Environmental Foundation for Africa – Biodiversity Conservation and Renewable Energy Learning Cerntre in Sierra Leone

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By , June 12, 2012 2:12 pm

EFA has secured a prime location at the intersection of three eco-systems: rainforest, mangrove and beach, just outside of Freetown, Sierra Leone, to build a Biodiversity Conservation and Renewable Energy Learning Centre.

By the end of 2011 and with the support of local, regional and international partners, the Learning Centre will be established in order to promote learning about biodiversity conservation and renewable energy in West Africa. The facility will be an epicentre for environmental protection and management in region.

With Climate Change and related environmental issues becoming more prominent in the agendas of governments and their partners, the need for information dissemination to all sectors of society is more important now than ever before.

This, as well as evidence of the growing pressure on the Upper Guinea Forest (UGF) and natural resources in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, inspired EFA to create a focal point for conservation education and environmental awareness. Environmental, economic and social issues affecting the Upper Guinean Forest including all of the region’s protected areas, will be showcased in the centre using interactive displays.

In order to lead by example, the building will be a showcase of eco-friendly design and will be largely run on solar energy. As well as the physical structure and landscaping work serving as an exhibit of ‘Green Architecture’, the centre will be equipped with a wide range of educational resources – books, posters, pictures, audio-visual equipment, solar equipment for demonstrations and conferencing / plenary facilities to cater for the widest possible range of groups and audiences, including schools, universities and local community people. The centre will provide school and university workday facilities such as audio and visual equipment for workshops, training programmes, conservation symposiums and related seminars, a library, internet services, interactive educational walking trails and recreational facilities. On site there will be a permanent tree nursery with a focus on indigenous tree species and a herbarium for medicinal and ornamental plants. There is the added possibility for the centre to be a start point for national guided ecotourism tours or local guided ‘ecosystem discovery’ tours.

The centre is one component of the “Upscaling and Promoting Biodiversity Conservation and Community Livelihoods in the Upper Guinea Forest Ecosystem” project which is largely financed by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF). Other partners are the Environmental Forum for Action (ENFORAC) and the Conservation of the Western Area Peninsula Forest Project (WAPFoR). Architects

The aim is to present the environmental challenges from across the region in meaningful ways to various audiences; colleges, universities, community groups, NGOs, and the public. Based on research and expertise from across West Africa it will present solutions to these environmental challenges. As a renewable energy resource it will also provide up to date information and training on relevant renewable energy technologies. without Borders are offering their services to design the building. Potential partners include; The Sierra Leone Environmental Protection Agency (SLEPA), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Netherlands (IUCN NL), IUCN Species Commission, Gola Forest Programme, Birdlife International, Fauna and Flora International, Television for the Environment (TVE-UK), US Fish and Wildlife Services, and others.

EFA kindly requests support for this initiative. We seek partnership with interested organisations. We also need good ideas, relevant contacts, donations of educational resources and equipment as well as monetary donations towards the construction, set-up, development and running of the centre. We welcome donations of materials; films, photos, pictures, booksposters, computers, projectors, solar panels, and display materials as well as your expertise and advice! All inputs are welcome

IUCN CEC Western and Central African sub-regional follow-up survey: learning and communication needs from the regions – Make your voice heard!

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By , March 23, 2010 3:10 pm

Some of you will have participated or seen the CEC global survey that was conducted in December 2009 on “CEC web approaches as a hub for learning and communication”. The quick survey identified overall needs of the CEC global membership in terms of developing a web-based information exchange hub (see report in the CEC Newsletter – March 2010 at http://www.iucn.org/about/union/commissions/cec/?4483/CEC-website-survey-results).

In the African regions we found that some of the proposed technologies may be hard to navigate for our membership. We often are challenged by realities that prohibit long-time internet connectivity and downloading of larger files. It is often difficult to become a member of an online discussion group and overall connection to the global world of experts and practitioners may be harder to administer than generally believed.

CEC wants to ensure that we design outreach mechanisms that (i) allow all CEC members to connect in a meaningful manner, and (ii) to help national CEC members to find support materials that will assist them in their work with their national networks of environmental learning and communication practitioners. This may require specific support interventions for regions that are technologically not quite as well set up compared to others.

The CEC web-based information exchange hub will be one discussion point at the up-coming CEC Steering Committee meeting in April (13 to 17) in Scotland. To enrich the discussion and make more meaningful inputs from our regional perspective, we have developed a short follow-up survey that would allow our regions to more specifically identify our needs and potential.

