New Higher Education Partnership to Focus on Community-based Natural Resource Management Education in Southern Africa 

May 20, 2009 
Contact: Higher Education for Development
(202) 243-7680

 WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 20, 2009) – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Higher Education for Development (HED) have awarded a three-year grant to the University of Florida, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Sokoine University of Agriculture, the University of Botswana and the Southern African College of Wildlife Collaboration.

This multi-country, multi-institution partnership will receive $600,000 from USAID to improve education in community-based natural resource management. With management support from HED, the partners will focus on implementing new curriculum to help students at undergraduate, graduate and vocational learning levels. Short courses for trainers and working professionals in local industry will also be created and conducted. 

“The Southern and Eastern Africa regions will benefit in multiple ways from the work being proposed by this ambitious partnership,” said HED Executive Director Tully Cornick. “As the partnership works to develop natural resources management guidelines and practices, students, faculty members, policymakers, NGO professionals and the community-at-large will all benefit.”

The partners in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and the United States will share information across borders to create a scholar-practitioner community of practice that will likely include 25 universities and colleges, 13 non-governmental organizations and other groups. Natural resource management materials, including publications and materials on best practices, will also be shared by faculty members during regional workshops and through an online Web portal. This community-based approach will be presented to regional policymakers.

Other partners involved in this effort include the World Wildlife Fund, Academy for Educational Development, ARD Inc., Development Alternatives Inc., Wilderness Safaris and Rhodes University.