Faculty-Led Environment and Sustainable Development Program, Zambia

Learn about and contribute to environmental conservation in a beautiful part of Africa

Learn about the environmental issues facing Zambia and be part of innovative solutions to deforestation during this faculty-led program. You’ll be based in Livingstone, a town set in an area that is losing indigenous forests at a rapid rate. As a participant on this program, you’ll get a full understanding of the contributors and implications of the deforestation, and you’ll get to be part of a program with a multi-faceted approach to mitigating this complex issue.

You’ll learn about and help develop food forests, assist with conservation education, and help promote environmentally friendly land management techniques. You’ll also assist with the promotion of alternative cooking methods, such as solar cookers. This program is tailor-made according to the group’s academic focus and desired learning outcomes. To ensure maximum professional development, you’ll enjoy a well-structured program that incorporates both a variety of lectures and on-the-ground projects, and you’ll be guided by an academic adviser along the way.

Highlights

  • Take your class global, and work alongside experts in the fields of International Development, Conservation or Sociology
  • Expand your theoretical knowledge through practical implementation
  • Get professional academic support and work towards valuable learning outcomes
  • Live and work in Livingstone, a welcoming and vibrant Zambian community

Quick Facts

  • Location Livingstone, Zambia
  • Focus International Development, Conservation, Sociology
  • Recommended Credits Advised on request
  • Opportunities Potential research and credit opportunities

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Destination Description

Your home for the duration of this faculty-led environmental program will be Livingstone, Zambia. A small city with rural character and friendly people, Livingstone is a welcoming and charming place. It’s also a place of natural beauty; Livingstone is situated on the mighty Zambezi River, only ten kilometres away from the famous Victoria Falls, and surrounded by the bush (and yes, elephants roam around on the outskirts of the town). Weekends will give you the opportunity to encounter wildlife on game drives in a nearby National Park, to venture onto the Zambezi for a boat cruise, or to get soaked by the spray of the falls. For the adventurous type, there’s plenty to explore too. Known as the Adventure Capital of Africa, Livingstone offers dare-devil activities such as white water rafting, bungee jumping, or gorge swinging. A tourist hub spot for good reason, the Zambian town offers an abundance of character and opportunity.

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Learning Outcomes

The program is fully tailor-made and will be adjusted according to your group’s specific academic focus and desired learning outcomes. Overall, the aim of the program presents the following opportunities:

  • Exposure to issues of deforestation, climate change, and waste management facing the Livingstone area
  • Detailed assessment of the practical solutions developed by this grass-roots environmental program
  • Participation in environmental education workshops at schools
  • Participation in the developing and promoting of alternative energy sources, such as solar cookers and rocket stoves
  • Participation in the creation of and education on food forests at local farming communities
  • Hosting of workshops on sustainable land management techniques and conservation farming methods
  • Helping build eco-bricks and promoting their use in local community groups, in an effort to recycle and mitigate the waste issue Livingstone deals with

Through workshops, lectures, and practical project, the program uses creative learning and inquiry-based learning methods to equip young participants with the following:

  • Knowledge of environmental issues in an African context
  • Research and critical assessment skills
  • In-depth understanding of sustainable land management techniques and alternative energy methods that can mitigate climate change in Zambia
  • An understanding of the role conservation education plays in the fight against deforestation
  • An understanding of innovative waste management solutions

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Service Impact

Zambia has seen rampant deforestation in recent decades, mainly as a result of unsustainable land management, slash and burn farming methods, unsustainable logging and tree cutting for charcoal. According to the UN-REDD programme, Zambia has approximately 50 million hectares of forest, with an estimated deforestation rate of 250,000 to 300,000 hectares per year. The deforestation results in a change in the local ecosystem, a loss of biodiversity and increased incidence of both drought and flooding. It also means a decline in food security due to a reduction of agricultural yields and the loss of valuable forest resources. Additionally, women have to walk further to find wood, resulting in less productivity and children being left alone at home.

Based in Livingstone, a collaborative of several non-profits has created a multi-faceted program that addresses the different causes of the environmental issues. The program focuses on the following projects:

  • Tree planting and eco-education projects at schools around Livingstone.  The children
    play an active role in planting the trees, and through a creative educational programme, we teach them how to identify different trees, how to look after trees, and why trees are essential to a
    healthy living environment.
  • The creation of food forests local subsistence farming communities. The concept is a multi-layered food growing approach that differs greatly from monoculture planting, improves the soil and provides a variety of good vegetables and fruits. The Food Forest was a pilot project to test the concept and see if it would be taken up by the farmers at the cooperative. It has done extremely well and has been taken on by the farmers as their own, providing new varieties of food.
  • Education through workshops on various sustainability topics. We run workshops on permaculture, eco bricking and eco building, coppicing and forest management, eco enterprise and how to start an eco business, food security, alternative energy sources for cooking and heating, waste management, active citizenship and more.

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  • WEEK 1

    Your first week will give you a full immersion into your location and the subject in context for a strong foundation to catalyze the right mindset for applying your empirical knowledge in practice.

    Group reflections will support the challenging shift in mindset and embrace a new frame of reference.

  • WEEK 2

    In week two, you will implement your existing knowledge in practical situations, giving you the opportunity to invoke deeper understandings of the subject matter, and of cultural norms, which informs it.

  • WEEK 3

    Your final week will be dedicated to refining and presenting your key findings in the form of a report and journal entries to describe intercultural learnings.

Dates:
Available February to November

  • Participants will be collected from the airport upon arrival and transferred to base
  • Accommodation on base will be simple, but comfortable shared rooms with communal ablutions
  • All meals for the duration of the project, with the exception of free days will be provided
  • Any transport required for program activities will be provided
  • Participants will be transferred back to the airport for their departure