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CEECEC Workshop Nairobi

Tana Delta, Kenya (Nancy Arizpe)

Report on the CEECEC Workshop “Learning Ecological Economics with Non-Governmental Organisations through case studies”, ISEE Biennial Conference in Nairobi , August 08, 2008

A successful CEECEC workshop was held on August 8th, 2008 as part of the ISEE Biennial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya. The 3 ½ hour session included a presentation on the origins, goals, approach and planned outputs of the project. The latter include a database of environmental conflicts in different countries (to be led by ASud, a CEECEC partner that has worked extensively on this issue), an online ecological economics handbook, and an interactive web based course for ecological economics and environmental policy making, based on the case studies developed through the CEECEC project. Some of the project’s case studies were highlighted, before Robinson Djeukam (of CED-FoEI, our Cameroonian partner in the CEECEC consortium) gave a short presentation about forestry conflicts in Cameroon, one case study CED-FoEI is developing.

Cameroon forests (CED-FoEI)

Hadley Becha, Deputy Director of The East African Wildlife Society also participated in the CEECEC workshop, to discuss the organisation’s work on environmental conflicts in the Tana Delta (East Kenya). This presentation provided a view of the threats posed to local pastoralist and fishing communities and ecosystems by plans for the development of large sugar cane plantations.

Tana Delta, Kenya

Tana Delta, Kenya (Nancy Arzipe)

Following the presentation of each of these African case studies was what could be described as a “live Ecological Economics” session. Attended by CEECEC consortium members Willi Haas (IFF-UKL), Peter May and Valeria Da Vinha (REBRAF), Walter Pengue (GEPAMA) and led by Nicolas Kosoy (ICTA-UAB), an open discussion with the audience, ecological economists and civil society representatives, focused on possible opportunities for collaboration between ecological economists and civil society organisations within the contexts of these (and other) cases of environmental conflict.

In addition to the August 8th workshop on Learning Ecological Economics, the CEECEC project also hosted two separate film screenings focussed on environmental conflict in East Africa. “Darwin’s Nightmare” was shown on the evening of August 9th, chronicling the effects of the Nile perch fishing industry on Lake Victoria. The following evening saw the screening of two more films. First, “Dongu Kundu” documented the conflict in Kwale in southern Kenya’s coastal region, in the context of Tiomin Resources’ plans to strip-mine titanium. Another very local environmental conflict, “Trash is Cash”, is a narrative about recycling of materials in the Dandora dump site in Nairobi that recognises the dump as both a health hazard and a source of income for the slum dwellers. Filmed from the perspective of Formada, a community self-help youth group from Dandora, the post-screening discussion session was fortunate to benefit from the presence of some of its members, as well as the film’s director, Alessandra Argenti of the Cultural Video Foundation.

CEECEC’s contributions to the proceedings of the ISEE conference were well received and attended. Workshop/dissemination events are planned for the ESEE conference to be held in Ljubljana,

Slovenia, from June 29th to July 2nd, 2009 and for the Brazilian Eco-Eco conference to be held in Cuiabá (Pantanal) in August 2009.