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Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions

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Talk – Doing Research with Society – Addressing complex water-related challenges in South Africa

April 15 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

| Free

Water dropletThe talk will be held virtually via Zoom and in-person at 107 Norman Smith Hall, UMaine, Orono.

Speaker: Professor Nelson Odume, Director, Institute for Water Research, Rhodes University

South Africa is confronted by complex water challenges, including declining water quality and quantity, habitat degradation, biodiversity loss, infrastructural decay as well as systemic governance failures. Responding to these challenges requires the departure from the traditional, disciplinary research and scholarship, to that which draws on diverse and multiple knowledge systems, actors and stakeholders. Here, I provide case studies of engaged, participatory research addressing 1) contestations of water quality use and management in a highly urbanised and developed river basin, 2) the complex interactions between equity, efficiency and sustainability in the water-land-agricultural  nexus in an agriculturally dominated landscape, 3) the collective development of sustainability vision to address water crisis within the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.  Through these case studies, I shall provide reflections on 1) principles of and lessons based the knowledge co-production process, 2) the relevance of engaged, collaborative and participatory research approach to complex challenges,  3) the challenges at personal, institutional and structural levels, and 4) some perspectives on how to advance this kind of research and the value-add.  



April 15
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category: