SEACC SF has successfully put together a marketing package for the JSE! Lets hope it helps hook us some investors!
We have a lot planned for the coming year! With projects like WildReach, Hamburg and VoW set to have some incredibly notable impacts on the way our generation addresses environmental issues!
Just check out these proposals:
JSE Marketing Package:
The South East African Climate Consortium Student Forum (SEACC SF) has emerged, from its humble beginnings as a movement consisting of two Rhodes University students in February 2010, into a powerful student crusade aimed at tackling issues of climate change and sustainability, with driven and ambitious committees at Rhodes University, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, University of Fort Hare and Walter Sisulu University..
Together SEACC SF and its partner organisations have jointly engaged in a number of projects to tackles issues of climate change and sustainability, and SEACC SF has done so without any funding, except for occasionally dipping into the rather shallow pockets of the students involved; with funding we believe we can do so much more and further embody the SEACC slogan: “Sustainability through knowledge and action”.
Some of the initiatives we have engaged in thus far include:
ØHosting a number of lectures on climate change and sustainability including both student leaders in their fields as well as prominent individuals such as Professor Sir David King, and other highly esteemed academics.
ØPartnering with the Rhodes Zoological Society we helped to host a climate change educational project for school children.
ØWe have engaged in a number of demonstrations to show our support for decisive action on climate change and sustainability.
ØA number of our students have taken part in courses aimed at discovering why it is that our planet is habitable and how we can keep it that way.
ØThrough successful marketing and public exposure we have grown our membership to over 100 students.
ØWe have hosted a number of tree planting ceremonies to restore our natural environment and capture carbon.
ØWe have developed an online, interactive educational course dedicated to issues of climate change and sustainability, which serves as a knowledge commons, and can be utilised by anyone to upload or download information on sustainability and climate change and much more:
ØWe have taken part in and contributed to global movements such as Earth Day and the 10:10 Global Working Party Initiative.
ØWe have helped to raise funds for noble causes such as the Cape Recife Conservancy and the Rhodes University Green Fund.
ØSEACC SF will also be one of the driving forces of the Youth Environmental Coalition of South Africa.
For the rest of the year we will also be engaging in a number of initiatives such as: ocean and river clean-ups; green summits; along with other organisations, running and organising Rhodes University Environmental Week; calculating student carbon footprints to raise awareness; hosting debates and lectures; running workshops and giving demonstrations; and visiting schools to teach them about sustainable development and environmental awareness.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
SEACC SF has harnessed the energy, creativity and ingenuity of the youth to develop a number of project ideas which are aimed at: helping rural communities to sustainably co-exist with their environment; reducing the ecological footprint of their universities and communities; bringing together students from across the globe to work together on forging a new way of life based on the principles of the green generation; and shifting the paradigm of development within Southern Africa.
What follows is a brief summary of some of the project ideas we have discussed and would like to take up. More details on the projects specifics can be obtained through contacting SEACC SF (contact details to be found at the end of this document).
The greater aim of WildREACH is to empower local communities in the Eastern Cape by using knowledge as a driving force to create an interest in wildlife conservation in the region while revealing the direct social and economic benefits of conserving wild areas. The programme follows a participatory paradigm to conservation.
WilldREACH would involve getting SEACC SF student volunteers (or student mentors) involved in helping local youth between the ages of 15 and 18 to develop or further any existing interest in wild areas, the natural environment and their importance. This will mainly be driven through field trips directly concerned with conservation through knowledge sharing, in the form of presentations, talks, game drives and other stimulating activities.
Greener Campuses and Communities Initiative
Through a number of different projects we aim to reduce the ecological footprint of both our university campuses and the surrounding communities. Here are just some of the ways we aim at doing so: installing and developing recycling systems; installing renewable energy technologies such as solar geysers and micro-wind turbines; promoting responsible consumerism through knowledge sharing and active community engagement programmes; and raising awareness around issues of sustainability and climate change through lectures, knowledge sharing, demonstrations and educational programmes.
