Afromont Research Digest | July 2016

Afromont Research Digest | July 2016

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AfroMont Editorial July 2016 - Is Table Mountain in South Africa a good example of a sustainably managed mountain?

The international mountain research community, through the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI), is in a process of engaging with the issue of sustainable mountain development. Initial questions include: what is a sustainably managed mountain and are there any good examples? Perhaps Table Mountain in South Africa could be considered a candidate – yet there are many environmental problems that beset Table Mountain and its lowlands.

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Cape Floral Region and alien species: University of Stellenbosch says ‘bold steps’ are needed to improve management of invasive pines in the Cape Floral Region

Researchers from several of South Africa’s major environmental organisations warn that bold steps are needed to improve the management of invasive vegetation, specifically invasive pines in protected areas of the Cape Floral Region (CFR). The CFR includes the Table Mountain and the Cape Fold Mountains and their representative fynbos vegetation. If not managed, Cape Town and other coastal towns and cities along the Garden route stand to lose more than a third of their current water supply over the next 30 to 50 years. This would be at a time when South Africa would be feeling acute stress from declining water supplies per capita.

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Data said to be key to solving Africa’s development challenges

By Kay Raseroka, Research Data Alliances [KASANE, BOTSWANA] (June 2016).

Effective use of data will provide opportunity and impetus for solving African socioeconomic and environmental challenges - This was one of the key messages of the 10th General Assembly of the Africa Academy of Sciences meeting this week (21-22 June) in Kasane, Botswana. Discussions were around how the open data revolution is essential both to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and valuable to measuring progresses in meeting them in Africa.

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An interesting report: Increasing the Policy Impact of Ecosystem Service Assessments and Valuations - Insights from Practice.

Mainstreaming the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources across all sectors of the national economy, society and policy-making frameworks is a complex challenge. It is critical to have a clear understanding of the linkages, impacts and dependencies of human activities on ecosystems.

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Useful sources of remote sensing e-books: World bank remote sensing e-books on Earth Observation for Water

Useful sources of remote sensing e-books: World bank remote sensing e-books on Earth Observation for Water

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A project that will build resilient landscapes and livelihoods in Burkina Faso’s shea parklands

Shea is a valuable skin product from Africa

We all know that shea butter is a desirable natural product in many skin care products, and we feel good when we use these products, feeling that the community collectors in African countries are benefiting from our purchases. Well, this is true to some extent with Shea trees providing vital food and income for 80m people throughout the Sudano-Sahel. The downside of this valuable natural harvest is that the global demand for shea butter is growing, but for a variety of reasons, the shea trees are under threat.

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Photo Spot - Beni Bou Illoul village, Morocco

Here is something about the lives of people living in the Beni Bou Illoul village, Morocco.

201607 photospot copy

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dungbeetleIf 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 Mountain Research Meeting 22-26 February 2017

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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European Conference on African Studies 2017 in Basel

29 June - 1 July 2017, Basel, Switzerland

Registration for the European Conference on African Studies 2017 in Basel is now open.

For more information, visit the website.

Upcoming Mountain Events

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

List of events


New publication about mountain forests in a warming world

Andrew M. Sugden (2016): Mountain forests in a warming world. Science. Vol. 352, Issue 6292, pp. 1422-1423. DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6292.1422-c

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New publication on decentralization, market integration and efficiency-equity trade-offs

Gelo, Dambala; Muchapondwa, Edwin; Koch, Steven F. (2016): Decentralization, market integration and efficiency-equity trade-offs: Evidence from Joint Forest Management in Ethiopian villages. JOURNAL OF FOREST ECONOMICS, 22 1-23; 10.1016/j.jfe.2015.10.003 JAN 2016

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New publication about colonial origins of deforestation

Marchand, S. (2016): The colonial origins of deforestation: an institutional analysis. ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT ECONOMICS, 21 (3):318-349; 10.1017/S1355770X1500025X

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New publication about crowdsourced landcover map platform

Estes, L. D.; McRitchie, D.; Choi, J.; Debats, S.; Evans, T.; Guthe, W.; Luo, D.; Ragazzo, G.; Zempleni, R.; Caylor, K. K. (2016): A platform for crowdsourcing the creation of representative, accurate landcover maps. ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE, 80 41-53; 10.1016/j.envsoft.2016.01.011 JUN 2016

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New publication on regional sustainability for agricultural intensification

Nijbroek, Ravic P.; Andelman, Sandy J. (2016): Regional suitability for agricultural intensification: a spatial analysis of the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL SUSTAINABILITY, 14 (2):231-247; 10.1080/14735903.2015.1071548 2016

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New publication on tropical and temperate high-mountain lakes

Catalan, Jordi; Donato Rondon, John C. (2016): Perspectives for an integrated understanding of tropical and temperate high- mountain lakes. JOURNAL OF LIMNOLOGY, 75 215-234; 1 10.4081/jlimnol.2016.1372 2016

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New publication on alternative management scenarios in ape habitat

Imong, Inaoyom; Kuehl, Hjalmar S.; Robbins, Martha M.; Mundry, Roger (2016): Evaluating the potential effectiveness of alternative management scenarios in ape habitat. ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, 43 (2):161-171; 10.1017/S0376892915000417 JUN 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