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African Drylands Institute for Sustainability
College of Agriculture and Veterinary Science
University of Nairobi
P.O. Box 29053 00625
Nairobi , Kenya /
Tel: 254-020-2133086
Fax: 254-020-632121

Knowledge exchange Seminars initiated at the UON

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For a long time, there has been a great desire to initiate a learning platform for knowledge exchange in the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences (CAVS) at the University of Nairobi (UON). This dream, though elusive, has now become a reality courtesy of the Centre for Sustainable Dryland Ecosystems and Societies (CSDES). CSDES is a partnership between UoN and Colorado States University (CSU). The partnership initiated a series of monthly seminars at the College with an aim of bringing together experts and practitioners from various fields, faculty members, students and other diverse institutions to discuss current issues affecting the communities and identify practical solutions for the issues.

The first such seminar was held on 13th July 2012. The theme: Is REDD+ a good policy option for Kenya? attracted more than 40 participants from various institutions including professors and postgraduate students (both MSc. and PhD) from the University of Nairobi (UoN), Kenyatta University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. The seminar discussed the viability of adopting REDD+ as a conservation measure in the country. At the end of the seminar, it was unanimously agreed that REDD+ provides a good opportunity for development in developing countries but it must be applied within context and address issues affecting local people. The presenters at the Seminar were Dr. Sophie Chapman from the University of Cambridge and Dr. Rowena Maguire from Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

The second seminar which brought together more than 30 participants including two high school students aspiring to be scientists was held on 17th August 2012. The seminar was titled soil organic matter, microbial community dynamics and the economies of diversified dryland winter wheat and irrigated sugar beet cropping systems in Wyoming, USA. The presenter at the seminar was Dr. Eusebius Mukwhana, Director of SACRED and Soil Scientist from the University of Wyoming.

The third seminar was held on 11th October, 2012. The title of the seminar was; Indigenous knowledge: does it have a place in development? Giving his presentation, Mr. Patrick Maundu from the Kenya National Museums discounted the notion that indigenous Knowledge is old-fashioned, with little place in the realm of modern science and development. The seminar attracted 38 participants from diverse faculties.

“These seminars are very important in creating a vibrant think tank at the University of Nairobi,” Prof. Njoka, CSDES director Said. He was speaking during the closure of the 3rd seminar. The Director acknowledged all the participants and urged them to participate and be more active in the subsequent seminars.

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