An Inception Workshop for COMDEKS–community Development and Knowledge Management for the Satoyama Initiative–was held September 24-26 in Accra, Ghana. Stemming from a unique partnership between the Ministry of the Environment of Japan (MOEJ), the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), United Nations University (UNU), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the Satoyama Initiative, COMDEKS seeks to bring about community development, learning and knowledge sharing by making small grants to community organizations to help them maintain and manage more resilient socio-ecological production landscapes (SEPLs). In these landscapes, humans manage lands and coasts for a variety of purposes: food security, income, cultural amenities, risk reduction, etc., and the resulting mosaic reflects social and cultural values and norms. However, increasing threats to socio-ecological production landscapes from land degradation, biodiversity loss, climate change, population dynamics and shifting market demands are endangering the resilience of these landscapes and their ability to continue supporting optimal ecosystem function, human populations and traditional cultures and institutions. As a fundamental part of this project, COMDEKS will provide small grants to community organizations in the initial group of eleven countries to address these threats and use multi-stakeholder adaptive management to not only build resilience in the project landscapes, but generate and share valuable knowledge for scaling up the activities to maintain and rebuild SEPLs around the world.
The COMDEKS inception workshop brought together representatives of SGP Country Programmes from eight of the first eleven COMDEKS countries with the aim of accomplishing three broad objectives: 1) to become familiar with the concept of the Satoyama Initiative and integrated management of SEPLs, as well as the COMDEKS implementation strategy; 2) to gain technical knowledge and learn about tools and resources for operationalizing the concept of the Satoyama Initiative in COMDEKS project landscapes; 3) to share expectations and tools for knowledge management, build strategies for implementing COMDEKS in each of the participating countries, and establish action plans and guidelines for post-workshop collaboration and project implementation.
This workshop report documents the presentations and discussions during the workshop, outlines the next steps identified during action planning and identifies key resources for project implementation. It is designed as a resource not only for those present at the workshop but for those unable to attend as well as for the next round of national coordinators who will be responsible for implementing COMDEKS. Workshop documents and handouts are included as annexes and can also be found on the COMDEKS blog.
UNDP would like to thank the Japanese Ministry of the Environment, the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies and the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity for their support of COMDEKS. EcoAgriculture Partners collaborated in the planning and facilitation of the workshop and provided technical assistance for capacity development of National Coordinators through a specific grant.
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