Africa?s regional centre for natural resource mapping
MetadataShow full item record
CTA. 2006. Africa?s regional centre for natural resource mapping. Rural Radio Resource Pack 06/1. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57246
Supporting mapping for sustainable management of natural resources.
Africa?s regional centre for natural resource mapping Cue: For a country to develop, making best use of its resources is clearly essential. These will include natural resources such as water, timber and minerals as well as the skills, knowledge and labour of its people. But if natural resources are to contribute to long term development, careful planning is needed, based on accurate, detailed information including up-to-date maps. The Regional Centre for Resource Mapping for Development is an inter-government organisation based in Kenya that was set up to support responsible resource use in Africa. The organisation works at many levels, supporting government mapping departments as well as individual communities. Tesfaye Korme, one of the directors of the Centre, spoke recently to Susanna Thorp about its work. She began by asking him to explain the problems that have affected resource use in the continent, and how his Centre is helping to address them. IN: ?Africa has a lot of resources? OUT: ?should assure to the community.? DUR?N 4?38? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Tesfaye Korme of the Regional Centre for Resource Mapping for Development talking to Susanna Thorp. Transcript Korme Africa has a lot of resources, and we have big problem in managing our resources. First of all we don?t know how to explore resources. Once we discover resource we don?t care of environment. So we build the regional state capacities in how to protect the resource, use friendly the resource, explore the resources. Thorp Give me an example perhaps in Southern Africa for instance, where you have helped a country really look at the resources available and allowed them to incorporate that into their planning. Korme Well in Southern Africa region we have developed the local capacity of the national authorities like mapping authority. So we generally deliver them a satellite image, give training to their people and sometimes we do field work with them. Thorp Now, Lesotho I know is a very small country. Does Lesotho have the capacity to do the type of planning and resource management that it needs? Korme Fortunately the natural resource mapping doesn?t need a lot of human labour; most of the works are done using computers and the satellite data. So for small country, you don?t need hundreds of people, maybe five people can correctly map and prepare decision-support tools. For Lesotho we have trained five people and they are doing very well. For Botswana we were working with them on wetland, it?s the richest wetland in Africa in terms of flora and fauna. So that wetland needs very careful protection, so we help them in mapping it, we help them how to update gradually the maps. Thorp So a lot of training and capacity building is obviously an important part of your work, but give me an example of a project perhaps that you?ve done this year where you?re looking at a particular natural resource and maybe helping to document that. Korme In southern Kenya at the border between Kenya and Tanzania, the question was raised by the Masai people. They want to know the limit of their forest and everybody comes to the forest with guns and then they cut the timber and they go away. Nobody knows that the forest belongs to the society. Unfortunately in that place there were two communities both sharing the border, so we worked out a program with the Masai and we trained the local people, we organised them in such a way the data collection using GPS is conducted by themselves. The other communities started to fight, they said ?Who gave you the right to map this boundary? They don?t have the right to ask anyone, you are not the one to do it!? So they stopped us with violent reaction, we called the local authorities, the government body, to reconcile the two communities and then they show us the real boundary of the forest. Now it is an official border, that both communities accepted and now they consider the forest as their own property. So, what we say is we involve them at grass root level. In technical data producing they need training. Otherwise if you leave the technical work to them, it is a waste of money and time, because the data that will come up will not be sufficient to produce a standard product. So to share the information you should collect standard, understandable, and quality information. Someone who can understand that map can go to that place, can invest on minerals, can invest on forests, can invest on agriculture. So we have to produce something that everyone can understand. Thorp That?s a very good point that you?ve just made, that people can go to the Internet and access that information, and we have had several concerns raised by the participants over the last couple of days, that by working with communities and asking them to express knowledge about their areas, that actually they can be releasing information that other people can come in and exploit, so local communities can actually make themselves very vulnerable. Korme The best solution is you expose information, you discuss how to preserve it. There are two contradictory things; one is civilisation, development, the other is maintaining the tradition, the culture. We have to compromise one to the other. They have to use their resources for development and a better life. At minimum 80% of the profit should go back to community development. That is the policy that the government should assure to the community. End of track.