For nature and livelihoods


Once a year, all our partners come together to network and share information, in order to improve not only nature, but also livelihoods of the dryland communities in the region.


8-10 October 2024

The Barn, Calvinia, Northern Cape








Who’s invited to attend?

If you work in the arid or semi-arid zone of southern Africa, you’re invited to join us. Managers, landowners, researchers, students, conservationists working at non-profit organisations and government officials (either provincial, national or municipal) all connect at our annual AZEF conference.  


Submit abstracts to

Conference registration
fees & deadlines:

Sponsored attendance:

Applications for sponsored attendance will be accepted from deserving postgraduate students.

Conference registration fees & deadlines:

30 August 2024

Early bird – R5,000

Early student – R4,000

Sponsored student applications

Abstract submission  

20 September 2024

Pre-conference workshop – R500

Late registration – R6,000

Online registration – R1,800 


Heartfelt thanks to our sponsors
for their continued support:

Pre-conference workshop:

Monday, 7 October 2024
Management of Protected Areas and OECM’s


Conference sessions

Tuesday 8th – Thursday 10th
Socio-ecology theory in the arid zone
Development threats in the arid zone
General ecology in the arid zone


Book – panel discussion


This collection of original research articles, edited by Cherryl Walker and M Timm Hoffman, explores significant land-use changes in the Karoo and their implications for social justice and the environment, across different scales. It brings together recent scholarship by established and younger researchers, in both the social and the natural sciences, to examine the ways in which the Karoo is being reconfigured as a new ‘resource frontier’ and the tensions and contestations that result.

Panellists will focus on key themes from the book, before the discussion is opened to the floor.

From Dust to Data: Narratives of the Karoo’s past and future

Socio-ecological theory in arid zones

  • Adaptation and Resilience: Exploring strategies to cope with environmental changes
  • Land use change: Examining the drivers and consequences of changes in land
  • Ecosystem services: Studying the benefits nature provides to humans.
    Socio-cultural values: How beliefs and norms shape human interactions with the environment.
  • Environmental governance: Analysing policies for sustainable resource management.

Development threats in the arid zone

  • Impacts of development on arid zone ecology and/or socio-ecology
  • Environmental impact assessments in the arid zone: gaps in understanding or issues with processing
  • Leveraging opportunities from developments in the arid zones e.g. research on offsets, lessons learnt etc.


  • Predictions for how climate-change might affect arid systems
  • Impacts of climate-change on arid zone species and systems
  • Potential ecosystem-based adaptation or ways to build resilience

General ecology in the arid zone

  • Any research on arid zone flora or fauna
  • Illegal trades in arid flora and fauna
  • Conservation and agriculture in the arid zone

Join our AZEF community

As a member of the AZEF community, you have access to partners such as yourself, working to protect the arid and semi-arid zone of southern Africa.

Get to know other partners working in the arid zone, and how they can help you. MORE

Share or learn more about study and work opportunities in the arid zone. MORE

Join our annual conference to connect with stakeholders in the arid zone. MORE

Join our emailer to stay in touch with the latest opportunities in the arid zone. MORE

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