9th May 2024

INSPIRE in Sierra Leone

INSPIRE attended the Resource Exchange Summit in Sierra Leone in April 2024.

Background on the Resource Exchange

INSPIRE joined the Resource Exchange, which is a global network that supports inclusive, local land and natural resource governance, and is a component of the Community Smart Consultation and Consent Initiative. 

The vision of the network is that indigenous and local communities are included in decisions about natural resource development and that resources can be managed in resilient and sustainable ways between communities, governments, and businesses. The Initiative is implemented by Conservation International, Landesa, RESOLVE, and the Australian University of Queensland’s Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining. 

The Resource Exchange connects people to the tools, knowledge, resources and relationships they need to drive local decisions about natural resources. The network consists of seven Community Smart Projects aimed at fostering inclusive and locally-driven governance of land and natural resources. The Community Smart Initiative partners gathered in Sierra Leone to learn and share their experiences related to inclusive local governance. 

The Resource Exchange Summit Themes

Reflections on the Resource Exchange Summit

INSPIRE and the Center for Mental Wellness and Leadership (CMWL), through support from RESOLVE, have implemented a project called Xazulula- “Resolve” focusing on trauma-informed leadership in community development for the renewable energy sector in South Africa. 

The team embarked on a learning journey in Sierra Leone, which brought about new insights into the challenges for communities to protect and manage their natural resources (such as land, water, clean air, and many more) in the context of small-scale or large-scale, national or international businesses looking to derive a profit from extracting minerals from the area. 

The team learnt about how mining activities, whether artisanal, small or large-scale, hardly contribute to sustainable livelihoods locally. Post-mining, the rehabilitation of land is not anyone’s committed responsibility but rather falls to the communities to mobilise financial and technical resources to bring about new livelihood opportunities. Intermediaries like RESOLVE and other NGOs play a critical role in supporting communities in this process.

Nomfundo (CEO at CMWL) and Holle Wlokas (MD of INSPIRE) shared about trauma-informed community leadership development with a group of leaders and organisations from one renewable energy area. The trauma-informed training was very well received, and there is an invitation to return to share more of the Xazulula project content.

We are delighted to provide a glimpse of the summit through some captivating photos.

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