ITCER e.V. (2017) and ITCER Kenya (2018) are non-profit, privately sponsored partner organisations in the tertiary education sector, focusing on scientific research, teaching and outreach in an international training centre in Siaya County in Western Kenya (see Location)
East Africa’s natural ecosystems are rapidly degrading due to unsustainable exploitation and mismanagement resulting from an unprecedented human population increase combined with land use practices that are not sufficiently adapted to the adverse effects of climate change. Identifying solutions to the environmental problems requires a new class of managers with practical skills that enable timely identification and assessment of current and emerging indicators of unsustainable land use practices, which lead to land degradation.
ITCER is a regional organisation, registered in Germany (e.V.) and Kenya as an international NGO. Both, ITCER Kenya and ITCER e.V. has a Board of Directors comprised of elected Board members. These Board members include representatives from Kenya and other international experts from different countries. ... more
Members and Memberships
The members of ITCER Kenya and ITCER e.V. have so far been recruited mainly from members of Egerton University, University of Eldoret, JOUUST, and Maseno University (Kenya), of University of Bamenda (Cameroon), furthermore of University of Bayreuth, University of Hohenheim, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, and Hochschule Karlsruhe (Germany), as well as of institutions dedicated to environmental diagnostics, environmental protection, and public relations (BIO-Diverse, SNSB IT Center, Stiftung Pfennigparade (all Germany) and others).
ITCER e.V. and ITCER Kenya themselves will become partners and members in other organisations, which will be listed here.
To offer high quality, use case-based training in environmental sciences for postgraduate students (MSc and PhD level) from Kenya and neighbouring countries. ... more
- act as an outreach centre for concepts and materials to implement up-to-date environmental knowledge in tertiary institutions as well as to inform key actors and the local community in Kenya and its neighbour countries
- improve the long-term conservation and sustainable use of natural resources
- generate income for the sustainability of its members
- promote community development through resource self-sufficiency
- carry out sustainable agriculture planning and development activities within the community
- sustainably cultivate indigenous mushroom species and sensitize communities on mushroom and tree conservation, mushroom identification and uses
- encourage group farming especially in food crop production, animal husbandry and fish farming and other self-help activities
- work in close collaboration with related organizations, village development committees and other NGOs
- enhance capacity building of its members by organizing and attending training workshops and conferences
- carry out scientific research in related fields to improve on production skills and facilities
Environmental Science Research and Training
- Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: integrate sustainable management of natural to enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services for community livelihoods and human well-being.
- Climate Change: facilitate regional mechanisms for assessing and addressing the impacts of climate change and promote grass-root actions to build community resilience.
- Sustainable Agriculture: work with communities to promote sustainable agriculture.
- Engaging strategic partnerships with leading players ... more
and facilitate regional collaboration and networking for better environmental, climate and conservation action as well as community empowerment
- Development of a regional reference centre ... more
for information on environmental, climate change, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development
- Partnering with and empowering grass-roots community-based groups ... more
and working with responsible industries and companies to promote corporate social and environmental responsibility
Many higher education curricula focus more on theoretical aspect and have a gap in teaching of practical skills in newest methods. ITCER will fill this gap ... more
- ITCER facilitates networking with local, national and international players to enhance sustainable development through information and experience sharing.
- ITCER empowers it’s network through policy dialogue, capacity building and policy engagement when implementing it’s work. ITCER works with all kinds of organizations including NGOs/CBOs, academic institutions, governments, industries, companies and business.
- ITCER’s activities on the ground take an integrated landscape approach focusing mainly on environmental science research and training, protecting biodiversity and enhancing ecosystem services, mitigating impact of climate change, and building shared vision among stakeholders to address threats.
