Arid Zone Ecology Forum

A Non-Profit Organisation focused on research in the arid zone of southern Africa

News and Featured Items 

AZEF 2018: Second Announcement

See second announcement for AZEF 2018 below! You can also download a pdf version of the second announcement here. Follow the link to learn more! ***Please note that the conference and workshops have officially been registered with SACNASP. Please contact Gill Murray for further information regarding this. 


Short Course Learning Programme: Introduction to GIS & GPS

The Centre for Environmental management at the University of the Free State will be running a short course on the Introduction to GIS & GPS from 5-9 November 2018. The advert below has more information. 

Indication of interest: Written in the Sand - book by J du P Bothma

Prof J du P Bothma is currently preparing the manuscript of a new book on the southern Kalahari which deals extensively with decades of personal experiences while doing research in the southern Kalahari, 19 years of which were spent studying the ecology and behaviour of leopards with the aid of San trackers. The book will contain numerous photographs but will not be a coffee table book.

Prof Bothma wishes to determine the possible interest in it and anyone who may be interested in purchasing a copy later is requested to send his/her name and e-mail address to him at to be contacted once more details are available and the book is being printed.

Those interested will receive a signed copy.

Climate Risk and Vulnerability: A handbook for southern Africa now available

The 2nd edition of the “Climate Risk and Vulnerability Handbook for Southern Africa” was launched on 5 October 2017 at the CSIR 6th Biennial Conference in Pretoria. It builds on the critically acclaimed 1st edition and presents the latest available scientific knowledge on the nature of climate change and its implications for the region. The handbook serves as an important guide for policy makers, climate and development practitioners, students and researchers.

The 2nd edition presents:

  • Evidence of recent changes in climate and projected climate futures (including extreme events) over southern Africa, 
  • Potential impacts across sectors, and
  • Responses required to reduce risk (adaptation and disaster risk reduction).

A number of key sectors are selected to illustrate best practices in assessing vulnerability and responding to climate change; agriculture and livestock, commercial forestry, terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity, water resources, coastal zone, settlements, human health, energy and air quality.

The Handbook is accompanied by a concise Executive Summary (available in English and Portuguese) that will support decision makers in southern Africa as they implement NDCs under the UNFCCC Paris Agreement as well as national climate change policies and strategies.

You can also watch a short video to find out more.

AZEF Conference 2017: Change and innovation in the arid zone

The AZEF 2017 Conference was held in Merino Hall, Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute, Middelburg, Eastern Cape between 16 and 18 May 2017. The conference was preceeded by an optional trip to the Compassberg (below) on 15 May 2017. To view highlights of the conference, including student prizes and a special dinner held to present lifetime achievement awards, click here, or click on the Forums tab and select 2017.   

We are looking forward to seeing you at AZEF 2018!

View from the top: Compassberg near Nieu-Bethesda, Eastern Cape. Photographs taken by Gigi Laidler.

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