The CSPE (Communities of Science and Practice Engage) Network: Mitigating the implementation gap in environmental initiatives through community engagement and public pedagogies

It is estimated that 70% of the population of Uganda, Botswana, and Nigeria directly depend on the biodiversity of their ecosystems for their livelihoods, health and well-being. These ecosystems are being damaged at alarming rates in conjunction with a deterioration of social, cultural, and economic prosperity. While research, innovation, and policy addressing these environmental and social realities is carried out nationally and internationally, these occur largely without community involvement or qualitative input and mostly without successful implementation (Adelle, 2016; Oluka, 2016; Rwakakamba, 2009; Wingqvist & Nilsson, 2013). The CSPE Network brings together environmental and social scientists in community and public pedagogies with the following key aims:

  1. To mitigate the gap between expertise in environmental science, community engagement and public pedagogies, as well as the social, cultural, and economic realities of land/water dependent communities in Uganda, Botswana, and Nigeria.
  2. To build sustainable and productive partnerships between social scientists (community engagement and public pedagogy) environmental scientists (agricultural and ecological sciences) and non-academic Community-Based Organisations (community development and sustainability).

The Network currently has 17 members across 4 countries.

PI: Mia Perry, Co-I’s: Bonnie Slade and Dan Haydon (MVLS). Our Network includes colleagues from Makerere University in Uganda, The University of Botswana, and Obafemi Awolowo in Nigeria.  Non-academic partners include: The Apala Widows and Orphanage Centre (AWOC) in Uganda; The Ngamiland District CBNRM Forum in Botswana; and The Women Environmental Programme (WEP) in Nigeria.

Start and End Date: January 2017 – July 2018

Funder and funding amount: ESRC, £129,000

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