Varsities of the World
South Africa stands in a unique position as it is a potential host for the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) of the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC). SEACC SF thus ambitiously proposes to play a part in hosting a parallel meeting of representatives of environmental student organisations from all over the world. Together with organisations such as the United Nations Environmental Programme and the Youth Environmental Coalition of South Africa, we aim to push forward and unite environmentally conscious students across international borders, encouraging discussion and developing recommendations, proposals and solutions to environmental problems currently facing this generation.
Hamburg is a coastal community situated on the coast between East London and Port Alfred. The community has one of the highest numbers of HIV positive people per capita in the country. The community also has extreme shortages of wood, food and water and thus is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. SEACC SF aims to engage with the Hamburg community in order to assist them in developing sustainable solutions that will better equip them to deal with climate change in a sustainable manner. Some of the Hamburg projects we have proposed thus far include:
Small-scale Wind Turbines
Due to the water-shortages in the area, and a degrading vegetable garden we propose to install small-scale wind-turbines that involve the use of wind energy to meet water access and electricity needs. Water can be provided for the community in general as well as for the vegetable garden (which is a fifth of the size it use to be). The vegetable garden provides fresh vegetables for the community and it is situated right next to the HIV/AIDS clinic and thus provides vitamins and nutrients for the patients. The wind turbines can simultaneously provide renewable energy for the SEAS Centre or other community buildings.
Fuel-Efficient Coal Stoves
Due to wood shortages and deforestation, fuel-efficient coal stoves offer communities a more fuel-efficient way to prepare their food. In this way the reforestation efforts that we will be embarking on in the area will be more effective as these stoves use 50% less wood than an open fire does to the same effect. Most importantly this addresses global sustainable needs as well as preventing the many smoke-related illnesses, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) and acute respiratory illness (ARI), that present themselves in the developing world as a result of constant interaction with open fires.
Some other Hamburg Projects:
ØReforestation and spekboom planting contributing to the development of a spekboom maze at the cultural village in Hamburg to replace the previous maze that was built out of a hazardous plant that carries poisonous milk. This will hopefully serve, amongst a number of educational and recreational purposes, as a tourist attraction, which can serve to increase the economy of Hamburg.
ØDeveloping a community-owned nursery, through which the community can both profit and restore their natural environment.
Sustainability Education and Skills (SEAS) Centres and SEA Pledges
Together with the Sustainable Seas Trust (SST), SEACC SF aims to work on developing SEAS Centres in coastal communities in South Africa. The purpose of SEAS Centres will be, amongst other things, to sustainably provide skills and education to communities, in order to empower them to sustainably lift their communities out of poverty. Through canvassing organisations and individuals to make commitments and contributions to lead sustainable lifestyles and to contribute to SEAS Centres through SEA Pledges, we aim to facilitate those who can afford to lead sustainable lifestyles to do so and also to help others who have no choice but to unsustainably harvest natural resources. SEAS Centres simultaneously deals with issues of poverty and economic development,education and sustainability. Outcomes will be an improved environment, greater prosperity, better understanding and reduction of anthropogenic contributions to global warming.
These are just some of the projects that SEACC SF envisages, and we believe that utilising the passion, dedication, innovation and commitment of the youth, combined with the guidance and wisdom of the more senior SEACC, as well as the much needed funding of sponsors, that all these factors will allow us to carry out these projects par excellence and in doing so make a tangible difference to South African communities and our natural environment.
SEACC SF recognise that students, as potential leaders and key players in society, have a responsibility to respond to what has become one of the strongest moral callings of our time by exerting our influence to create more sustainable societies in order that we can protect our natural environment, as well as the rights of current and future generations to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being, as enshrined in Section 24 (a) of the South African Constitution.
Under the patronage of Prof Mervyn King SEACC SF aims to establish across South East Africa and beyond, as a moral and social norm, amongst students and non-students alike, a responsible engagement with issues of climate change and sustainability.
Phone: Alex Lenferna +27 72 372 4144 or Olek Kaminski +27 73 210 9010
“The world is in our hands, and only together can we carry the weight.”
SEACC SF Chairperson
Over the last two decades, the Eastern Cape has transformed in terms of land use, from a primarily agricultural province to an internationally recognised wildlife area, with over a dozen game reserves offering ‘Big 5’ safaris and many other wildlife conservation areas. This transformation has presented countless profitable opportunities for local communities and has quickly proven that wildlife conservation can be far more lucrative than any previous land use. It is a case in point for the desire for environmental and social sustainability.
