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Environmental Sustainability in Southern Africa

Are you interested in learning about the environment in Southern Africa? We sat down with Frederick Simasiku, one of the coordinators of the Center for Global Education and Experience’s site in Namibia, to discuss the newest class to join the semester schedule, Environmental Sustainability in Southern Africa.

 Frederick, why did you decide to create the class? 

It was important to create the course because I wanted to provide a platform for students to explore the state of the environment in a Southern African context which is unique compared to other regions of the world. I also thought that it was important to have a course of this nature in order to offer students an opportunity to learn about both the environmental challenges and sustainable development challenges. There are courses such as religion, development, politics and history; I thought that it would be in the best interest for students to also have an opportunity to learn about the environmental issues while on the program.

 Why do you believe it is important for students to learn about the environment in Southern Africa?
This course attempts to equip students with sufficient knowledge on how to be responsible global citizens. Global world citizens with environment and sustainability knowledge are needed in the 21st century in order to promote and advance environmental sustainability for sustainable development across the globe. Therefore, learning about the environment and sustainability issues in Southern African context provides the students with the necessary information and knowledge to explore about environmental issues globally. Students will be able to apply what they learn to other contexts in relation to environment and sustainability challenges.

What are some of the topics that you discuss in your class?
This course explores and examines the human-nature interface in a Southern African context of risk and vulnerability. Some of the topics that are covered by this course include:
* Sustainable Natural Resources Management
* Water Resources and Challenges in Southern Africa
* Environment and Urbanization
* Climate Change in Southern Africa
* Environmental Policy and legislation
* Environmental Movements: Re-defining Environmentalism

I see that you received your masters degree from Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. Why did you decide to get your masters in Environment and Sustainability Education?
I studied at Rhodes University for my Masters because there were no courses available in my home country (Namibia) for this course. Rhodes University is a leader in environment and sustainability education on the African continent, and I thought that it would be the best idea to study at such an institution and learn from the best in the field. My favourite topics during my studies at Rhodes were research as well as a unit on education responses to environment and sustainability issues. One of my favourite moments while studying at Rhodes was to be part of a group of students from across southern Africa studying one course and learning from one another (that was special).

Thank you Frederick, for taking time to tell us about the Environmental Sustainability course that you teach.

Environmental Studies in Southern Africa
Spring 2015 students visiting a local environmental center in Namibia.