Afromont Research Digest | October 2016

Afromont Research Digest | October 2016

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Mt Kili evening C Hemp 2016AfroMont, a knowledge sharing platform, was initiated in 2007 by the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) to focus research attention on the diverse issues and challenges facing the mountainous regions of sub-Saharan Africa. AfroMont is an online media platform, now with eight years of activities, all with a focus on Africa mountain research and Sustainable Mountain Development (SMD) in African countries. We follow advances in African mountain research and issues including news and specialized opinion articles covering all aspects of global change in mountains.

Photo credit: Mt Kilimanjaro by Dr Claudia Hemp.





AfroMont Editorial October 2016 - The African Centre for Migration and Society (ACMS)

I finally did something I’ve wanted to do since 2008 – I did a short course at the University of Witwatersrand’s African Centre for Migration and Society (ACMS). The ACMS is an important scholarly institution in Africa for research and teaching on human mobility, and was formerly called Forced Migration Studies. It offers Africa’s only post-graduate degrees in migration and displacement studies and provides training to students and professionals on a number of topics including the sociology of migration, mobility and health, human rights, and research methods.ACMS research on international and domestic migration critically analyses how human mobility reshapes institutions, attitudes, economies and policies. Through its work, the centre influences global and regional academic research agendas, policy deliberations and civil society mobilisation.

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Behavioural change and what do the poor think about themselves and their compatriots?

Professor Brandon Barnes is a new professor at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in South Africa and leads the Critical Health Studies thematic area in the Department of Psychology. His research focuses on health, psychology and behaviour change in the Global South. I read the press release about his inaugural speech and found a few things I have not come across before in development literature, particularly asking ‘poor people’ what they think about themselves and ‘things’, specifically their health.

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New Research: It was browsing antelope that turned ancient African forests into grassy savanna ecosystems

Millions of years ago, Africa’s landscape was covered with thick, ancient forests, which disappeared and turned into the grassy ecosystems that they are today. Almost a fifth of the world’s land surface is covered by savannas. Yet, for years it has been a mystery how these grassy ecosystems came to replace the ancient forests. One answer, it was thought, might be climate change, yet most savannas occur in climates that also support forests. The other possibility was fire. Savanna trees and shrubs are often adapted to frequent fires, while forest trees are not. But a study that includes a group of South African scientists has found that the arrival of browsing medium sized antelopes was probably what turned Africa’s ancient forests into the open savannas.

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Funding opportunity for mountains in Africa

The Albertine Rift Conservation Society’s (ARCOS) Small Grants Programme aims to enhance collaborative sustainable solutions for biodiversity and people, focusing on critical landscapes and watersheds of the Albertine Rift, the Great Lakes Region of East and Central Africa and the African mountains. Please note that for this round until further notice, the call is for African mountains only.

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The African Great Green Wall Initiative

201610 GGW logo

The Great Green Wall is an African-led project with an epic ambition: to grow an 8000 km line of plants and trees across the entire African continent. Its goal is to provide food, jobs and a future for the millions of people who live in a region on the frontline of climate change.  Once completed it will be the largest man-made structure on Earth and a new Wonder of the World. 

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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!


AfroMont-Mt Kilimanjaro Mountain Research Meeting 22-26 February 2017

Afromont happyAt last – the online conference registration website is available.

AfroMont - Mt Kilimanjaro Mountain Research Conference 22 – 26 February 2017: the URL will be available from 1st August 2016 to register. Delegates can now register online and submit an abstract and make an EFT Payment to pay for their attendance.

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Call for session proposals: 6th International Symposium for Research in Protected Areas

6th International Symposium for Research in Protected Areas, 2-4 November 2017 in Salzburg (Austria)

Please propose sessions on topics related to protected areas research until October 31, 2016!

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Upcoming Mountain Events

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

List of events


New publication about the discovery of fire

Gowlett, J. A. J. (2016): The discovery of fire by humans: a long and convoluted process.  PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 371 (1696):10.1098/rstb.2015.0164 JUN 5 2016

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New publication on deforestation

Bond, W; Zaloumis, NP (2016): The deforestation story: testing for anthropogenic origins of Africa's flammable grassy biomes. PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 371 (1696):10.1098/rstb.2015.0170 JUN 5 2016.

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New publication about community-based conservation in Sierra Leone

Larson, Lincoln R.; Conway, April L.; Krafte, Kathleen E.; Hernandez, Sonia M.; Carroll, John P (2016): Community-based conservation as a potential source of conflict around a protected area in Sierra Leone (2016). ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, 43 (3):242-252.

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New publication on water supply and demand in Morocco

Johannsen, IM; Hengst, JC; Goll, A; Hollermann, B; Diekkruger, B (2016): Future of Water Supply and Demand in the Middle Draa Valley, Morocco, under Climate and Land Use Change. WATER, 8 (8):10.3390/w8080313

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New publication on the "virtual economy" of REDD plus projects

Seyller, C; Desbureaux, S; Ongolo, S; Karsenty, A; Simonet, G; Faure, J; Brimont, L. (2016): The 'virtual economy' of REDD plus projects: does private certification of REDD plus projects ensure their environmental integrity?  INTERNATIONAL FORESTRY REVIEW, 18 (2):231-246; JUN 2016

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New publication on boundary-making and pastoral conflicts along the Kenyan-Ethiopian borderlands

Galaty, J (2016): Boundary-Making and Pastoral Conflict along the Kenyan-Ethiopian Borderlands.  AFRICAN STUDIES REVIEW, 59 (1):97-122; 10.1017/asr.2016.1 APR 2016

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New publication about community water governance on Mount Kenya

Dell'Angelo, J; McCord, PF; Gower, D; Carpenter, S; Caylor, KK; Evans, TP (2016): Community Water Governance on Mount Kenya : An Assessment Based on Ostrom's Design Principles of Natural Resource Management.  MOUNTAIN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, 36 (1):102-115; 10.1659/MRD-JOURNAL-D-15-00040.1 FEB 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