University of Leicester scientists to promote food security in Kenya

Posted by ap507 at Aug 04, 2017 11:32 AM |
International workshop in Nairobi to take place from 26-30 November

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 4 August 2017­

The University of Leicester (UK), in partnership with University of Nairobi (Kenya), has secured funding from the British Council’s Newton-Utafiti Fund for an international workshop which brings together early career researchers (ECRs) from the UK and Kenya from 26-30 November 2017.

The workshop in Nairobi will explore ways in which Earth Observation Scientists and Ecologists will work across disciplines with other scientists to strengthen action to promote food security in Kenya.

Professor Heiko Balzter, UK Workshop Coordinator and Director of the Centre for Landscape and Climate Research at the University of Leicester, said: "Earth observations from satellites and other platforms have now become a routine part of daily life - often unnoticed but important to millions of people's lives.

“Large parts of the population of Kenya currently suffer from drought impacts and food insecurity. This situation is exacerbated by climate change effects and lack of actionable information.  Indeed, food security, climate change and promotion of partnerships are part of the sustainable development goals.

“My colleagues at the University of Nairobi and we at the University of Leicester want to bring together early-career researchers from Kenya and the UK to devise new ways on how to integrate Earth observations and ecological sciences to support food security in Kenya. Better monitoring of ecosystem services is not all that needs to be done, but it can play an important role in improving the situation.”

The main aim of the workshop is to build the capacity of the ECRs and support them to form interdisciplinary teams for projects which can provide policy makers and the research-user communities with evidence and impact to drive sustainable development which will lead to better food security in Kenya. An immediate goal is to identify and develop at least one or two projects for further development and submission to the next round of Newton-Utafiti fund in 2018.

The workshop is coordinated by Professor Heiko Balzter (Leicester) and Dr Faith Karanja (Nairobi) and supported by four experienced mentors. The UK- Leicester mentors are Dr John Atibila (KE/Research Impact Fellow), and Dr Jorge Kaduk (Senior Lecturer), while the Kenya counterparts are Professor John B. K. Kiama (Director: GIS/Remote Sensing & Mapping) and Dr Loice Mildred Omoro (Chief Officer for Environment and Natural Resources – Kisumu County). Together with the Workshop Coordinators, these experienced scientists, will provide capacity building and a peer learning experience to participants at the workshop.

Details about how to apply for the workshop and further information can be found here:


Notes to editors:

For further information, please contact Dr John Atibila (Workshop Organiser) on email:


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