The activities of the UNESCO Nairobi office in the field of Earth sciences for this biennium (2012-2013) will focus on Earth Science Education Initiative in Africa, the International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) and geological heritage. As these activities target the whole of Africa, they will be implemented in collaboration with all the UNESCO offices in the continent.
The following priority activities will be implemented during this biennium:
- Promoting cooperation and exchange in earth science education and research in Africa through establishment of African Network of Earth Science Institutions (ANESI)
- Developing geological field mapping training course with focus on teaching early career earth scientists field mapping as an important geological tool for their careers, and a vital exercise for countries to identify their resources; and
- Looking at the status of Earth science education at primary and secondary level in schools, starting with focus on teacher training.
With the support of the Sida (Swedish International Cooperation Agency), the office is also implementing a project to address the Health and Environmental Impacts of Mining Activities in Sub-Saharan African Countries, with special focus on abandoned mines. The project will support a network of scientists to conduct field experimentations on abandoned mine sites in few countries including Burkina-Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia. The project will also organize a workshop to bring on board other stakeholders such as geological surveys, the mining sector, and NGOs involved in mining issues; this workshop will be a forum where countries and companies involved in promoting good environmental mining practices will share their experience with others.