There are very few, if any, student societies or initiatives at Rhodes University (Grahamstown) that are directly concerned with the conservation of biodiversity – particularly wildlife conservation.There is a void waiting to be filled in terms of getting Rhodes students involved in an initiative concerned with promoting social and environmental sustainability through wildlife conservation. Many students - particularly those taking courses in Zoology, Environmental Science, Botany, Ichthyology and Entomology – already have a good idea of the importance of conservation and sustainability. However, local underprivileged communities, while possessing invaluable traditional knowledge, do not have access to the kind of knowledge that Rhodes University students have access to. This means that they are not afforded the opportunity to learn about and develop an interest in the benefits of conservation in terms of the social upliftment and economic empowerment created by the development of tourism /conservation in the Eastern Cape.Equally, Rhodes University students studying courses related to those mentioned above may have a surprising amount to learn from their fellow countrymen in terms of traditional knowledge and mindsets as applied to wild areas and their preservation.
The greater aim of WildREACH (Wildlife Outreach) is to empower local communities in the Eastern Cape by using knowledge as a driving force to create an interest in wildlife conservation in the region while revealing the direct social and economic benefits of conserving wild areas. This is vitally important and as John McNutt, Director of the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust aptly put it: “Success in any conservation effort anywhere in the world will depend on the social and economic security of the people who live directly in its shadow.”
WildREACH proposes to foster a valuable relationship between student volunteers and local communities in which knowledge is shared and applied in an effort to promote social and environmental sustainability through wildlife conservation.Outreach will entail getting student volunteers (which we will call student mentors) involved in helping local youth (which we will call mentorees) between the ages of 15 and 18 to develop new or further any existing interest in wild areas, the natural environment and their importance. A larger project will involve taking a group of about 20 – 40 mentorees, approximately 10 student volunteers, and any potential speakers for a weekend away at a local game reserve, such as Thomas Baines, Addo Elephant National Park, Amakhala or Kwandwe. Over the course of the weekend, there will be various activities directly concerned with conservation through knowledge sharing which may, for example, include:
·Presentations by student mentors on what they are studying/interested in and how it is related to environmental sustainability – simplified for impact and understanding
·Small group conversations and smaller presentations in which the mentorees voice their views, concerns and opinions on the matters at hand (reciprocal knowledge sharing)
·Talks by local game reserve managers on the importance of conservation
·Talks by local game scouts or camp staff on how the game reserve has provided a source of livelihood, purpose and income in their lives
·Game drives (while mentors chat with the mentorees about what is seen)
·Documentaries on wildlife conservation
·Educational games organised and managed by the mentors
·Feedback assignments and quizzes in which the mentorees have a chance to show what they have learnt
All the above activities, and any others, would require active participation on the part of the student mentors in terms of ensuring that the various WildREACH aims are reached. It must be noted that the programme would not be aimed at educating the mentorees alone, but also at developing the students’ understanding of wildlife conservation – after all, teaching is one of the best ways to learn.The mentorees themselves will also be able to make a valuable contribution by sharing their traditional understanding of and attitude towards wild areas and their preservation.
Smaller projects and activities could involve:
·An educational visit to Albany Museum in which each student mentor is assigned to a group of mentorees and is responsible for guiding his/her group around the museum; also, talks by various museum staff or zoology/entomology/ichthyology lecturers could be organised.
·An educational trip to SAIAB similar to that above.
·Educational Afternoon lectures /talks/presentations in Rhodes seminar rooms or lecture halls.
·Small trips to visit the field research site of a postgraduate student in Botany/ Zoology/ Ichthyology/ Entomology etc.
The list of wildlife reserves in the vicinity of Grahamstown is plentiful; names like Kariega, Addo, Amakhala, Great Fish River, Kwandwe, Pumba and Thomas Baines are all familiar. Furthermore, there is certainly no shortage of local rural schools full of youngsters and youth who would undoubtedly jump at the opportunity to become empowered through knowledge.
oRelevance and support
I, WildREACH founder Timothy Kuiper; hope to kick-start this initiative in 2011 as a project under the umbrella of the South East African Climate Consortium Student Forum (SEACC SF) and the Rhodes University Zoology Society.SEACC SF is a newly established student movement that aims to tackle issues of climate change and sustainability. I am a projects task team member of SEACC SF and the committee has expressed interest and enthusiasm in supporting WildREACH as one of its projects in 2011. The SEACC motto is “sustainability through knowledge”; an outlook that ties in well with WildREACH’s proposed approach to conservation education. Additionally, I am the Vice Chairman of the Zoology Society for 2010/2011 and I have presented these ideas to the Chair of the Zoology society, Chris Gornall, who is also excited to make the Zoology society more educationally focused through such an initiative. Chris and I have already discussed and planned to include a “conservation education trip” as one of the Zoology Society weekend excursions in 2011.
On the 17th of September 2010, The Zoology Society at Rhodes went on a community engagement day trip to Addo with four committee members (of which I was one) and six grade 11 learners from the local Nathaniel Nyaluza secondary school.The trip was a great success (the photograph on the proposal cover was taken on the trip) and the high-school students were enthusiastic and eager to learn. It was a small example of what WildREACH hopes to achieve in 2011. Contact has also been made with various local game reserves and schools regarding WildREACH involvement with positive results.
WildREACH has also spoken with Dr. Dan Parker, a lecturer in terrestrial ecology and African vertebrate biodiversity at Rhodes and a supervisor for various African wildlife zoological research Masters and PhD students. Dr. Parker has indicated that he will be willing to get involved in guiding the development of such an initiative and in getting the Zoology Department at Rhodes involved. There is a possibility that WildREACH may be incorporated into the Zoology Department’s undergraduate curriculum in an effort to increase students’ social awareness and its importance in conservation.He is the first member of the WildREACH advisory committee of Rhodes University Staff that has been set up to formalise the initiative and ensure that its development follows an effective trajectory. WildREACH has also met with the Dean of Science at Rhodes, Prof. Ric Bernard, and he has indicated that he will support the initiative in its development and perhaps endorse it as an initiative supported by the Faculty of Science at Rhodes when it gets off the ground.
I have a passion for African wildlife and its conservation and am in the process of mapping out my future based on this passion. I have some personal experience in volunteering on two zoological research projects and I am currently studying towards a BSc in Zoology. I worked for three weeks at the Botswana Predator Conservation Programme in the Okavango Delta and more recently in June/July 2010; I worked for three weeks as an assistant to Miss Tanith Grant for her Masters Leopard research in the Marula area of Zimbabwe. Later this year I plan to work for a PhD student Gareth Mann on another leopard research project, in the Little Karoo. From my personal experience, I can testify to the wonderful opportunity that lies in getting practically involved in wildlife conservation.
It is hoped, that by the end of 2011, WildREACH will be a fully fledged SEACC SF project with a year of experience under its belt. This will allow it to become an effective and official independent society at Rhodes University in 2012. It is part of Wild Reach’s vision to continue indefinitely as a student initiative at Rhodes University and perhaps become a part of undergraduate curricula within the Faculty of Science as mentioned earlier. Ultimately, WildREACH aims to make a significant contribution towards social and environmental sustainability in the Eastern Cape through wildlife conservation. With the relevant institutional and financial support, there is no reason why WildREACH should not fulfil this aim.
oAppeal For Funding
WildREACH, although a promising prospect, cannot take off without the relevant financial support. A formal funding proposal is in the early stages of its development and will include a formal budget and details of WildREACH trip dates and which particular schools and game reserve will be involved. It is, however, necessary to procure funding as soon as possible in order to develop a clearer idea of what WildREACH is capable of and where it might be heading. It has been decided that WildREACH will launch early in 2011 (March/April) with a day trip involving 12 mentorees from a school in Grahamstown (Nathaniel Nyaluza Secondary School, to be confirmed), 5 student mentors (The SEACC SF committee), a professor in Zoology (Dr. Parker) as well as a postgraduate zoology student (to be confirmed).The trip will involve a visit to one of three game reserves in the vicinity of Grahamstown: Addo Elephant national Park, Kwandwe private game reserve or Amakhala game reserve. Activities will involve a game drive, a visit to the conservation education centre (present at all three aforementioned reserves), a talk by Dr Parker and the postgraduate zoology student, a short wildlife documentary and a picnic lunch. Obvious costs would be game reserve permits (, transport (, food (and educational material for mentorees such as note pads, pens, wildlife booklets etc. (to give a total of . This is the minimum amount needed to set this initiative in motion. This is indeed an informal funding proposal, but it is vital for WildREACH to procure any sort of funding early on to help it get off the ground.
