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Call for issue papers - Responsible Natural Resources Economies in Africa

ACTS – Responsible Natural Resources Economies (RNRE) programme

PROGRAMME VISION: Inclusive, pro poor and responsible natural resource economies for economic, social and environmental sustainability in Africa.

PROGRAMME MISSION: To provide policy choices that support ‘win-win-win’ outcomes or the Triple Bottom Line (People, Planet and Profits) in the sustainable conservation, use and governance of Africa’s natural capital and ecosystem services

PROGRAMME OBJECTIVE: To support the development of enabling policies, organizations and institutions for harnessing ‘win-win-win’ outcomes or the Triple Bottom Line in the sustainable conservation, use and governance of Africa’s natural capital and natural resources, with specific reference to the agriculture, energy, biodiversity and extractive industry sectors.

We invite issue papers on the following thematic areas:


  • Natural capital, biodiversity and / or ecosystem services assessment, accounting, and valuation at different scales (e.g. local, regional, nations, across international boundaries, multi-stakeholder, river catchment).
  • Business and corporate uses and applications of natural capital / ecosystem accounting & valuation (e.g. impact assessment, decision-making, investment approval, financial and sustainability reporting, product development, supply chain management, environmental management plan, closure plan) for different industries (e.g. mining, agri-business, energy, transport, construction, financial services).
  • The role of Big Data in natural capital / ecosystem accounting and valuation.
  • Environmental (water, biodiversity, air quality) no-net-loss / no-net-impact / net-positive-impact discourses, frameworks, accounting models, governance models, opportunities and risks, costs and benefits for different industries, including for indirect impacts.
  • Values, valuation and applications for pro-poor development policies and strategies.


  • Natural capital and ecological infrastructure mapping, restoration and stewardship.
  • The role of natural capital and ecological infrastructure in the food – energy – water nexus.
  • Models and tools for active stakeholder participation in land-use / project decision making, including disadvantaged communities.
  • Sustainable and resilient cities, including but not limited to green or sustainable budgeting, taxation, planning, building and procurement.
  • The role of institutions, policies, partnerships, incentives and disincentives.
  • The political economy of land grabs, land laws and property rights in Africa


  • Multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs); free trade agreements (FTAs); preferential trade agreements and their impacts on sustainable development in Africa; with particular reference to US-Africa, EU-Africa, China-Africa and intra-African trade relations
  • Biodiversity, ecosystem services and trade agreements – risks, impacts, costs, opportunities and governance aspects linked to changing rules / norms, standards and regulations, including but not limited to LMO, threatened species, genes, traded biological goods and services (e.g. wood products, minerals, crops).
  • Social & environmental safeguards for foreign investments in Africa.
  • Environmental, social and governance performance disclosure at African Stock Exchanges.
  • Sustainability leadership in private and public institutions and organisations.


  • Oil and Gas for Development in Africa
  • Mining/minerals for Development in Africa
  • The extractive industry sector and biodiversity conservation



Participants must submit an extended abstract of approximately 1 500 words for pre-selection by December 15, 2014. Abstracts should be typed double-spaced, minimum of 11 point script, in English. The abstract should state the objectives, methodology, key viewpoints and conclusions of the work, including and main references. The extended abstract must be submitted by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (quoting ‘2014 – 2015 ACTS RNRE call for issue papers’ in the title of your message). It must be accompanied by a short (maximum 2 page) CV.

Selection process

Submissions will be reviewed by a panel made up of ACTS’ Scientific and Editorial Committee. Decisions on successful applications will be made by January 12, 2015.

Those accepted will then be invited to submit a full Issue Paper of a maximum of 6 000 words, excluding references, March 16, 2015.

Accepted Papers will be published as an ACTS’ Issue Papers, with ISBN and ISSN numbers. They will be indexed in the BazEcon database, and submitted for indexing to: SciVerse Scopus, Inspec, DBLP Computer Science Bibliography and Google Scholar. 

Important dates

  • Abstract submission deadline: December 15, 2014.
  • Acceptance decision: January 12, 2015.
  • Full Issue Paper submission: March 16, 2015.
  • Publication in ACTS Press: May 26, 2015.  


The African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) is a leading independent, international policy research organization working on issues of science, technology, innovation, environmental change and sustainable development. Our mission is harness applications of science, technology and innovation for sustainable development in Africa by enlarging the range of policy choices for Africa’s sustainable development. We inform, influence, broker, leverage and build capacity for inclusive policy, organizational, institutional and technological change for economic, social and environmental sustainability in Africa.

ACTS works with global, regional and national scholars, policy makers, communities, public, private and civil society actors and other stakeholders to:

  • Conduct high quality research, policy analysis and capacity strengthening on harnessing applications of science, technology and innovation for sustainable development;
  • Broker and leverage science, technology and innovation research, knowledge and expertise for development policy making and practice;
  • Convene and facilitate evidence based, high level multi-stakeholder dialogue, debate and policy making;
  • Inform, influence and enhance development theory, policy and practice;
  • Expand the African development policy space by putting issues critical to Africa’s development on global, regional and national policy agenda.
  • Promote science diplomacy for global development

Over the last quarter century, ACTS’ work has influenced patent legislation and policy; environmental impact assessment policy and practice; bio-energy and biofuels policy; agricultural policy, bio-diplomacy, biotechnology and biosafety; climate change adaptation and mitigation; trade policy and international development, and science, technology and innovation policy in Africa. 

ACTS has consistently been ranked among the top development, environment and climate change think tanks in the world.

Our new Strategic Plan (2014-2018) seeks to Accelerate Africa's Transition into Inclusive Knowledge and Green Economies. The Plan has 5 Priority Programmes:

  • Bio economy (harnessing applications of biosciences, bio resources and biotechnologies for sustainable development in Africa)
  • Information Economy (harnessing applications of information and communication technologies, the digital economy and 'Big Data' for sustainable development in Africa)
  • Climate Resilient Economy (promoting livelihoods and ecosystem resilience in Africa; climate resilient African infrastructure)
  • Responsible Natural Resource Economy (natural capital accounting, valuation, assessment and pursuit of the Triple Bottom Line (planet, people and profit; Land Information Management System (LIMS) and Environmental Information Management System (EIS) for Sustainable Development in Africa).
  • Gender, Youth and Inclusive Development