Through profession-based service provision AEON-ESSRI members are contributors (chair/authors/process-custodians) to:

ANESI Management Team during its 2015 meeting in Addis Adaba; from left to right: Dr Felix Toteu (UNESCO, Coordinator), Prof Asfawossen Asrat (AAU, Eastern Africa), Prof Moctar Doucouré (AEON/NMMU, Southern Africa), Prof Kmar Ben Ismail-Lattrache (Université El Manar, Northern Africa), Prof El Hadji Sow (University Check Anta Diop, Francophone Western Africa), Dr Joseph Victor Hell (IRGM-Cameroon, Central Africa), Prof Tijani Moshood (University of Ibadan, Anglophone Western Africa).

  • Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) Expert Panel Report on the Technical Readiness to Support the Shale Gas Industry;
  • Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for Shale Gas Development commissioned in May 2015 by the Department of Environmental Affairs with the agreement and support of the Departments of Energy, Mineral Resources, Water Affairs and Sanitation and Science and Technology;
  • Operation Phakisa Oil & Gas Skills Development Working Group Chair. Operation Phakisa is a national government programme focused on the Ocean Economy and fast-tracking a number of strategic programmes in the Marine and Ocean Economy of South Africa.
  • Management Board of UNESCO-Hosted ANESI – African Network of Earth Science Institutions.

Local communities/stakeholders in the Karoo
Local Communities in the Karoo, such as the Cradock Community Shale Gas Roundtable, ordinary farmers and other landowners in the Karoo continue to benefit from our unique engagement programme through information sharing on Shale Gas in the Karoo. Feedback report was sent to the Community in 3 languages.

Through Citizen Science – enabling communities in the baseline precincts to participate in local decision-making on ground water, health, and living environment
AEON-ESSRI Citizen Science aims to develop local capacities within rural communities, and started with monitoring the effects of potential shale gas exploration. This is done through interactive, experiential learning projects such as groundwater monitoring and analysis, socio-economic and health risk analysis. To-date 15 women from the Cradock District Municipality have been selected by the community to undergo groundwater sampling training.

Citizen Science at AEON is a research and innovation programme based on engagement with communities of the Eastern Cape province to develop and implement technological innovations, with contribution to sustainable livelihoods.

This Citizen Science promote environmental stewardship using participatory methodologies.

Through Indigenous knowledge building for future generations
Through our Khoisan research unit at AEON (!Nau-Omkhai ku Dara), we use two approaches in knowledge generation, development and utilization to learn and preserve Indigenous Knowledge (IK) for future generations.

  • First, cultural mapping is used for identifying and analyzing the cultural assets of a community. These assets can be viewed as tangible (e.g., rock art) and intangible (sense of place–which includes beliefs, memories, norms and values.
  • Secondly, we are using narrative inquiry to systematically gather, analyze and represent the Khoisan stories as told by them. These narratives encapsulate personal and human elements of Khoisan lives over time, taking into account the connection between individual experience and the cultural context.