Leverhulme Fellowship to develop sustainable communities in East Africa
A lecturer in Swansea University's Centre for Development Studies has been awarded a prestigious Leverhulme Trust Visiting Fellowship to research how some of the world's poorest communities can adopt more sustainable approaches to managing their natural resources.
Dr Eleanor Fisher, a social anthropologist specialising in social development and poverty issues in the developing world, will be based at the University of Dar es Salaam for the Fellowship.
She is part of the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association project, which is looking at sustainability issues in coastal areas of the Western Indian Ocean Region, and is particularly interested in how communities can help prevent degradation of the coastal and marine environment.
The Leverhulme Fellowship will enable her to carry out further research into the management of the coastal and marine environment and to undertake a capacity building project that will help junior researchers learn to conduct research on coastal communities.
Dr Fisher said: "The focus of this project is to look at the capability of these communities to make more effective use of their natural resources. In doing so, we hope to encourage more sustainable practices that will help the communities to lift themselves out of poverty."
The project involves participatory research with several coastal communities in Tanzania, enabling them to take responsibility for their long term development.
This approach to conservation is seen by many as an important factor in securing the long term sustainability of coastal marine communities in some of the world’s poorest regions. However, we must not underestimate the challenges they face," added Dr Fisher.
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