Therefore, this particular proposal may be viewed as an appeal for funding. At this stage, WildREACH would greatly appreciate any form of financial support, however small. If this proposal has reached you as a potential funder and you are willing to contribute to this cause financially, please do not hesitate to contact WildREACH on any of the contact details at the end of this proposal (see below).
“Success in any conservation effort anywhere in the world, whether directed at an endangered species or tropical forests, will depend on the social and economic security of the people who live directly in its shadow.” – John W McNutt
Timothy Kuiper (Founder)
Cell: 072 301 4601
Varsities of the World
Climate Change Conference Proposal
South Africa has been shortlisted as a potential host of the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) of the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) set to take place between the 28th of November and the 9th of December 2011. This provides an incredible opportunity to discuss and starting point for the implementation of various measures across a variety of political, geographical and social scales to combat climate change.
South African students find themselves in a unique position to become involved in the planning and implementation of real world environmental policy. Crucial to ensuring that this opportunity is maximised, are student organisations. Thus, the committee members of the South East African Climate Consortium Student Forum (SEACC SF) propose a plan to engage student participation in COP 17.
SEACC SF would like to propose a meeting of representatives of environmental student organisations from all over the world. This conference would seek to unite environmentally-conscious students across international borders, encouraging discussion and developing recommendations, proposals and solutions to environmental problems currently facing this generation.
The conference will be hosted by Rhodes University in Grahamstown and will take place subsequent to the Youth Environmental Coalition (YECO) mid-year summit to be held in June/July 2011. YECO is a coalition of South African environmentally-based youth initiatives, and serves as a means of connecting such bodies across South Africa and plans to act as a representative of South African youth at both VoW as well as at COP 17.
The aim is to bring together as great a number of students from as wide a variety of institutions as possible, with the main purpose of developing a credible and relevant proposal and set of recommendations to be put forward to decision makers at COP 17 in November/December on behalf of the world’s student environmental movements. Those parties who are unable to attend the conference in Grahamstown will be able to partake in the discussion via video-conferencing.
The urgent nature of the deadlines pertaining to both the YECO mid-year summit as well as to the VoW conference necessitates immediate action. To that end, SEACC SF has already begun the processes of:
contacting international student organisations
applying for sponsorship from private companies and environmental NGOs
sourcing accommodation for visiting representatives of student organisations
procuring venues for the conference and ensuring that they have the appropriate facilities
researching suppliers of transport for all participating student organisations as well as for video-conferencing equipment
initiating fundraising events
Needless to say, this is an undeniably simplified ‘to-do list’, but SEACC SF stands confident in its ability to research for, plan and implement a successful international conference – with the aforementioned steps as a mere basic guideline for actions to be taken now.
The VoW conference will act to connect environmentally-conscious student movements around the world so as to bring like minds together – albeit via teleconference – in the hopes of producing constructive and implementable plans to combat environmental issues for presentation to decision-makers at COP 17. This conference promises to be an extraordinary opportunity for students to come together on a global scale to effect worldwide change, and has the potential to provide an annual platform for the great minds of tomorrow to showcase their ideas with regard to maintaining the wellbeing of our planet and its people.
Environment Week is appraoching! And so is 10:10:10! SEACCSF is getting ready for the Green Fund Run (check out: http://www.ru.ac.za/environment/committee/greenfund/funrun ), debates, forums, guest speakers, demonstrations and more! And we're refining other project ideas too! Including the WildReach programme, the universities of the world pre-COP17 conference and a plethora of community engagement projects as a part of our go green campaign! Dont forget to follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/SEACCSF) and to join the Facebook group ( http://mzan.si/C2eM )!
Note for introduction which is being developed. The purpose of developing the consortium is to build a critical mass of highly qualified people and the knowledge base to enable all to be better able to deal with climate change issues. Such a group of people would be able to respond on an academic, business, environmental, social and governmental level as well as apply for grants and funding to strengthen the response to climate change.
Eastern Cape, National, International
The Eastern Cape is a particularly exciting place to develop issues pertaining to environmental change and the promotion of sustainability.
On the one hand it has the huge challenge of developing sustainable livelihoods of rural and coastal, resource dependent communities. Poverty and sustainability within these communities are issues of grave concern as such impoverished people have no choice but to adopt unsustainable practices. This point regarding poverty of resource dependent communities is clearly depicted in government documents as a national priority. Although the rural and coastal communities of the Eastern Cape are poor, they also have rich indigenous knowledge and cultural history. Every consortium member has involvement in better understanding such issues.
On the other hand the Eastern Cape has industrial cities, numerous towns and areas of conservation and of over exploitation.
The critical mass of capable people in SEACC are already experienced in these environments and are making positive scientific, socio-economic, anthropological and educational contributions to resolving problems.
A particularly exciting feature of the Eastern Cape is that it holds many opportunities to take a leadership role in promoting sustainable ways of life:
the cities and towns are not too big to become carbon neutral,
the communities are willing to participate and
there are many enthusiastic people throughout the Eastern Cape willing to play a role.
Success, therefore, depends upon a nexus of academia (provided mainly by SEACC), Government (national and local) and business to collectively serve civil society. The Global Change Grand Challenge of DST, for example, provides a superb frame work for a unifying theme that would enable SEACC to contribute to national priorities.
Nexus of academia, business and government serving the people of South Africa
Working with the nexus partners is fundamentally important. Issues of climate change and the need to find sustainable answers to so many challenges requires a concerted team effort. National government has the role of setting national agendas and to influence thinking on the continent and globally. SEACC would like to work with government to achieve national aspirations. Similarly, local government, both provincial and municipal, and SEACC have opportunities for team work that will benefit the constituents of the Eastern Cape.
Business is a major player and often a driver of positive environmental initiatives. Among the positive developments is the increasing attention that “Sustainability” is receiving, especially since the King Commission III made “Sustainability” a corner stone of the evaluation process in measuring success of companies.
Combining strengths in a consortium while maintaining sovereignty
Consortium is defined as
“a pooling of resources of the member organizations to share human and material assets as well as to link academic and administrative resources to achieve common goals”.
While the consortium does bring many advantages to each institution, it does not in anyway detract from the independence of each entity or encroach on the sovereignty of member universities and NGOs. It offers the opportunity to operate collectively for mutual benefit and, of course, the strength of providing a larger more effective critical mass of experts who are involved in teaching, research, public participation and development of strategies for sustainable ways of life. The consortium also provides a unified strength that will enable the consortium members to collectively compete for important bids and contract opportunities which would be more likely to succeed than if individual organisations operated alone.
Origins of SEACC.
Expertise in environmental and climate change in the Eastern Cape is excellent, but lacked a cohesive structure. Therefore, three universities and two NGOs have formed a nucleus of a consortium to provide and grow an effective critical mass in which to grow capacity, promote excellence and offer improved opportunities to students and staff while interacting positively with nexus partners and civil society.
A vision statement is “Promoting sustainability through knowledge” or more simply “Sustainability through knowledge”.
In essence, the consortium members would like to develop and impart the knowledge with which to sensibly promote sustainable ways of life and responsible behaviour. A fundamental precept of SEACC is to ensure that actions are informed by a sound knowledge-base rather than being emotionally driven. Therefore goals are to build knowledge, take knowledge to the people and encourage everyone to choose sustainable ways of life whether they are in a village, the office, a factory, at home, in the garden, in agriculture or in fisheries. In this regard the universities in the consortium are the primary (but not exclusive) developers of knowledge and builders of capacity and the NGOs the primary (but not exclusive) disseminators of knowledge. (see notes on vision at the end of this doc).
