Welcome to two new Master's students from the Living Catchment Project

Two new Master's student from the Living Catchment Project
Two new Master's student from the Living Catchment Project

The Living Catchments Project is implemented by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) in partnership with the Water Research Commission through funding from the Department of Science and Innovation. The purpose of the project is to enhance research, innovation and impact through engaged communities of practice in key catchments associated with strategic water source areas. According to SANBI: 

Improving water security means viewing water security broadly as being influenced by both built infrastructure (that supports bulk water infrastructure and water distribution infrastructure) and by ecological infrastructure. Therefore, creating an enabling environment for integrated built and ecological infrastructure planning, co-learning and collaboration for water security is of paramount importance. Co-learning and cocreation through communities of practice is central to SANBI’s approach to policy advice and mainstreaming that has grown over the years. The Living Catchments project is therefore implemented to grow the practice further and improve the engagement with the water sector to contribute to the Water RDI (Research, Development & Innovation) Roadmap. This is a collaborative project with the intention to strengthen the enabling environment for water governance in South Africa.

The project has partnered with several South African universities to support capacity building of postgraduate students who are contributing action-oriented research to the work of the project. At Rhodes University, postgraduate students are being supervised at the Institute for Water Research (IWR), the Environmental Learning Research Centre (ELRC), and the Department of Environmental Science (DES). Dr. Cockburn, along with colleagues from the IWR and the ELRC, has been involved in the Living Catchments from its INCEPTION, where she assisted in the development of the project’s Theory of Change and its Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning framework.

We are excited to welcome Kwanele and Philisa to the department. Their action-oriented Masters research projects are bound to push the boundaries of research and practice as we grapple with the challenges of social learning, multi-stakeholder collaboration and policy engagement for catchment management. This project will also strengthen the partnership between researchers, practitioners and policymakers to address the knowledge-action interface in more meaningful and sustainable ways.

For further information on the Living Catchments Project, see the links below, and contact the Project Leader, Mahlodi Tau at SANBI: m.tau@sanbi.org.za

For further information on Kwanele and Philisa’s specific projects, contact Dr. Jessica Cockburn: j.cockburn@ru.ac.za

Learn more about the Living Catchments Project at these links: