Arid Zone Ecology Forum

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

News and Featured Items 

AZEF 2018: An amalgamation of science, research, projects and partnerships

The AZEF 2018 Conference was held at the Callie de Wet Sports Centre in Robertson (Western Cape) from 16 to 18 October 2018. The main session themes for the conference were animal and plant ecology, drought-related impacts, long-term ecological monitoring and rangeland ecology in the arid zone. Prior to the conference, delegates had the option of attending one of two pre-conference workshops held at the Graham Beck Skills Centre on 15 October 2018. The first workshop focussed on how to write project funding proposals, while the second workshop illuminated the challenges and opportunities to expanding the conservation estate in the arid zone. To view highlights of the conference, including student prizes, the quiz night, and on the various discussion sessions held throughout the conference, click here, or click on the Forums tab and select 2018. We are looking forward to seeing you at AZEF 2019!

Some of the AZEF2018 attendees. Photo credit: Stephanie Borchardt.

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.

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