Workshop at Pwani University

A workshop at Pwani University Kilifi was held from 22.2.-24.2.2017. The first day of this workshop took place in Jamii Villas close to Arabuko Sokoke Forest. During this meeting, various governmental and nongovernmental organisations have presented their activities and viewpoints. All indicated the high relevance of protecting Arabuko Sokoke forest. Blessington Maghanga (Kenyan Forest Service), Lynn Njeri (Kenyan Wildlife Service) and Bernard (Kenyan Forest Research Institute) represented the governmental organisations. Further details were presented from nongovernmental organizations, by Francis Kagema (Nature Kenya), Collin Jackson (A Rocha Kenya) and Hussein Aden (Kipepeo). During the late afternoon everybody enjoyed the forest along the “glas-road” and followed explanations of David Ngala (founder of the ASFADA umbrella organization and very enthusiastic ecologist and conservationist) – see pictures below.

The following two days, an intensive workshop was held at the beautiful campus of Pwani University Kilifi. Hereby participants discussed about ecological and societal challenges and the conflict between human needs and nature conservation in and around Arabuko Sokoke forest. The workshop was opened by Prof. Halimu Shauri, our main collaborator during this 2017 DAAD activity, as well as by the vice president M. Mwakumanya. During this workshop eight methodological approaches were explained in brief presentations, by the respective supervising scientists.

During the following day, potential synergies, thematic and spatial overlaps among these working packages were identified. This was conducted in a very efficient and fruitful `speed dating´ – organised by Gesine Heinrich. The outcome from this interactive brain-storming (delineating research questions, methods to be applied, potential collaboration partners from other thematic fields) were presented group-wise by students in short presentations. The workshop was closed by a stimulating talk about “Culture and Conservation” (exemplified by the ecological relevance of Kayas), given by TM. Chidongo. More than 50 scientists and students mainly from the three Kenyan partnering universities (SEKU, TTU, PU), but also from other organisations (e.g. the National Museums of Kenya) attended this workshop. Find here our detailed workshop_programme, the flyer – and a group picture with all participants attending the workshop below.

Group_workshopThe workshop at Pwani University was very stimulating and fruitful and an important preparation to develop proper study-setups and to make field work efficient. The workshop (including our arrival at the Mombasa airport) and the field work in and around the forest went very smoothly – with the great support of Prof. Halimu Shauri from Pwani University, always acting promptly and in a very positive way!