateral or multilateral funding options.
The workshop was enriched by two open sessions with inputs from international guests of topics related to resource efficient cities such as “Urban metabolism and system theory”, “Water efficient urban systems”, and “Introducing urban sustainable model: La Pila”. Professors and students from the different faculties of UASLP joined the opening sessions and participated actively in the discussions. Furthermore, the workshop included a very interesting field trip to explore urban strategies for food production and water management in a local elementary school as a sustainable model developed by UASLP, where sustainable practices of rainwater harvesting, urban farming, greenhouse, fruit trees farm, waste water treatment, soccer field design and photovoltaic design have been implemented. The field trip also included visits to local brick makers and to a social housing development “Villa Esperanza” for exploring environmental-social design aspects and community governance.
Moreover, the workshop hosted an important event for strengthen international cooperation; based on the CNRD agreement, a bilateral agreement between ASU, Egypt and UASLP, Mexico was launched with the presence of the Egyptian Consulate of the Egyptian Embassy in Mexico and the Rector of UASLP.