From climate change and biodiversity loss to resource degradation and scarcity, complex environmental problems are increasing in relevance in both the scientific and policy communities. For Africa, policies for sustainable use of resources must be developed from contextualized socio-environmental models that help stakeholders understand actions that can lead to effective collective actions. A major challenge is to strengthen the capacity for such analysis of common resources among research and instructional communities. To effectively engage with these issues, local institutions must have the expertise to collaboratively synthesize and draw actionable solutions from existing environmental, economic, and social data. They must develop contextualized frameworks that are most locally relevant, and have a deep understanding of social, economic, ethical, and managerial aspects of resource use and sustainability. In Africa, such capacity is deficient and scattered across the continent. Where they exist, key professionals lack opportunity to work together, leading to an over-dependency on knowledge generated elsewhere and attempts to retrofit solutions, sometimes with disastrous consequences.
This Workshop seeks to build an international research and instruction community of socio-environmental synthesis scholars in Eastern Africa. Workshop participants will share and apply socio-environmental models to case studies from their home areas. One long term objective is to develop a community with capacity to address these types of questions through the design of integrative or interdisciplinary courses in socio-environmental science that could be taught in East African universities.