YEP period 2022 - 2024, batch 26Young Expert at Ecopolis Europa - Uganda
Junior Advisor Landscape Restoration
Ecopolis Europa is a Dutch-based consultancy company that focuses on the capacity building of organisations, companies, institutions, and communities in the areas of agriculture, organisational development, urban planning, and sustainable development. Additionally, Ecopolis Europa collaborates with Kilimo Kisasa Ltd (KK). Kilimo Kisasa is a highland farm in Zombo district, Uganda, that produces seed potatoes and aspires to function as a role model farm in the region. Fertile soils and its highland climate make Zombo district very suitable for agriculture, but the increasingly intensive nature and expansion of agricultural practices is causing severe soil depletion and deforestation in the area. Although KK’s main aim is food production, the farm also recognises its responsibility to ensure a healthy landscape for future generations. Therefore, KK and Ecopolis Europa are working together to set up a forest and landscape restoration project in the wetland area next to the KK farm in Zombo district.
During my YEP period, I will be focusing on setting up a pilot for a forest and landscape restoration project next to the Kilimo Kisasa farm in Zombo district. The main aim is to develop an innovative approach to combine practical biodiversity reconstruction with intensive highland agriculture in Zombo district. My main activities will be:
- Instantiating of an ecologically, financially and socially sustainable landscape restoration pilot plan for the swamp area of the Ora River basin.
- Developing partnerships between relevant stakeholders (e.g. private sector, governments, education institutions, local farmers).
- Exploring different forms of funding for biodiversity reconstruction.
- Exploring the possibilities to expand the approach of combining biodiversity enhancement with sustainable agriculture in the whole Ora River basin area.
I am based in Arua City and in Zombo district, Uganda, where I work closely with my Dutch (former Young Experts), Ugandan and Congolese colleagues.
- Project management
- Critical thinking
- Attention to detail
- Organisational skills
- Facilitation of discussions
- Broad orientation / generalist
- Scientific writing
- Interdisciplinary work
- Nationality: Dutch
- MSc. in Environmental Sciences and Sustainable Development Diplomacy, Wageningen University
- BSc. in Forest and Nature Conservation, Wageningen University
Experience before YEP
- Consultant at Ecopolis Europa working on development and reconstruction projects in refugee settlements in West-Nile, Uganda.
- Research and Coordination Intern at Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO).
- Co-founder of Platform Youth and Nature.
- General Board Member of Heijmans en Thijsse Stichting.
- Chair of Dutch Youth Association for Nature Study (NJN).