September 28, 2023
Winnipeg, Manitoba—Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) is pleased to collaborate with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Canada in a new project, Locally-Led Indigenous Nature-based Solutions for Climate Change Adaptation in Zimbabwe (LINCZ).
This project is made possible with the support of Global Affairs Canada, which has allocated up to $15 million over a span of 24 months to MCC. This initiative will include funding to CMU to collaborate with Zimbabwean academic and development organizations involved in the project.
“I am thrilled to be involved with collaborative efforts that monitor and report on the successes and challenges of responding to climate change. CMU’s commitment to peacebuilding and conflict sensitivity combined with our commitment to care for the environment is woven into this partnership,” says Jodi Dueck-Read, Director of Research and Program Grants at CMU.
As part of this collaboration, CMU will establish a dedicated learning and innovation hub where it will examine stories and statistics to reduce vulnerability and increase biodiversity within terrestrial ecosystems in Zimbabwe. CMU is dedicated to learning with and from Zimbabwean partners as it seeks to honour the environment and help us live sustainably.
“With this partnership, we can learn with and from Zimbabwean people—devoted professionals in the fields of biodiversity and peacebuilding and communities committed to sustainable living,” says Dueck-Read.
This global partnership aims to bolster Indigenous-led, nature-positive, conflict-sensitive and climate-resilient livelihood opportunities, particularly for women and girls, through sustainable use of biodiversity in the Mwenezi, Binga, and Gwanda districts.
“There are just a multitude of ways this will advance our programs in development, peace and conflict studies, environmental studies and public policy, and make CMU’s work be of service both here and in Zimbabwe,” says Ray Vander Zaag, Associate Professor of International Development Studies at CMU.
CMU’s research endeavours will involve a multi-disciplinary team of academics, project coordinators, and student researchers spanning various scientific and international development disciplines. Members of CMU’s research team include Dr. Wendy Kroeker, Dr. Jobb Arnold, Dr. Jonathan Sears, Dr. Rachel Krause, Dr. Ray Vander Zaag, and former CMU Associate Professor of International Development Studies Dr. Kirit Patel.
“[LINCZ] will make the research of these CMU faculty directly useful to a large development project in Zimbabwe, help make our teaching here in Canada more relevant, and strengthen our relationship with MCC,” says Vander Zaag.