Two Faculty Members of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) have won a sum of £19,775.00 from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Networking Grant to undertake extensive research on: “establishing a network to build resilient coastal communities in West Africa”.
The two conquering scholars are Prof. Isaac Boateng, College of Technology Education, Kumasi Campus of UEW, as it then was, and Dr. Esther Yeboah Danso-Wiredu, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography Education, UEW. Prof. Isaac Boateng is now with the Akenten Appiah-Menka University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development (AAM-USTED).
The scholars aim to explore and develop a multi-disciplinary network focused on the challenges facing lagoon communities in West Africa. They propose to establish a Resilient Lagoon Communities Network (RLCN) to unite researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and stakeholders to understand the problems facing West African coastal lagoons and the communities they support.
The RLCN will enable the researchers to understand and contextualise the challenges faced by urban and rural coastal communities in the region, to provide sustainable solutions and to support decision-makers.
As a result, the researchers will build a framework that can be used by participants to enhance dialogue between stakeholders, support governance decisions and identify key areas for future funding bids and collaborative research. Among the key areas of the research will be the impacts of climate change; sanitation and water quality; sustainable fisheries and food security; resource management; and sustainable livelihoods.
The RLCN also intends to facilitate knowledge transfer and dialogue between experts from across natural and social sciences, engineering and education. It will bring together researchers, practitioners and community members in a workshop to serve as a platform for the discussion and sharing of expertise, practice and experience to facilitate an understanding of coastal challenges.
RLCN will provide a participatory platform that allows stakeholders to share expertise, experiences and best practices for building resilience in coastal communities, support the development of a United Kingdom (UK)-West Africa coastal-focused research community that can respond to a broad range of funding calls, develop successful funding bids and launch coastal focused projects that improve lagoon community resilience and support environmental resilience.
RLCN will also develop an outline for addressing the challenges faced by West African coastal communities that can inform coastal management and decision-making in the region as well as build a community of researchers and grow research capacity in West African partners that supports high-quality, internationally excellent research related to coastal issues.