Photo: Dietmar Temps / Creative Commons

UNU-IAS and Africa
As one of the 15 institutes of the United Nations University, UNU-IAS actively supports the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and undertakes several projects that work toward the promotion of Africa’s development, and in particular, sustainable development. Capacity building activities and research projects that UNU-IAS carries out in partnership with African countries, organizations and institutes of higher education directly contribute to core programmes at UNU-IAS. Key Africa-related projects at UNU-IAS include:

Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development
Through the Institute’s education-sustainable-development">Education for Sustainable Development initiative, UNU-IAS works towards mainstreaming sustainability education in Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCEs), which are regional networks of formal, non-formal and informal education organizations. UNU-IAS acts as the Global RCE Service Centre for all RCEs. Currently, there are 117 RCEs globally, 22 of which are located in Africa. African RCEs focus on various aspects of sustainability, ranging from the recovery and documentation of traditional knowledge practices around biodiversity to contributions to the African Union Agenda to revitalize higher education on the continent.

wildlife-enforcement-monitoring-system-wems">Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring System (WEMS)
The Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring System (WEMS) is an environmental governance project whose objective is to monitor and protect wild fauna and flora from illegal wildlife trade. UNU-IAS, together with partners, is developing a common information sharing platform for government agencies to share information across boundaries. In the initiative’s pilot phase, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Congo joined the initiative, and have been sharing information through WEMS.

Savanna Fire Management and Sustainable Livelihoods
Almost 60 per cent of savannas, the most fire-prone vegetation type on earth and a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, and two thirds of the savanna human population are in sub-Saharan Africa. While ‘savanna burning’ is an accountable activity under the Kyoto Protocol, only Australia, as a developed economy, accounts for emissions from this source in its national accounts. The Australian government’s formal acceptance of indigenous (Aboriginal) approaches to fire management with development of scientifically robust emissions accounting methodologies, and its inclusion in Australia’s developing emissions trading scheme, paves the way for Aboriginal people to commercially benefit from savanna burning projects. With support from the Australian government, the Traditional Knowledge Initiative is working with partners to explore the potential for community-based savanna fire management to provide livelihood opportunities in other fire-prone savanna regions including in sub-Saharan Africa.

Biofuels in Africa
UNU-IAS researchers have been examining the environmental and socio-economic impacts of biofuels in Asia and Africa. Most recently, together with partners in the UK and South Africa, the UNU-IAS published a policy report that aims to synthesize the available evidence on biofuel impacts and identify the main trade-offs associated with biofuels in Africa.

Every five years the Government of Japan hosts the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), which serves as a major global framework for collaborative action between Asia and Africa for Africa’s development. The fifth conference, TICAD V, is being held in Yokohama, Japan from 1-3 June 2013. This year’s conference commemorates the 20th anniversary of the TICAD process and the 50th anniversary of the Organization of African Unity, the predecessor of the African Union.

The theme of this year’s conference – “Hand in Hand with a More Dynamic Africa” – is fully in line with the dual principles of African ownership and international partnership. Participants will discuss ways to keep Africa’s current economic growth stable while extending the benefits of development to all strata of society on the continent.

UNU-IAS will be hosting a series of events throughout the conference, including:

PART I: Education for Sustainable Development (ESD): A Sound Investment to Accelerate African Development

Saturday, 1 June - 17:30-18:40
Location: Room D, Annex Hall, Pacifico Yokohama
Registration: Not required

This side event will reinforce ESD as a sound investment in education. ESD promotes the quality and relevance of education to impact the lives, livelihoods and dignity of African people today and tomorrow. Please find more information about the event by clicking here.

Download the event flyer here.

PART II: Building Inclusive and Resilient Societies in Africa through Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

Saturday, 1 June - 18:50-20:00
Location: Room D, Annex Hall, Pacifico Yokohama

This side event is organized by the Education for Sustainable Development initiative at UNU-IAS, in close collaboration with UNESCO, UNICEF and the Government of Japan. It will highlight the experiences of the Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCE) and their work towards building inclusive and resilient societies in Africa through strategic partnerships. 

Download the report from the side event here.

Download the full minutes from the side event here.

Educational for Sustainable Developing in the Post-DESD Educational Agenda
Friday, 31 May - 11:00-12:30
Location: UNU-IAS in Yokohama
Registration: Register for this event from the event page.

Education and learning are critical for societies that aim at resilience, justice, decent quality of life and low carbon development. As the United Nations Decade on Education for Sustainable Development (DESD 2005–2014) comes to an end, it is important to ensure that education for sustainable development (ESD) maintains a place of priority in development strategies.

This seminar will enable participants to share their views on targeted communications and education in the post-DESD development agenda. Views shared at the seminar will be compiled and offered as input to the 2013 International Steering Committee meeting for the DESD post-2014 planning, the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Inter-Agency Committee on DESD chaired by UNICEF, the launch of UNICEF’s Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Resource Manual in September 2013, the Post 2015 dialogues in UNICEF co leadership on Education for Sustainable Development with UNESCO.

See also the United Nations University website for other UNU events related to TICAD V.