Humboldt Kolleg/Conference Nairobi 2013 concept note

Background
Kenya is going through a rapid phase of socio-economic development in all sectors of its economy. These include rapid growth in population, agriculture, industries, infrastructure and exploitation of natural resources such as energy and water resources. The expansion and intensification of agro-industrial activities involve increased usage of agrochemicals and other industrial chemicals, with subsequent release of various types of chemical residues which have adverse effects on water resources, human beings and ecosystem health. Utilization of natural resources such as energy and water and application of modern technologies often result in environmental degradation and pollution. In line with the national Vision 2030, there is need to put in place necessary structures to protect the environment and enable us to attain sustainable socio-economic development. For sustainable development environmental research and monitoring is needed to protect the environment from pollution in many key areas such as fisheries, water resources, wildlife, public health, agriculture and the natural capital (bio-resources). There are also global issues such as climate change and global trade that should be considered. However, it is not known whether fundamental environmental issues and concerns are receiving adequate attention in our economic development agenda. Where are we now in terms of capacity development in environmental research, monitoring and protection? Do we have the necessary knowledge and capacity to be able to contribute towards environmental research, training, monitoring and technological development for us to be able to achieve sustainable development in future in line with the national Vision 2030?

To help us address these two fundamental questions, we propose to organize a Humboldt Kolleg in Kenya which will involve scientists from Kenya and other east African countries including Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia. The title of the conference is: Environmental Monitoring Research Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in Kenya and the Impact on the National Vision 2030.
The topic is broad enough to address key issues affecting our environment and we will be focusing on bringing together researchers involved in environmental protection and pollution control from various disciplines including physical sciences, life sciences, engineering and social sciences to address fundamental environmental issues. The conference will target approximately 80 people including AvH alumni, DAAD alumni, KAAD alumni, young scientists, invited speakers and other researchers from various institutions in Kenya and abroad including the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST), the Ministries of Agriculture, Energy, Industrialization, Fisheries, Wildlife, Public Health, Water and Irrigation and the Universities.

Objectives:

  • To bring together key researchers and stakeholders involved in environmental research and management in the east African region and in Kenya.
  • To establish the current status of environmental research, monitoring and capacity in Kenya.
  • To develop and explore ways of increasing capacity in environmental research and management.
  • To establish the impact or potential impact of the level of the current environmental research and management capacity on sustainable development in Kenya and the national Vision 2030.
  • To promote basic and applied research for environmental pollution control and resources protection
  • To bring out the importance of environmental research, monitoring and pollution control to  young researchers from various institutions including the universities.
  • To promote the activities of Alexander von Humboldt foundation to young researchers
  • To strengthen the activities of AvH Alumni Association in Kenya.
  • To strengthen collaboration among AvH Alumni, DAAD Alumni, KAAD Alumni and other researchers

Topics/Themes to be discussed
The sub-themes will include

  • Agriculture, Wildlife, Environment and Water Resources: monitoring, protection and management
  • Industrial and Urban Pollution problem: Toxic waste, nature, sources, impact and management.
  • Environmental laws, Global Trade, Food safety standards and Bio-safety
  • Integrated Environmental Monitoring (contaminants, toxic effects and indicators), Biodiversity, Impact Assessment and Climate Change.
  • Technology, Engineering and Environmental pollution Control
  • Conventional and Alternative Energies: Environmental Impact and Pollution Control.


Proposed Dates:
April 9-12th 2013.
Conference is scheduled to last 3.5 days.
Registration of invited participants and guests will be done on 9th April 2013 starting at 2.00 pm.

Venue:
Nairobi. In a hotel suitable for an international conference. This will be confirmed later.

Convener
This conference will be hosted by the Kenya Polytechnic University College and will be the first
in a series of Annual KPUC Research and Technology Conferences.

For further information on the conference please contact the following:

Prof Joseph O. Lalah
Kenya Polytechnic University College
P.O. Box 52428-00200
Nairobi, Kenya.
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Tel: +254 (0)723 521644
Dr P. Njiru
Kenya Polytechnic University College
Nairobi
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Tel: +254 (0)720 487126
Secretariat:
Mr Hesbon Nyagowa
Academic Registrar
Kenya Polytechnic University College
Nairobi.
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Tel: +254 (0)700 507715