Universities primary developers of knowledge
The universities in the consortium will be more closely involved in the formal teaching of issues of sustainability (used here almost synonymously with counteracting negative environmental change while favouring positive actions that improve the environment), conducting research to increase knowledge that will lead to better individual, local, regional management of the environment. Ultimately, in some small way, local success may contribute to global improvement.
NGOs primary communicators of knowledge by involving others
The NGOs in the consortium are less involved in those primary functions of universities, though they also support university research and teaching when appropriate. NGOs are more involved in taking the knowledge generated to the public and encouraging people to use the most relevant knowledge to guide sustainable behaviour in their every day lives, whether it is at home, in the garden, in the office, with regard to travel options, in recreation and in agriculture, forestry or fishing.
Combined strengths help stakeholders in government, business and civil society
The perceived strength of the universities and NGOs acting together in this consortium is the knowledge generated by universities can be more readily carried to stakeholders by the NGOs. Success will be reflected by the manner in which stakeholders use the knowledge. Stakeholders include national government departments, municipalities, schools, environmental clubs, chambers of commerce and individuals.
Achieving the vision
To achieve the vision the universities and NGOs in the consortium will use knowledge to promote sustainable ways of life that will contribute to the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change. As indicate above, the responsibilities are shared.
Shared activities include:
·working in a nexus of academia (SEACC), business, and government to promote sustainable actions ’
·making knowledge available to stakeholders, including planners and managers in urban, agrarian, riparian and coastal areas, village communities; to local and national governments in order to contribute to more sustainable management of resources and where applicable to the shaping of policy and to business to help guide choices
·developing credibility as a strong identifiable unit with a critical mass of experts;
·competing successfully for bids, grants, donations and contracts;
·growing a track record of success which leads to the recognition of SEACC as a leader in African climate and sustainability issues;
·publishingactivities of SEACC for the benefit of all consortium members, for government and business,
·promoting, mainly through young people, a crusade for change to develop responsible “transient caretakers” to develop a momentum that leads to sustainable practices becoming an ethical imperative.
Those shared activities in which universities play a primary role include:
·generating knowledge through original research, studies (literature and other sources), attending conferences and workshops;
·using knowledge in teaching, in mentoring and in guiding students as well as interacting with the public, producing publications and presenting public lectures,
·developing a critical mass of top quality teachers and research supervisors in all disciplines encompassing climate change and sustainability by sharing expertise between consortium members cost-effectively in teaching undergraduates and post graduates,
·producing graduates and post-graduates in the area of climate change and sustainability who will in their own right become effective professionals;
·using skills in architecture, engineering, health, agriculture and conservation management to pioneer new ways to reduce negative impacts of human activities on the environment, finding ways to reduce poverty and developing sustainable livelihoods, while promoting positive impacts through use of improved products and behaviour.
·increase strengths in climate change research and data management
Those shared activities in which NGOs play a primary role include:
·using knowledge in interactions with civil society, at schools, in businesses, in conservation areas and in interactions with government to promote sustainability
·promoting public awareness through involvement that leads to sustainable actions;
·raising funds to maintain the activities of the consortium
Partners to the consortium
Associated institutes at universities are included in the consortium under the umbrella of the universities. For example, at RhodesUniversity there are a number of associated institutes, including SAIAB and SAEON, Institute for Water Research, Institute of Social and Economic Research and others which are included in the consortium by association. Some associated institutions have expressed an interest in becoming core consortium members in their own right. This is being considered by the Steering Committee.
PartnerUniversities and Institutions
Every department and institution of a university within the consortium is a member, but in addition partners at other universities (e.g. UCT, Wits) and research organisations (e.g. CSIR) nationally and internationally, drawn from specific departments, are collaborating on projects, proposals and bids. Such partners are not consortium members, but valuable colleagues and partners. Some other universities or NGOs may become full consortium members in the future.
A multidisciplinary approach is an imperative which involves a full spectrum of departments and faculties. Such a transdisciplinary approach reflects the realities of climate and environmental issues, they transcend every discipline and human action. Therefore, sustainable practices affect every discipline from accounting to zoology.
