AfroMont, 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: Drakensberg Sani Pass flowers, Dr Clinton Carbutt, Plant Scientist at Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, South Africa.
AfroMont is planning to conduct a State of African Mountains Assessment with a focus on monitoring the health and security of African mountain ecosystems (SOAMA-Eco). From very quick discussions with specialists, it would seem that there is a gap in our knowledge on ‘the state of’ African mountain ecosystems and we need to develop a quantified understanding of how ‘healthy and secure’ they are in the face of global change. Many in government speak of ‘ecosystem services’ that will provide for people where governments cannot, yet there is little measurement on the capacity of key African mountain ecosystems to provide these services. This would be termed ‘ecosystem security’ and work is needed to understand how ‘secure’ African mountain ecosystems are. Also, in terms of the species and processes that keep ecosystems functioning, little is known in a comparative way, although there is much ecological work being undertaken in mountains around the world and in Africa.
Thousands of honey bee colonies are used every year to pollinate important crops across South Africa. More than 50 crops in South Africa reply on insect pollination. However it is often difficult for beekeepers to sustain their colonies after the blossom season is over. For honey bee populations to withstand pests (e.g. Varroa mite) and diseases (e.g. American Foulbrood), as well as some degree of pesticide exposure, a healthy diet is crucial for a fully-functioning immune system. Beekeepers use a variety of flowering plants species to provide forage (food) for their colonies through the year. Eucalyptus trees, certain crop species, indigenous trees and shrubs, and even urban gardens and roadside weeds are used to provide the pollen (protein) and nectar (carbohydrates) that the honeybees need to build a strong and healthy colony.
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!
At last – the online conference registration website is available.
AfroMont - Mt Kilimanjaro Mountain Research Conference 22 – 26 February 2017: the URL http://www.afromont.org 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.
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.