The SCIONA Knowledge Fair, a first of its kind in Namibia, is slated to take place from 13 to 15 April in the Kunene region.
The knowledge fair is a major event under the EU-funded SCIONA project, titled: “Co-designing conservation technologies for Iona-Skeleton Coast Transfrontier Conservation Area”.
The fair will have activities such as walkshops, which are community-led river and ethnobotanical walks, workshops and trainings of skills and competencies related to natural resource conservation and academic presentations.
It aims to bring together community members, researchers, park managers, rangers, government departments and non-governmental organisations in a common space that they can share knowledge on how to realise sustainable ecosystem management.
This platform will allow for the showcasing of research to communities, who will, in turn, give feedback from an indigenous knowledge perspective. The concept was inspired by the eBario Knowledge Fair, which is a bi-annual event held in the rainforest of Borneo in South East Asia.
Thus far, Namibia has successfully implemented community-based natural resource conservation with established methods of joint data collection. Indigenous knowledge is critical for biodiversity conservation and the exchange of this knowledge is essential to improve ecosystem management.
An interdisciplinary research team from the Namibia University Science and Technology and affiliated scientists have collaborated with Namibian and Angolan conservancies for this initiative.