Academic help to meet the challenges facing Africa’s people and its wildlife
May 24 2016

In most cases the challenges facing Africa’s people and its wildlife are too great and too complex, and they require too many resources, for any one organization to address.

ALERT believes that these challenges can most effectively be met by uniting community and policy makers with non-governmental organizations, academics and business leaders.  In doing so, the best solutions can be proposed that will create benefits for these five key groups to generate sustainable motivation for sound conservation management.  This union can ensure both present and future generations are able to enjoy the benefits of Africa’s environmental services by integrating the protection of natural processes with economic and social development in a process we term responsible development.

By acting collectively, the stakeholders of Africa can combine expertise, knowledge and funding to generate real, long-lasting, cost efficient and responsible solutions that are reflected in policy of national governments all the way through the structure of society to the actions of the individual.

Focussing here on ALERT’s ties with academic institutions, we bring you an insight into some of the connections we have with academia.  The scientific world contributes to our responsible development approach by undertaking rigorous scientific research that can assist in understanding the current situation, determining priorities for potential interventions, informing best practice to implement programmes, and evaluating the impacts of any programmes involving communities and wildlife.

In the coming months we are looking forward to visits by staff from several universities, including:

  • Coventry University are sending a number of people who, on this occasion, are visiting Livingstone in respect of our English literacy programme, as well as our Victoria Falls project site in respect of our conservation education course and how that is linked to our human / lion conflict mitigation programme.
  • In June, Dr. Bruce Schulte of Western Kentucky University will be returning to Livingstone in respect of our elephant research programme.
  • Montana University are making a follow up visit to Livingstone in June, with Edinburgh University following in July; both to discuss areas of cooperation.
  • Nottingham University will be returning to Livingstone to discuss alternative energies and low carbon cookstoves in July 2016.
  • We look forward to the arrival of a research group from Charles Sturt University later in the year, for their third annual visit, as well as another group from Sussex University who have confirmed for early next year.

ALERT has agreements with several universities to cooperate in various ways, including with:

  • Coventry University (a general cooperative agreement).  ALERT Director of Research, Dr. Jackie Abell, is also employed and funded by Coventry
  • Western Kentucky University (for our elephant research programme)
  • Sussex University (a general cooperative agreement)
  • Copperbelt University (a general cooperative agreement for projects in Zambia)
  • Midlands State University (for education projects in Zimbabwe)

ALERT has jointly published research, or is preparing research for publication, with the universities of Coventry, Western Kentucky, Edinburgh, Regina, the National University of Science and Technology of Zimbabwe, Worcester, Charles Sturt, Melbourne and Lancaster.

Our Facilitated Research Programme has assisted students of many universities, a lot of whom have gone on to publish their work in academic and other publications:

  • Australian National University
  • California Polytechnic State University
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Copperbelt University
  • Denver
  • East Anglia
  • Edinburgh Napier
  • Exeter
  • Glamorgan
  • Glasgow
  • Greenwich
  • Insubria
  • Karolinska Institute and Royal Institute for Technology in Stockholm and Linkoping University in Sweden
  • Manchester Metropolitan
  • Merrist Wood College
  • Montana
  • Newcastle
  • New York
  • Oslo
  • Oxford
  • Plymouth
  • Princeton
  • Roehampton
  • Sussex University
  • Utah State
  • Utrecht
  • Wageningen
  • University of London
  • University of Zimbabwe

As part of our ALERT Education Centre project, fully funded intern and facilitated research placements have been provided to students of the following academic institutions to build local capacity for community development and conservation:

In Zambia:

  • University of Zambia (Lusaka),
  • Copperbelt University (Kitwe) and
  • Mukwela Youth Resource Centre (Livingstone). 

In Zimbabwe:

  • University of Zimbabwe (Harare),
  • Bulawayo Polytechnic,
  •  National University of Science & Technology
  • Sizinda Vocational Training Centre (Bulawayo),
  • BEST College,
  • Educare College,
  • Micronet College,
  • Trust Academy,
  • YWCA Mkoba,
  • Gweru Polytechnic College
  • Great Zimbabwe State University (Masvingo),
  • Chinhoyi University of Technology (Chinhoyi), and
  • Bindura University of Science Education (Bindura).

ALERT’s conservation and community programs rely on the support of individuals and organizations to help us ensure a future for the African lion.  If you wish to assist our charity in its responsible development approach to lion conservation, you can make a donation here: http://lionalert.org/page/donate-to-ALERT

Sydney Masomere, from Great Zimbabwe University, joined our programme in Victoria Falls in October 2015 and will be with us until August 2016, working alongside our community project team. 

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