24 Mar 2016

Ghana to Host Future4Nature Innovation Factory: A place for thinking outside the box

The White-necked Picathartes, a unique species in Ghana ©Michael Anderson
The White-necked Picathartes ©Michael Anderson
By Obaka Torto

We all depend on the Earth’s resources for our livelihoods and our survival, either directly or indirectly.  However, the natural resources are being lost due to unsustainable use and human-induced environmental change—to such a degree that future generations are likely to suffer the repercussions of our excess consumption. In order to address these challenges, there is need for combined effort as well as ‘thinking outside the box’ to generate innovative solutions.

What is innovation? It is an inspiring word with a million interpretations. Some understand innovation as a change from the norm, others see it as a big overhaul of a common practice or product that is sure to give big results. BirdLife International, working with its Partners and in collaboration with other international NGOs and donors, always strives to develop new ideas and approaches to tackle the toughest issues in conservation for the benefit of nature and people.

From 29th – 31st March 2016, BirdLife International, Ghana Wildlife Society and the Legon Botanical Gardens will host the Future4Nature  kick-off event in Akosombo, Ghana under the theme ‘Developing solutions adaptable to local circumstances’.  The event will bring together government, academia, civil society, youth and local community representatives to self-design and develop and implement their own project in the country, utilizing the support structure of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) "Innovation Factory".

Future4Nature is a component of the Innovation Factory

The ‘Innovation Factory’ provides space for the grassroot and international community to ‘think and act in new ways’. The factory's methodology centres on stakeholders identifying needs in their respective countries and to share knowledge and experiences to identify sustainable solution ideas. It is envisaged that participants will also develop an Action Plan for piloting of these innovative solutions.  The focus of the Future4Nature stream is to promote young people engagement in nature conservation projects embedded in the local educational system.

In Africa there is a saying, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ Working together as partners is therefore key to tackling national and global challenges on a more sustainable basis in future.

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This event was made possible through the financial and technical support of GIZ.