Afromont Research and News Digest | April 2017

Afromont Research and News Digest | April 2017

This email contains graphics, so if you don't see them, view it in your browser.




201704 mainAfroMont, 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 Kili aloes, Dr Claudia Hemp





AfroMont Editorial April 2017: Drone politics

I attended an academic talk this week on the politics of drones. The talk was not at all what I expected - I had hoped to learn more about the use of drones to combat poaching and other needed technology interventions for the ‘greater good’. I did also originally have my own ideas about drones being useful for flying mountains and doing mountain research at high level (I discussed this idea with the speaker and she said “Ha! I’d like to see anyone fly a drone in and around a mountain. It will be smashed in no time at all!”). So ended my fantasy about ‘quick fixes’ for mountain science.

Read More


The Indigenous Plant Use Forum

Check out the Indigenous Plant Use Forum (IPUF) website for information about plants, products and the IPUF annual conference in South Africa. South Africa is one of the world’s mega-diverse countries with regards to plants, and there is a long term tradition of using plants for food, medicines, fibre and building material. Since IPUF's start up, the conference has attracted enthusiastic support from a diversity of interest groups and has been especially successful in promoting scientific research amongst young black students.

Read More

Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater, excreta and grey water

201704 waterJust received this in my inbox today – although the actual WHO report was written in 2006. In 2006, WHO published a third edition of its Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater, excreta and greywater in agriculture and aquaculture. Sounds nasty, but we all know this is very important! In four volumes, these Guidelines propose a flexible approach of risk assessment and risk management linked to health-based targets that can be established at a level that is realistic under local conditions. The approach is backed-up by strict monitoring measures, for example to ensure that use of these types of material does not spread intestinal parasites and diseases like cholera. This would all be of vital interest to decision makers and practitioners in all parts of Africa, including mountains and their lowlands. If we can make water stretch further, then this would definitely make for less impact on the water basins, more water for ecosystems and perhaps could make agriculture more sustainable.

Read More


Mountain Research and Development – call for journal contributions

Call for papers: Exploring the links between water, food, energy, and mountain ecosystems

The connections between food, water, and energy constitute a complex system that interacts with mountain ecosystems and factors of change. Mountain Research and Development is looking for papers that assess experiences of negotiating synergies and trade-offs among water, energy, and food; that analyze the dynamic interplay between these interconnected services and mountain ecosystems; or that offer agendas for future research or policy aiming at increasing the equitability and sustainability of trade-offs and synergies in mountain areas. Abstracts are due by 24 April 2017, full papers by 1 August 2017.

Read the detailed call for papers:

The MRD Editorial Team, MRD Editorial Office, University of Bern, Centre for Development and Environment -

Fellowships To Attend the Global Investigative Journalism Conference

The Global Investigative Journalism Conference (GIJC) is the premier international gathering of investigative and data journalists, held once every two years. This year, the 10th conference will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from November 16 to 19, and is being co-hosted by the Global Investigative Journalism Network and the Wits University Journalism Programme.

GIJC17 incorporates this year’s African Investigative Journalism Conference and will feature more than 120 exciting panels, workshops, and networking sessions, ranging from cross-border collaboration and corruption to advanced data analysis. Here’s a chance to learn from the best in the field and enhance your skills with the latest tips and tools.

Read More

Call for original papers on the UN Sustainable Development Goals for a Special Issue in the ISPRS International Journal for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing

The United Nations website states as follows:

On 1 January 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit — officially came into force. Over the next fifteen years, with these new Goals that universally apply to all, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.

Authors of original papers, or conference papers that have been significantly extended or otherwise enhanced in comparison to the original conference paper, for the special issue should be submitted through the ISPRS Journal web site ‘UN Sustainable Development Goals’. The papers will go through a 2 stage review process, commencing with a 750 word abstract. Following acceptance of abstracts soon after submission, as appropriate for the Special Issue, full papers can be submitted for the normal Journal peer review process before publication. The planned timeline for processing paper is as follows:
(Please send the abstract of your proposed paper to the guest editor's email at
Notification of acceptance or rejection of abstracts: 13 May 2017
Deadline for submission of papers: 30 July 2017
Completion of review process: 31 January 2018



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!


The African Great Lakes Conference

2-5 May 2017, Entebbe, Uganda

The conference is targeting policy makers, development and funding agencies, scientific leaders and community, media and private sector groups. These stakeholders will also collaborate on finding solutions to pressing lake basin issues in the region and commit to an ongoing dialogue about how to effectively address them. The African Great Lakes Conference (AGLC) is spearheaded by the African Great Lakes initiative led by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in collaboration with the Lake Tanganyika Authority.

Read More

Upcoming Mountain Events

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


Editor's choice: selected new literature April 2017

  • Soil: The Forgotten Piece of the Water, Food, Energy Nexus.
  • Conserving wild Arabica coffee: Emerging threats and opportunities.
  • An Assessment of Genetic Diversity and Drought Tolerance in Argan Tree (Argania spinosa) Populations: Potential for the Development of Improved Drought Tolerance.
  • Development and validation of risk profiles of West African rural communities facing multiple natural hazards.
  • Continuous and consistent land use /cover change estimates using socio-ecological data.
  • Climate change impact in the Western Himalaya: people's perception and adaptive strategies.
  • Characterization of Faidherbia albida (Del.) A. Chev. population in agroforestry parklands in the highlands of Northern Ethiopia : impact of conservation, environmental factors and human disturbances.
  • Nitrogen turnover and greenhouse gas emissions in a tropical alpine ecosystem, Mt. Kilimanjaro , Tanzania.
  • Biodiversity Areas under Threat: Overlap of Climate Change and Population Pressures on the World's Biodiversity Priorities.
  • Smallholder farms in eastern African tropical highlands have low soil greenhouse gas fluxes.
  • Using remotely sensed temperature to estimate climate response functions.
  • Global gross primary productivity and water use efficiency changes under drought stress.
Read More


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