ICCS5 keynote speakers

This year’s ICCS features keynote talks on the topics of capacity building by David Mkwambisi (plenary session P4 on March 1st), on innovation by David Lesolle, and on indigenous knowledge and innovation by Shankar Aswani¬†(both plenary session P4 on March 2nd).


Dr. David Mkwambisi is an Associate Professor of Environmental Sustainability with a PhD and MSc in Environment and Development from Universities of Leeds and East Anglia (UK) respectively. David has a Diploma and BSc in Agriculture from the University of Malawi. In addition to lecturing, David is currently working as a Programmes Coordinator. He is involved in several development and research programmes working with both rural and urban communities especially on climate change impacts and vulnerability among smallholder farmers and on urban and rural poverty. He is among national experts responsible for policy guidance on climate change, environment and development issues. David is among IPCC experts on climate change, food and agriculture and a member of the National Technical Committee on Climate Change. David has been contributing to environment and development issues to UNEP, UNFPA, COMESA, SADC, African Union, World Bank, FAO, African Development Bank, UNICEF, Government of Malawi and several international and national Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).



Dr. David Lesolle is a meteorologist with teaching and applied interest in cloud physics and applied climatology, climate science, climate policy and climate and development. He has research interest in national, regional and international policy on climate change, climate governance and specifically on issues of equity, development and coping strategies. His recent work includes incorporating climate change into governance and equity of climate change impacts on socio-economic sectors, application of the Loss and Damage concept within the international policy on climate change.




Professor Aswani (Ph.D. 1997, University of Hawaii) comes to Rhodes University from the Department of Anthropology and the Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Marine Sciences at the University of California in Santa Barbara, USA. Aswani has conducted research in the Western Solomons Islands since 1992 particularly in the Roviana and Vonavona region, and more recently in the Vella Lavella, Rendova, and Marovo areas. His projects have focused on a diversity of subjects including property rights and common property resources, marine indigenous environmental knowledge, cultural ecology and human behavioural ecology of fishing, demography, ethnohistory, political ecology, economic anthropology, and applied anthropology.