Knowledge Exchange Project

Indigenous and local community land and sea managers have a great deal to teach one another. There is a growing recognition of the benefits of peer-to-peer learning as communities learn better and faster when guided by their peers. Exchanges are dedicated to providing small amounts of catalytic support to allow for learning, and the sharing of knowledge and experience.

Pilot Knowledge Exchange Project

In June 2015, WIN initiated a pilot project to support knowledge exchanges between indigenous and local communities. Targeted at the Equator Prize for Sustainable Land Management (SLM) in Sub-Saharan Africa winners (2014), an online application was made available for communities to submit a proposal including a description of the host, the guest, the components of the exchange and a budget. Having already learned of one another’s work during a capacity- building workshop held in Nairobi, Kenya in June 2015, partnerships were formed between organizations seeking to offer the best practices of their communities with those desiring new skills. After applications were received, five exchanges relating specifically to sustainable environmental management were selected and financially supported by WIN. Selected communities received guidelines including gender balance, representation of youth and elders, reporting mechanisms, and the agreement to share results of the knowledge exchange in regional community dialogues. Between August and September 2015, four organizations served as host to six other organizations from different countries. In October 2015 in Ankara, Turkey at the UNCCD (UN Convention to Combat Desertification) CoP, representatives of the organizations met and shared their experience of the exchanges among each other, and staff from the Equator Initiative. Recommendations and next steps were discussed. In addition to summaries of these exchanges found below, please click the links to read findings in their own words.

A key component of the Knowledge Exchange Project was to provide small grants (up to 2500 USD) to implement the learning acquired from the exchange. Interested organizations applied online. Utooni Development Organization was selected for a grant. To review the report please scroll down below to Kenya in Togo and click on: Utooni Report on Shallow Well.

Zambia in Burkina Faso

Four leaders from Kasisi Agricultural Training Center in Zambia traveled to Burkina Faso from 26-31 August. Hosted by Association Zoramb Naagtaaba (AZN), the guests spent three days in the field witnessing the breadth of AZN’s work and one day of formal best practices exchange. Kasisi gained valuable insight into specific methods of seed treatment and tomato growth and the plan to replicate AZN’s incoming-generating projects in aquaculture.

Swaziland in Kenya

Four leaders from Shewula Trust in Swaziland visited Il Ngwesi in Kenya from 22-27 August. Shewula Trust sought out this exchange with the hope of strengthening their conservation and ecotourism efforts after hearing the success stories of Il Ngwesi. They witnessed the strength of Il Ngwesi’s relationship with local law enforcement and their role in preventing poaching in the conservancy. Shewula Trust returned home with the hope of initiating theatre based awareness efforts and creating a Board of Directors.

Kenya in Swazilandzebra2

Following the knowledge exchange above, Shewula Trust returned the favor by hosting four members of Il Ngwesi from 6-12 September. While visiting the Lubombo Conservancy, the practice of semi-permanent campsites was witnessed and taken home as a future goal by Il Ngwesi. Likewise, they were inspired by the strength of Shewula’s Trust relationship with their neighbors in creating eco trails and hope to replicate this innovative project.

Burkina Faso & Chad in TogoAZN et ATVPE

From 5-9 September, L’Association Des Pepinieristes et Planteurs de Tone-Quest in Togo hosted representatives from the Association Zoramb Naagtaaba from Burkina Faso and the Association Tchadienne des Volontaires pour la Protection de l’Environnement from Chad. Four site visits took place to plantations and a botanical garden where guests learned techniques for working with mustard seeds, shea oil, bee hives and mushroom composting.

Kenya in Togo Pratique semis des graines2

From 20-28 September, four members from the Utooni Development Program in Kenya were hosted by L’Association Des Pepinieristes et Planteurs de Tone-Quest in Dapaong, Togo. Since both organizations are challenged to support subsistence farmers faced with increasingly desertification, representatives from Utooni were eager to discover new farming techniques and water conservation methods practiced used in Togo. Utooni was inspired by the regeneration of the indigenous forest and the use of composting.

Utooni officers visited a community in Togo living in an area with similar climatic conditions as their own. The group in Togo has been implementing projects with an aim of addressing water security and land degradation through shallow wells and the planting of trees. Based on this learning Utooni developed the shallow well project.  The community in Kenya has managed to gain access to water allowing them to start environmental conservation through the growing of indigenous trees


Past Exchanges

Following the initial launch of WIN at Rio+20 in June 2012, the Australian government allotted seed funding to encourage networking and the exchange of good practice among indigenous and local community land and sea managers. Six exchanges were funded between October 2012 and May 2013. The experience generated from the exchanges was showcased as a key capacity development modality at the inaugural WIN conference held in May 2013, and as a critical piece of WIN as it charts its path forward. The Australian Indigenous Ranger Program is a successful land and stewardship model and was identified as a key practice to be shared in all six peer-to-peer exchanges held from October 2012-May 2013.Below is a gallery archive of previous peer-to-peer knowledge exchanges between indigenous and local community land and sea managers. Click any thumbnail to read the entire post.


Representatives from the Australia Ranger Program of Kimberley Land Council and Central Land Council, Australia visit First Nations in Canada
solomon-islands-land-and-sea-4Torres Strait Islanders, Australia visit the Arnavon Community Marine Conservation Area, Solomon Islands; Part 1
admin-ajaxArnavon Community Marine Conservation Area, Solomon Islands visit the Torres Strait Islanders, Australia; Part 2
Kakadu-2013-rangers-AFRICA-1Park Rangers from Africa visit with Australia’s World Heritage Site Kakadu National Park Rangers 
nz-aust-3-panelIndigenous Rangers from New Zealand visit Rangers from the Yalata Indigenous Protected Area, Australia 
mexico_exchangeThe Comcáac People of Mexico Visit Kimberly, Australia to Attend the Kimberley Land Council International Ranger Forum


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