Afromont Research Digest | June 2016

Afromont Research Digest | June 2016

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AfroMont Editorial June 2016 - We need to communicate better about mountains

Researchers, development practitioners and mountain activists would like the greater African society to better understand the value of mountains. This means that researchers and development communicators need to find more ambitious and innovative ways to ‘package’ their research so that the intrinsic value, the cultural value, as well as the economic value of biodiversity, tourism, forestry, vegetation cover, soil, water flows, weather modulation and so on are all seen by society as assets of value underpinning the greater economy.

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Five new velvet worm species from the mountains and forests of South Africa

Press release (University of Stellenbosch, South Africa)

Five new species of the enigmatic velvet worm – one of the most ancient Arthropods still living in forested areas of South Africa – have been described in a new study published in the international journal Cladistics recently. Modern-day velvet worms are regarded as ‘living fossils’ because they almost exactly resemble their 550-million-year-old ancestors (the Onychophora) who lived on the antique supercontinent Gondwana.

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Social sciences research - African Borderlands Research Network (aborne)

ABORNE is an interdisciplinary network of researchers interested in all aspects of international borders and trans-boundary phenomena in Africa.

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Thought provoking paper on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

Implementing SDG 15: Can large-scale public programs help deliver biodiversity conservation, restoration and management, while assisting human development?

By Bridgewater, P; Regnier, M and Cruz GR(2015). NATURAL RESOURCES FORUM, 39 (3-4):214-223; 10.1111/1477-8947.12084 AUG-NOV 2015.

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The Future Climate For Africa UMFULA project - Uncertainty reduction in models for understanding development applications

25th May 2016 - The UMFULA project (meaning ‘river’ in Zulu) is providing new insights and more reliable information about climate processes and extremes in Central and Southern Africa.

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Cape Mountain Zebra back from brink of extinction

Not everyone will know that there are many different species of zebra in Africa, and that some are more threatened than others. Although these zebra all resemble each other in many ways (they have stripes), there are some differences, notably whether they live in grasslands and savannas, referred to as ‘plains’ zebras, or whether they live in mountains. While the plains zebra are still numerous throughout Africa, the mountain zebras are at greater risk.

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If you use Facebook, follow the Mountain Research Initiative to get the latest mountain-related news, job announcements, blog posts and, every now and then, some mountain eye-candy to brighten your day!


35th International Geological Congress - World Cup of Geosciences 2016

27 August - 4 September 2016, Cape Town, South Africa

South Africa will be hosting the 35th ‘World Cup of Geosciences’ in 2016, the prestigious International Geological Congress (IGC), which is undoubtedly the most important activity of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS). The South African event will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 27 August to 4 September 2016. web
The Council for Geoscience, together with the Geological Society of South Africa and other collaborators from academia and industry, is currently spearheading the preparations for the 35th IGC in South Africa.

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Sustainable Futures Conference 2016

30 August - 2 September 2016, Nairobi, Kenya

This conference will be held at the UN Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya from August 30 - September 02, 2016. web
SFC 2016 will be co-hosted by UN Habitat at the UN Headquarters Conference facilities in Nairobi. It is The Final Conference for the EU-funded University cooperation JENGA (Joint Development of Energy-Efficient Courses for Sustainable Housing in Eastern Africa). Academics, professionals and students from around the world with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa are invited to submit contributions for oral or poster presentation and to join the JENGA team for this symposium on energy-efficient and sustainable architecture and construction in the Global South. The Organising and Scientific Committees welcome you to contribute to this event.

World Mountain Forum

17 – 19 October 2016 / 21-22 October 2016, Mbale, Uganda

Two events will take place at the same location and opportunity: 
  • The World Mountain Forum – Mountains for Our Future on 17-19 October
  • The Fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership on 21-22 October (Mountain Partnership members only)

The World Mountain Forum 2016 will bring together mountain stakeholders from around the globe, and provides a platform for exchange, promotion of collaborative action and fostering political dialogue among different levels of society. The overall goal of the World Mountain Forum is to engage dialogue with articulated, concrete actions and concerted efforts to address the plight of mountain ecosystems towards Sustainable Mountain Development.

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AfroMont-Mt Kilimanjaro Research Group meeting

22-26 February 2017, Moshi, Tanzania

Kilimanjaro Research Group

Please diarise the above dates for the 2017 AfroMont-Mt Kilimanjaro African Mountain Research meeting, hosted by the Mt Kili research programme based at Moshi.

The conference registration and abstract submission website will be available from 1st August 2016. The venue will be the Uhuru Hotel and Conference Centre, Moshi. It’s a facility run by the Lutheran church and there is a webpage with booking via internet.

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Upcoming Mountain Events

Have a look at the list of upcoming mountain-related events!

List of events


New publication about land use effects on soil biochemical properties

Mganga, Kevin Z.; Razavi, Bahar S.; Kuzyakov, Yakov (2016): Land use affects soil biochemical properties in Mt. Kilimanjaro region. CATENA, 141 22-29; 10.1016/j.catena.2016.02.013 JUN 2016

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New publication on snow cover variations at Mt. Kilimanjaro

Park, Sung-Hwan; Lee, Moung-Jin; Jung, Hyung-Sup (2016): Spatiotemporal analysis of snow cover variations at Mt. Kilimanjaro using multi-temporal Landsat images during 27 years. JOURNAL OF ATMOSPHERIC AND SOLAR-TERRESTRIAL PHYSICS, 143 37-46; 10.1016/j.jastp.2016.03.007 JUN 2016

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New publication about vegetation feedbacks on precipitation

Hartley, Andrew J.; Parker, Douglas J.; Garcia-Carreras, Luis; Webster, Stuart (2016): Simulation of vegetation feedbacks on local and regional scale precipitation in West Africa. AGRICULTURAL AND FOREST METEOROLOGY, 222 59-70; 10.1016/j.agrformet.2016.03.001 MAY 28 2016

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New publication on precipitation modelling in Ethiopia

Li, Laifang; Li, Wenhong; Ballard, Tristan; Sun, Ge; Jeuland, Marc (2016): CMIP5 model simulations of Ethiopian Kiremt-season precipitation: current climate and future changes. CLIMATE DYNAMICS, 46 (9-10):2883-2895; 10.1007/s00382-015-2737-4 MAY 2016

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New publication about the Mount Oku rat

Missoup, Alain Didier; Nicolas, Violaine; Eiseb, Seth; Chung, Ernest Keming; Denys, Christiane (2016): Phylogenetic position of the endemic Mount Oku rat, Lamottemys okuensis (Rodentia: Muridae), based on molecular and morphological data. ZOOLOGICAL JOURNAL OF THE LINNEAN SOCIETY, 177 (1):209-226; 10.1111/zoj.12361 MAY 2016

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New publication on the origin and history of the Dahomey Gap

Demenou, Boris B.; Pineiro, Rosalia; Hardy, Olivier J. (2016): Origin and history of the Dahomey Gap separating West and Central African rain forests : insights from the phylogeography of the legume tree Distemonanthus benthamianus. JOURNAL OF BIOGEOGRAPHY, 43 (5):1020-1031; 10.1111/jbi.12688 MAY 2016

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AfroMont was initiated to focus research attention on the diverse problems facing the mountainous regions of sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar, as well as share information that may lead to the development of science-based solutions required for sustainable mountain development in the long term.

Anyone with an interest in African mountains and mountain research can contribute to this Digest, or to the blogs or the website. Please liaise with or send short concise material and photographs to Dr Sue Taylor. The AfroMont Research Digest is sent out every month to about 700 email addresses of the AfroMont Network.

Yours sincerely,
Dr Sue Taylor