On April 27, 2011 at the G2 Art Gallery in Venice Beach, the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability hosted a fundraising event for the UCLA Center for Tropical Research’s International Research and Training Center, Central Africa , located in Yaoundé, Cameroon. UCLA leadership, University supporters and Cameroonian-Americans circulated the spacious salon, viewing breathtaking images of lush locales and exquisite wildlife. CNE-TV, Community news and entertainment television, covered the event. They focus on activities pertaining to Africa and the world that are of interest to their viewership.
Center for Tropical Research Director Tom Smith delivered a presentation outlining IRTC’s objectives, goals, strategies, current projects and successes. The talk concluded with a question and answer session.
The IRTC aims to establish a resource center with emphasis on community participation that coordinates research projects throughout the region, forge lasting partnerships with African universities, African and American governmental agencies, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations, and develop a training program for U.S. and African students that promotes sustainable development in the region.
There is an outstanding need for scientific inquiry in this critical region—the countries making up the Congo Basin. Proposed studies will focus on issues ranging from public health to environmental sustainability, including: human disease, rainforest restoration and biodiversity.
Kevin Njabo, Africa Director at the Center for Tropical Research, stated, “The long term perspective of initiatives such as the IRTC will be very positive for the region (Cameroonian students and researchers) as it will make the region the beneficiary of the global knowledge-society in the 21st century. Local researchers and students will have access to the best resources in research and development at their door step and will easily develop long-term collaborations with researchers from the finest universities in the world without having to travel abroad.”