I would be grateful if you could fill in the short online survey (or the attached word version of it). If you decide to fill in the word version kindly return it to Ms Linda Uulenga l.uulenga@iecn-namibia.com and cc to Tommy Garnett tommy.garnett@gmail.com, CEC Regional Vice Chair). If you prefer to print the survey and fill it out by hand, you can fax it back to us at +264 61 249204. Submission deadline is the 01 April 2010 to allow us analysis and write up of results prior to the April SC meeting.

SECTION I: Personal context information

1. About Yourself?

Name and title: ____________________

Country: __________________________

Primary IUCN language (English, French, Spanish): ____________________

2. Your age group and gender

o Female under 35
o Female 35 – 55
o Female over 55
o Male under 35
o Male 35-55
o Male over 55

3. What kind of organization do you work for? Please tick.

o University
o Government, government agency
o National NGO
o Consultancy
o Private Sector
o International organization
o International NGO
o Other (Please Specify) ________________________________

SECTION II: Your environmental learning and communication community interactions

4. Who are your main interactions with? Please tick.

o Schools
o School learners (Grade 1-7; primary level)
o School learners (Grade 8-12; secondary level)
o Teachers
o Teacher trainers
o Teacher training institutions
o Teacher trainers
o Teaching students
o University
o Lecturers
o Researchers
o Students
o Technical professionals
o In government (head quarters/capital)
o In government (regional office/outstations)
o In NGOs (head quarters/capital)
o In NGOs (regional offices/outstations)
o In Community-based Organisations (CBOs) (head quarters/capital)
o In CBOs (regional offices/outstations)
o Policy makers
o In national government
o In national parliament
o In local authorities
o In local councils
o Other (specify) ___________________________________________________________
o Donors
o Other_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

5. How do you communicate/interact with your key stakeholders groups mostly?

Schools Universities Technical professionals Policy makers Donors Other I (specify) Other II (specify)
Cell/mobile phone
Internet communication platforms e.g. Twitter

6. What are your learning and communication key support needs in terms of media used?

Schools Universities Technical professionals Policy makers Donors Other I (specify) Other II (specify)
Printed reference materials (e.g. books, publications, journals)
Online access to resource materials (internet)
Online community-of-practitioners interactions e.g. Twitter/ Facebook, mailing lists
Cell phone based resource access and communication e.g. Twitter
Training workshops
Technical seminars

7. What are your major constraints with each of the above?

Support needs/tools Constraints/opportunities (please elaborate)
Printed reference materials, e.g. books, publications, journals
Online access to resource materials (internet)
Online community-of-practitioners interactions e.g. Twitter/ Facebook, mailing lists
Cell phone based resource access and communication e.g. Twitter
Training workshops
Technical seminars

8. How often do you have access to internet resources (i) at work and (ii) outside your work environment?

(i) At work
o Daily
o Weekly
o Monthly
o Never
o Other _____________________________________________________________________

(ii) Outside work
o Daily
o Weekly
o Monthly
o Never
o Other _____________________________________________________________________

9. How and where are you connecting to the internet?

o Mobile phone,
o Regular telephone line
o Broadband (ISDN, ADSL etc.)
o Home
o Office
o Internet café
o Other (please specify) ______________________________________________________

10. Please describe the quality of your internet access:

o Very good
o Good
o Poor
o Very Poor
o Other comments __________________________________________________________

11. Do you have access to a cell phone?

o Yes, I have access to a cell phone
o No, I do not have access to a cell phone

12. If you have access to a cell phone – how do you use it?

o Calls (incoming only)
o Calls (incoming and outgoing)
o Internet access
o Twitter and other group subscriptions
o Other _________________________________________________________________________

13. What are the approximate costs for internet or cell phone in your country?

o Monthly internet subscription (specify connection and US$ amount) ______________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
o Monthly cell phone subscription and approximate costs per call/sms/browsing ______________ ______________________________________________________________________________

SECTION III: How can CEC support your professional needs?

14. As a member of IUCN in the ESA region- what are your expectations from the global IUCN- CEC network?
15. How can CEC-ESA interactions be improved for your country/work?
16. Has the recently established email server been useful or helpful to your position as an IUCN-CEC member? Please grade on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being highly useful and 1 not useful at all (please tick). Substantiate your rating if you like.

