Roundtable kick-starts PAGE Green Economy Learning Assessment in South Africa

What knowledge and skills does it take to green the economy?

2 June 2016, Pretoria, South Africa. This was the question discussed at a roundtable held on 2 June 2016 at the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA). The event provided thoughtful inputs for an assessment of green economy learning priorities that will be implemented over the next two months. The roundtable brought together 20 participants from national training and research institutions, as well as business associations, civil society, Government and development partners. The event took place in the margins of the Sustainability Week at the CSIR International Convention Center – a major gathering of public and private actors that are at the forefront of advancing a green economy in South Africa. 

The PAGE Green Economy Learning Assessment aims to provide a better understanding of (1) learning priorities and (2) existing institutional capacities to provide education and training on green economy issues in South Africa. The intent is to develop recommendations and agreed action items for up-scaling green economy learning in line with national priorities. The roundtable provided an opportunity to discuss the scope, objectives and methodology of the assessment and review a draft competency framework. By looking at competencies needed for a green economy in the energy, water, waste and mining sectors it became clear that there is much to learn from actual case examples, rather than starting with a general review of knowledge and skills needed in different sectors.

Take the example of the Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), which has leveraged in a relatively short amount of time investments of R90 billion in the renewable energy industry. Various institutions from the Departments of Energy, Trade and Industry, National Treasury to the Industrial Development Cooperation and business associations were involved in the design and running of the programme.  What competencies did people working in these institutions bring in to make this scheme successful and what can we learn from that for other sectors like water or waste?  

Eureta Rosenberg from the GreenSkills team presenting the assessment methodology.

The discussions were moderated by a team from the Green Skills Programme a joint initiative by Wits- and Rhodes-University initiative, which is leading on the implementation of the assessment. As a next step, the Green Skills Team will refine the assessment methodology and reach out to a larger number of stakeholders through interviews and an online survey. A national stakeholder workshop to review the assessment results is planned for end of August 2016.

If you would like to learn more about the PAGE Green Economy Learning Assessment in South Africa please reach out to: page@unitar.org

Devina Naidoo, Department of Environmental Affairs and Wynand van der Merwe from NCPC opened the roundtable.

Participants discussing skills development needs in the water sector.