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Title Capacity development and knowledge exchange in BIOTA Africa: a capacity to build capacity project.

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Author(s) Sinsin, B.

Presenting author Sinsin, B.

Institution(s) University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin

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Abstract The BIOTA project as inter institutional collaboration one between some German universities and some south universities in Africa had mainly focussed on applying science to better acknowledge changes in biodiversity for good practices in land use in remote landscape. The BIOTA project responded to some key questions among others – the state and what should be the role of biodiversity in PA and in surrounding local community in remote society, and –how to prepare the necessary human and institutional capacity to meet the emerging needs and climate change challenges? That goal of the BIOTA project meets many international and regional capacity building policies like - the WSSD declaration of 2005-2014 as the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, -the WB and the ADB statement on the roles and importance of post graduate education, - the African governments declaration to revitalize higher education (and universities are looking for support to help them transform tertiary education), - the UEMOA’s call for improved higher education in West Africa, - etc. Based on that, there is a growing realization that Africa’s academia needs to be empowered to build the capacity for all other sectors. As a none projectized with limited duration, resource and agenda, BIOTA is a kind of strategy and platform for advocacy to attract, mobilize and to retain brains in African universities, so it focuses on the improvement of quality, relevance, gap filling and holistic aspects of training institutions to the human capital for natural resource conservation in remote and vulnerable landscapes. After more than five years activities, BIOTA project had - attracted many youth and women students to lead to careers in land use and natural resource management, - built stronger research trusts and links, to regularly upgrade and update of knowledge and skills of educators, - improved teaching, learning and tools and methods, and better use of ICT, - revitalized capacity and institutional strength institutions in fragile countries, especially those emerging from civil strife, - established strong mutually reinforcing links between north and south-south learning institutions, local community practices, and Protected Areas authorities, and had established synergies among universities in south and with them and that of German universities. Graduated students (among them many women) got relevant financing support and means to get better skills, knowledge and attitude to boost research and best practices in biodiversity conservation. The BIOTA project had developed capacity of natural resource scientists to develop relevant learning resources and best practices based on locally generated knowledge and experiences, a kind of home-grown solutions.

Congress Topic Capacity development

Topic No. 5.1
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Ref. No. 634