Highly useful
o 10
o 9
o 8
o 7
o 6
o 5
o 4
o 3
o 2
o 1
Not useful at all

Comment:_________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

17. What other comments or advice to you have for us?

Comment:_________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



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By , March 1, 2010 7:02 pm

Nous, les Acteurs verts de l’Afrique de l’ouest (GAWA) et les animateurs nationaux de la CEC (Commission pour la Communication et l’Education) de l’Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature (l’UICN) se sont rencontré a Freetown, Sierra Leone du 1er au 5 fevrier, 2010.
1. Guidés par le désir dont nous nourrissons pour un développement durable c’est à dire <>;

2. Motivés par un intérêt/vision commun à travailler collectivement et conscientieusement pour un développement durable à travers l’éducation et le réseautage sur des sujets contentieux de la gestion des ressources naturelles;

3. Convincus que nos actions consolidées mutuellement dans les régions de l’ Afrique de l’ouest et du centre auront un grand éffet dans l’accomplissement rapide d’un développement durable;

Réaffirmant notre engagement vis-à-vis des aspirations de GAWA qui sont: développement des moyens de réhaussement de la coopération et de la collaboration entre et parmi differents donateurs et acteurs environnementaux (conservation de la nature) dans la sous-région et du mandat de la CEC qui est: la facilitation d’une co-création de solutions durables; la création des plateformes de stratégies de communication; mettant en place de nouveaux systèmes d’ apprentissage au développement professionel;

Se rappellant que le le changement envers une co-creation de solutions durables à travers une communication de pointe: la gestion de l’apprentissage et de la connaissance dans les régions et dans la communauté plus large de la conservation peut aboutir à des résultats positifs dans la gestion des ressources naturelles.

Conscients du fait que le travail qui nous attend est difficile et représente un défi a reléver, et pour GAWA et pour les animateurs nationaux de la CEC;

7. Déclarons solemnement ce qui suit:

Qu’après une sémaine de réunion, et à travers des déliberations sur l’état de l’environnement en Afrique de l’ouest et du centre, nous confirmons que ces régions font face à des problèmes environnementaux importants allant de l’usage non durable des ressources naturelles, especiallement les forêts, à la dégradation des terres. Nous confirmons en plus que le changement de climat a dèja eu un impact et aura des conséquences dévastatrices sur la région tenant en compte l’état de la pauvreté de la région, des conflits et la perversité sociale.

Ainsi, nous faisons les recommandations suivantes:

D’investir dans la structure organisationnelle du mouvement des animateurs nationaux Africains de la CEC des régions de l’ouest et du centre.
– D’apporter une assistance au renforcement des capacités des animateurs nationaux de la CEC en Afrique de l’ouest et du centre;
– De contribuer aux activités operationnelles des animateurs nationaux de la CEC en Afrique de l’ouest et du centre;
– D’appuyer les éfforts de recherché de financement des animateurs nationaux de la CEC;
– Permettre la CEC et PACO à assister les animateurs nationaux à mettre en oeuvre leurs stratégies.

– La CEC a besoin d’une meilleure visibilité aux niveaux national, régional et global;
– L’UICN a besoin d’une meilleure visibilité en Afrique de l’ouest et du centre.

Note: La CEC est une structure qui a été largement ignorée
– La CEC est comprise d’ONGs de la base/d’experts ayant une expérience importante, qui sont engagés avec les parties prennantes.
– La CEC est capable d’attirer des partenariats, surtout parmi les jeunes; (du primaire à l’université; des centres de formations professionnels – le média/journalistes) / OBCs / des femmes.
– Il y avait besoin d’élaborer un projet de plan d’action lors de la réunion de la CEC en Sierra Leone prennant en compte l’année de la biodiversité et du changement de climat (capabilités rehaussées en ce qui concerne les capacités et les expériences)
– Il y a des liens solides entre les réseaux existents (GAWA, RAM)


– Le besoin d’appuyer les éfforts des partenaires régionaux à entreprendre des études sur l’éducation et la communication environnementale en vue d’identifier les lacunes pour déveloper un meilleur outillage d’éducation et de la communication;

– En tant que membres de GAWA et animateurs nationaux de la CEC, nous nous engageons à eouvrer à la mise en application des stratégies developpées dans cette reunion dans nos pays respctifs; par example, les membres de la CEC s’engagent à etablir des alliances dans leurs pays et dans leurs régions respectifs et les membres de GAWA s’engagent quant à eux au renforcement des réseaux nationaux en vue de réhausser la visibilité et la capabilité de GAWA.
– Encouragés par les résults des réunions, les membres de GAWA et de la CEC s’engagent à donner leur soutien aux stratégies définies lors des réunions. Par example, l’elaboration du rapport sur SOTE (State Of The Environment-l’etat de l’environnement) qui sera compilé par les membres de GAWA et soumis au secrétariat pour une inclusion dans le rapport final;
– Nous nous engageons en plus à la commemoration de la l’année de la biodiversité et au réhaussement de son profil dans nos pays respectifs.