The founding nucleus of the consortium is based in the Eastern Cape, where a strong local focus will automatically predominate. However:
expertise and strengths already exist to meet national needs in accordance with national policies
when required, particularly if international bids are won that demand it, consortium members may operate anywhere on the continent,
the door to include partners and consortium members from firstly the Eastern Cape and secondly elsewhere in Africa is being kept open and
partnerships with other groups, consortia, organizations and institutions nationally and internationally are be fostered so that SEACC benefits from an exchange of expertise with other organisations, joint project applications, shared and joint research programmes and shared teaching opportunities.
Research, teaching (including MSc & PhD) and contracts.
SEACC members are planning to combine strengths where expedient to develop formal recognised teaching courses, offer outstanding degrees in “climate change” and sustainability at the undergraduate and post graduate levels. Details of how this might be achieved are being developed. There is a need to find a way to circumvent the tendency among teaching departments within individual universities to compete for students. The consortium favours collaboration over competition.
Prominent lecturers from elsewhere will be encouraged to give presentations to consortium members and to impart knowledge that will strengthen the consortium. At least three per year are to be planned. Such lectures will be open to the public so that the consortium serves the broad stakeholder base. The public lecture could be opened by a senior public figure.
Structure of the consortium
The bonds of the consortium are through Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) between members. The MOU provides the umbrella under which Agreements are to be developed.
Each consortium member is represented on the steering committee by two nominated individuals whose duties are defined by the MOU.
Serving Nexus partners
In addition to meeting the internal requirements of the SEACC members in the academic component of the nexus with business and government, SEACC will also serve its nexus partners. The services that are to be offered to national and local government are being defined in a business plan
NOTES on development of Vision:
Universities wish to provide the knowledge base for mitigation of climate change, to teach well, conduct research and build capacity serving people.
NGOs wish to mobilise people, support universities in their endeavours and lead public awareness. All wish to use their capacity to promote sustainable ways of life.
Knowledge to underpin for sustainability
Sustainable choices through knowledge
Building knowledge for sustainable ways of life
Promoting sustainability through knowledge
Sustainability through knowledge
Sustainability has meaning to business, science and the general populace and in each case it is taking actions that care for the environment and will reduce impacts on climate change. We can explore this in a text somewhere in which the different interpretations are given. In many respects, however, all actions taken in an effort to combat climate change are associated with a movement from unsustainable activities to those which are sustainable; sustainability is, therefore, the key word in climate change.
Promotion is through our own behaviour and the examples we set, through the courses we teach, through involving the public and in each case knowledge, understanding and facts will guide us. The universities in particular are in the business of knowledge; increasing knowledge through research and using knowledge to in teaching and building capacity. The NGOs may be more in the business of taking that knowledge to the public and helping them to make informed decisions regarding their behaviour in which sustainable behaviour is preferred to those actions which are unsustainable.
Web searches (good but not exhaustive) showed that there are no clashes with the wording and that there are a variety of scholarly books and papers which indicate that our views of what is intended by the vision are appropriate and accurately reflect the academic overtones which we wish to impart.
I am not sure that we need specifically to provide a mission statement, but prefer to move directly from vision to a statement which says to achieve the vision the universities and NGOs in the consortium will, inter alia:
·work with government and business in a nexus of academia (SEACC), business, and government to promote sustainable actions’
·guiding planners and managers in urban, rural and coastal areas;
·developing credibility as a strong identifiable unit that will become recognized and in demand;
·developing a critical mass of leaders as teachers and research supervisors in climate change top quality
·competing successfully for bids, grants, donations and contracts;
·growing a track record of success which leads to the recognition of SEACC as a leaderin African climate issues;
·sharing expertise between consortium members cost-effectively in teaching undergraduates and post graduates,
·producing graduates and post-graduates in the area of climate change;
·publicising activities of SEACC for the benefit of all consortium members
·promoting public awareness that leads to sustainable actions;
·increasing strengths in climate change research and data management
·using skills in architecture, engineering, health, agriculture and conservation management to pioneer new ways to reduce negative impacts of human activities while promoting positive impacts through use of improved products and behaviour which promotes sustainability .