The role of early careers researchers in the Global South’s ‘anthropocene’ SDG landscape

Mr Felix Kwabena Donkor1

1University of South Africa, Florida-Johannesburg, South Africa

One of the key narratives in the SDGs is the need to address the impact of climate-related wicked problems on society. This comes with consequences on decent work (SDG 8) and sustainable communities (SDG 11) inter alia. Such a scenario is crucial for areas in the Global South such as Africa where majority of vulnerable livelihoods are climate sensitive but yet support a significant section of the continent’s populace. The health of the continent’s wildlife is vital to supporting the ecosystem services that underpin such vulnerable livelihoods. The continent’s early career researchers are a core resource in the quest to revolutionise management systems and policy to safeguard the continent’s vulnerable livelihoods in the context of the SDGs. Moreover, a common denominator in the SDGs is the need to create robust partnerships as well as knowledge co-creation to inform sustainable development. This has bearings on harnessing indigenous knowledge systems and shifting paradigms cum management strategies which early career researchers can contribute to. This research therefore, looks how early career researchers can harness the niche that is presented them for the continent’s success at the SDGs.


Felix Kwabena Donkor is a Ghanaian alumnus of Erasmus Mundus Joint European Masters in Environmental Sciences (JEMES) studying in Germany, Denmark and Portugal. He is currently a research associate at the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES) of the University of South Africa (UNISA). His research interests include sustainable natural resources management, resilient livelihoods, environmental governance and sustainable development. He is a founding member of the Inala Food Sovereignty and Climate Justice Forum at Wits and co-manages a food garden which is entirely for feeding hungry students in his spare time; and is a budding farmer. His hobbies include cycling, swimming, jogging, writing and music. Felix is passionate about public service and has volunteered for several cross-cultural programmes and has been serving as a student leader as well.

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