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By , February 9, 2010 7:13 pm


We, the Green Actors of West Africa and National Animators of the World Conservation Union’s Commission on Education and Communication (CEC) having met in Freetown from February 1 – 5, 2010,
1. Guided by the drive for sustainable development which means “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs;”

2. Motivated by a common interest/vision to collectively and conscientiously work towards attaining sustainable development through education and networking on the vexing issues of natural resource management;

3. Convinced that our mutually reinforcing actions in the West and Central African regions will have a spiral up effect of gaining a sustainable development momentum;

4. Reaffirming our commitment to the GAWA aspirations which are to: develop ways of enhancing cooperation and coordination between and among various donors and environmental (nature conservation) actors in the sub-region, and the CEC
mandate, stated as: Facilitating the Co-creation of Sustainable Solutions; Creating Strategic Communication Platforms; Leveraging New Learning for Professional Development;
5. Recalling that driving change for the co-creation of sustainable solutions through leading communication, learning and knowledge management in the regions and the wider conservation community can generate positive results in natural resource management;

6. Conscious of the fact that the work ahead is daunting and challenging for GAWA
and CEC National Animators;

7. Declare the following:

That after a week of meeting, and deliberations on the state of the environment in West and Central Africa, we confirm that the regions are faced with critical environmental problems ranging from unsustainable use of natural resources, especially forests, to land degradation. We further confirm that Climate Change is already having an impact and will have devastating consequences on the region, given the already daunting challenges caused by poverty, conflict and social deprivation in Africa.

We therefore recommend the following


– Invest in the organizational structure of CEC’s West and Central African National
– Assist in the capacity building needs for CEC National Animators in West and Central Africa;
– Contribute to operational activities of CEC National Animators in West and Central Africa;
– Support fundraising efforts for CEC National Animators
– Enable CEC PACO to help National Animators realize their goals.


– IUCN needs better visibility at national, regional and global levels.
– Ensure visibility of CEC in West and Central Africa region;

Note: CEC is a key structure which has been ignored.

– CEC is made up of grassroots NGOs/experts with valuable experience who are engaged with all the stakeholders.
– CEC is capable of attracting partnerships, particularly amongst youth; (primary –university level; vocational schools – media/journalists)/CBOs/women.
– A draft action plan needs to be elaborated during CEC meeting in Sierra Leone, taking into consideration the year of biodiversity and climate change (increase capabilities in terms of capacity and experience)
– There are strong links with existing networks (GAWA, RAM).


– The need to support efforts of regional partners to undertake baseline study on status of environmental education and communication in order to identify gaps for developing well informed education and communication toolkit;


– As GAWA members and CEC National Animators, we commit ourselves to ensure that strategies developed in this meeting will be implemented in our respective countries; for example, CEC members commit themselves to building alliances in country and within their regions and GAWA members commit themselves to strengthening their national networks to increase GAWA’s visibility and capacity.
– Encouraged by the outcome of the meetings, GAWA and CEC members pledged their support to the strategies defined during the meeting. For example, SOTE (State Of The Environment) reports will be compiled by GAWA members and submitted to the secretariat to be included in a final report.
– We further commit ourselves to commemorate the Year of Biodiversity and raise its profile in our respective countries.

World Report Foundation

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By , October 16, 2009 11:57 am

World Report Foundation
World Report Foundation:Using Media for Sustainable Development
We are a non-profit organisation specialising in audio-visual productions on environmental and social issues.
Video , TV programmes and internet films are a vital element in the work of charities, campaigning organisations and community groups across the globe.
World Report helps to build capacity within GAWA to produce audiovisuals and to use it as a vital tool in their campaigns and communications work.

International Union for the Conservation of Nature – NL

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By , July 15, 2009 3:19 pm

International Union for the Conservation of Nature – NL

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