The Makana team consisted of Nthabiseng Mohanoe, a postgraduate student currently pursuing her Masters in Environmental Education at the ELRC, as well as representatives from local NGOs the municipality. While there, the team toured Sweden’s urban and rural agricultural projects and examined Sweden’s culture of sustainability. “It’s a different lifestyle there; it’s their way of life. They cycle, eat organic food, they initiate things instead of government initiating projects, and they have resources…they’re at another level,” said Mohanoe of Sweden’s initiatives.
This programme, called the Supporting Urban Sustainability, hopes to facilitate collaborations among key professionals, organisations and programmes in order to apply ecosystem service approaches to poverty alleviation in cities around the world. Each city is encouraged and supported to focus on a specific sub-theme. The Makana team hopes to restore the culture of agriculture for the local community while promoting healthy livelihoods and creating income generation possibilities through organic food production.
Thus far, the Makana team’s activities include: identifying relevant stakeholders, conducting workshops to elaborate on urban sustainability themes and creating activities to anchor their work in the city administration. To monitor the progress of the local team, a regional workshop will be held in December.