Arid Zone Ecology Forum

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

News and Featured Items 

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.

Draft chapters of the scientific assessment on livestock predation in South Africa now available for stakeholder review and comment

You are invited to provide written comments on the PredSA document until 3 November 2017.

The draft report chapters are available electronically for download on the project website. Please note that the legal Chapter is not yet available, and all registered stakeholders will be notified as soon as it is available for download.

A guideline document on how to comment on the Assessment Chapters, as well as a PredSA Stakeholder Review Comment Form (Excel spreadsheet) are also available for download.

In order to comment you need to be registered as a stakeholder on the assessment.  You can do this via the Stakeholder Registration Page.

Check out the website for more information. 

International Conference 2018: Biology of CAM plants, Desert Botanical Garden, 9-13 April 2017

Please see below an advertisement for an international conference on the, "Biology of CAM Plants", to be held at the Desert Botanical Garden from 9-13 April 2018.

This international conference is being organised by Dr. Kevin Hultine, a plant ecophysiologist at the Desert Botanical Garden. 

Note, a small amount of funding may be made available for international students who may want to attend the conference. 

For those who are interested, they may either contact Joe McAuliffe ( or Kevin Hultine ( for more information.

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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