The CRC is pleased to introduce and welcome Valentine Opanga, the first Alexander von Humboldt International Climate Protection Fellow to be hosted by Bonn University’s Geography Department. Over the next year (2021-2022), Ms. Opanga will be researching the political ecology of green space governance in Nairobi and Berlin, whilst comparing management strategies of the two urban cities. During her tenure at the CRC, she will be working together with Prof. Detlef Müller-Mahn and the subsequent working group of project C03, Green Futures.
Her study will analyze the concept of greenspace governance as a traveling idea and generate insights into how two different capital cities – one in the Global South, one in the Global North – govern their green spaces, by focusing on how green spaces are planned, created, and maintained; how populations use and view them; and how politics influences overall governance. The study will be based on the theory of political ecology. Her goal is to invigorate the cities’ concepts by applying lessons learned in Nairobi to Berlin, and vice versa, and adapting their concepts to their respective context-specific interests.
Ms. Opanga holds a Master of Arts in Environmental Policy at the Center for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP) of the University of Nairobi and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies at the Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies (IDIS) of the University of Nairobi and a Diploma in Public Relations from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. She is a passionate researcher with a keen interest in implementation research and program management. Her expertise is in climate action, environmental governance, Hydro politics, and conflict resolution especially in the Horn of Africa region.
The International Climate Protection Fellowship targets prospective leaders working in academia or practice in the field of climate protection. It provides a platform for the fellows to work in Germany for a year on projects relating to climate adaptation, biodiversity, and ecosystem conservation and preservation, or sustainable utilization of seas and oceans. The foundation also provides scholarship opportunities for long-term academic research of 12-24 months. More information relating to the foundation’s research funding can be accessed here.