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10 Years of Building Capacity for Peace in Africa

iks inside

  1. Background
  2. Rationale
  3. Purpose and Scope
  4. Specific Objectives
  5. Highlights of the Conference
  6. Participants
The Department of Science and Technology (DST)-National Research Foundation (NRF) Centre in Indigenous Knowledge Systems (CIKS) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) in collaboration with the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS), South African BRICS Think Tank (SABTT), Africa Programme of the United Nations (UN) University for Peace (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) are organising an International Conference on the BRICS [1] Countries under the theme: Building on the Indigenous for Sustainable Food Security and Environmental Governance for Climate Change Adaptation in South-South Cooperation. The Conference will be held in Durban, South Africa, September 2016.

Indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) are bodies of knowledge, skills, innovations, beliefs, experiences and insights of the people in their respective natural and cultural environments. These are generated and accumulated over the years and applied to maintain and improve livelihoods. They are also known as community-based knowledge systems.

[1] BRICS countries are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa
The BRICS member countries represent some of the fastest growing economic regions in the world. However, in spite of their socio-economic, geo-political and cultural diversity, the common internal challenges facing them are food security and environmental governance for climate change adaptation. A large proportion of the populations in these countries, especially women in the rural and marginalised communities depend on indigenous knowledge systems for food security and environmental management for climate change adaptation. While this is so, conventional approaches to developmental challenges tend to neglect these community-based knowledge systems. This conference is motivated by the increasing realisation among researchers, policymakers, development agencies and the private sector within and outside the BRICS countries that sustainable solutions to developmental challenges should take cognisance of the role of IKS.
One of the key conference outputs is to contribute to the objectives of the 8th BRICS summit in India. The BRICS IKS conference will propose community-based sustainable solutions to developmental challenges in BRICS countries thereby adding value to the theme of the summit which is ”Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions”.

This international conference is meant to create knowledge and awareness on the role of Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) in promoting sustainable food security and environmental governance for climate change adaptation in the BRICS member countries. Realising that the future and sustainability of IKS lies with the young generation, one of the emphasis of the conference will be to build capacities of emerging researchers and youth. It will be a platform to share best practices in the efficacy of IKS in food security and environmental governance for climate change adaptation. This will also include issues of research and technology, building a community of practice (CoP), and creating a cadre of emerging researchers who will carry forward the IKS agenda. The focus of the IKS BRICS Conference on young generation and emerging researchers is in line with the key priority areas of the BRICS Summit in Goa, which includes people to people contact and youth.

The conference intends to attract international participants from within and outside the BRICS member countries committed to sustainable food security and environmental governance for climate change adaptation. The aim is to enhance south-south cooperation as well as the interface between community-based and other knowledge systems.
The conference will:
  • Contribute to the key priority areas of the 8th BRICS Summit in Goa, October 2016 on people to people contact and youth;
  • Provide a platform for sharing experiences on research, legal and policy frameworks among the diverse stakeholders;
  • Build a cadre and a network of the young generation, emerging researchers, policy-makers and development agencies within and outside the BRICS countries committed to the role of IKS in the context of the conference theme;
  • Devise strategies for interfacing indigenous knowledge with other knowledge systems (e.g.: ICTs and social media) to meet the challenges of the 21st century impacting on food security and environmental governance for climate change adaptation.
The sessions will bring to life the richness of IKS medium of communication through the combination of keynote address, panel discussions, musical theatre for advocacy performances and round table dialogues. Targeted exhibitions will offer practical experience on integration of IKS, food security, environmental governance and climate change.

Mobilisation of the Young Generation
  • The use of social media for live reporting of the conference
  • Competition for innovative and creative ideas on use of IKS for sustainable food security, environmental governance for climate change
  • Developing a community of practice of youth champions for IKS development

Communication in a Global Space
Taking advantage of the existing social media networks, a group of young people will be mobilised to translate their social media skills to do live social reporting of the conference. Thus enabling young people to internalise the integration of IKS, food security, environmental governance and climate change. Through live reporting the conference will have a global reach.
  • Keynote speakers to give an overview of the conference thematic areas
  • Panel Experts will be invited to engage in discussions and stimulate dialogue
  • Participants to share experience and knowledge on one or more conference thematic areas
  • Media Liaison and Social Media Reporters

  • Who Should Attend?
    Stakeholders within and outside the BRICS member countries involved and interested in food security and environmental governance for climate change adaptation:
    • Policy makers
    • Researchers
    • Emerging Researchers
    • Donor Agencies
    • Organized Civil Society
    • Academics
    • NGOs
    • Business and Industry
Interested stakeholders will be required to prepare on any of the five thematic areas mentioned either:
  • A motivation letter for an innovative IKS concept as an expression of interest; or
  • An abstract to develop papers/posters for presentation.

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