The activities within the framework of ITCER research are resulting in first publications: ... more
- Gkoutselis, G.M., Rohrbach, S., Harjes, J., Obst, M., Brachmann, A., Horn, M., Rambold, G.: Microplastics accumulate fungal pathogens in terrestrial ecosystems, Scientific Reports (2021). doi:10.1038/s41598-021-92405-7
- Schweiger, A., Ullmann, M., Nürk, N.M., Triebel, D., Schobert, R., Rambold, G.: Chemical properties of key metabolites determine the global distribution of lichens, Ecology Letters (2021). doi:10.1111/ele.13930
Educational Concept and Planning
ITCER bases its educational programme on lecturers mainly from Germany, but not exclusively, who voluntarily share their specific expertise in particular state-of-the-art methods used in environmental research to students from Kenya and its neighbouring countries. ... more
The envisaged academic learning programme is three-fold, as we will offer
- Teaching modules ... more
over a period of 2 weeks with up to 15 MSc and PhD students per course: these training courses will combine diagnostics and measures by conveying skills in newest methods and their application in particular use cases.
- One-day educational seminars ... more
to target groups informing and sensitizing them on state-of-the-art methodologies and approaches, and on relevant scientific outcomes.
- Selected scientific talks ... more
and engagement with the local community to encourage participation in ITCER’s work on socially relevant issues of conserving and restoring the natural environment.
Examples of Training Courses
ITCER courses offer training and skills in the fields of vegetation science and conservation, plant pathology and parasitology, omics-driven microbial ecology, soil science and hydrology, biological informatics and data management, GIS-analysis and remote sensing.
- Biodiversity and Conservation ... more
(cellular, species, and ecosystem levels) ... more will centre around disseminating knowledge on restoration of degraded lands and declining native species, addressing questions related to invasive species and assessment of environmental health and ecosystem services of the existing ecosystems. The training will introduce techniques for quantifying ecosystem functions and structure.
- Soil and Water Conservation ... more
will address soil ecology, engineering, chemistry, and hydrology. Training is intended to provide sustainable solutions to the various forms of pollution and will be designed along biological control mechanisms. For instance, microorganism-bioremediation experiments for controlling plastic pollution in the environment will be conducted using fungi and bacteria to demonstrate the ability of the microorganisms to degrade plastics.
- Plant Pathology will address mycology, bacteriology and nematology. ... more
The training is intended to focus on sample collection from infected crops and plants and morphological, cultural, molecular studies and control measures will be demonstrated. This training will provide solutions to ensure food security and provide basic knowledge on the pathogen biology.
- Environmental Data Management ... more
will focus on data integration and management in environmental research. The complete workflow and data pipelines are explained based on use cases and by applying the free open-source software tool Diversity Workbench (DWB) with its various components and particular strength of implementing data standards. The training covers particularly the setting-up of a database from scratch, data exchange formats, schemas and data transformations as well as the DWB GIS tools for working with and managing georeferenced data.
Apply for a Course
(Functional as soon as training courses are announced)
Membership and Donations
ITCER welcomes everyone interested in contributing to the training and communication of environmental science relevant for local communities in East Africa. ... more
Main Building 25.11.2021
Water tanks 09.02.2021
Water tank tower 25.05.2021
Building I 25.05.2021
ITCER staff to start activities 14.11.2020
Secretary room 20.05.2021
Seminar room 08-10-2021
Demarcated plots on site 09-10-2021
Measurement devices on site 09-10-2021
Insect hotel on site 24-04-2021
Water pond on site 27-11-2021
The ITCER facilities are developing with time. While the plot of land was purchased in 2016 and construction of the first building (hosting lab and seminar room) started in June 2018 (both financed via private financial means), the final finishes to the building are expected for mid-2022. ... more
LOCATION OF TRAINING CENTRE
ITCER is placed in Ng’iya along the road leading to Nyang’oma Kogelo. As such it is located in Siaya County in Western Kenya, 60 km by road from Kisumu at Lake Victoria (see Site map).
The location is characterised by a developed public infrastructure (transport, water, electricity). The site can be reached by public transport, and internationally from the airport in Nairobi with domestic flights to Kisumu. ITCER is placed in proximity to diverse natural ecosystems such as savanna, rainforest, and wetlands, which serve as training grounds for the field work.
ITCER e. V.
A non-profit association according to the German law
Seat of the association in Bayreuth, Germany
Registered by Amtsgericht Bayreuth in July, 2016
95444 Bayreuth, Germany
IBAN: DE02 7735 0110 0038 0896 11
A non-profit NGO according to the Kenyan law
Seat of the association in Siaya, Kenya
Registered by NGO Coordination Board Nairobi in September, 2017
P.O. Box 300
Siaya 40600, Kenya