AfroMont - a global networking organisation supporting collaborative research in African mountains
AfroMont is a global research network and information portal for researchers and scientists interested in collaborative mountain research in Africa, as well as an initiator of collaborative montane research projects, programmes and publications. AfroMont website: http://mri.scnatweb.ch/en/networks/mri-africa
Origins of AfroMont - AfroMont is part of a hierarchy of international organisations concerned with good quality mountain research on global change in mountains, and gains its mandate through a chain of international processes and agreements. Formed in 2012, AfroMont is the African chapter of the international Mountain Research Initiative (MRI), hosted by the Institute of Geography at the University of Bern, Switzerland, and which is internationally recognized in mountain research. Other MRI regional entities include MRI American Cordillera Transect (South America), MRI Europe, MRI Carpathians, and MRI South Eastern Europe. The Mountain Research Initiative's vision is a global scientific programme that detects signals of global environmental change in mountain environments; defines the consequences of global environmental change for mountain regions as well as lowland systems dependent on mountain resources and that this information impacts positively on sustainable land, water, and resource management for mountain regions at local to regional scales. International mountain research developments, beginning in 1972, sought to research, highlight and address issues and changes threatening mountain communities and the ecosystem resources they depend on. Worldwide, mountain areas face increasing marginalization, economic decline and environmental degradation. In this regard, AfroMont was specifically initiated to focus research attention on environmental and social challenges facing the mountain systems of Africa as they become increasingly impacted upon by human activities and climate change. Systematic research and long term monitoring is needed to find solutions to Africa’s challenges in these complex social-ecological systems, and it hoped that this research will lead to policy changes linked to the sustainable development of African mountains.
Drakensberg Escarpment sandstone formation. Photo credit: Clinton Carbutt
AfroMont’s region of interest - AfroMont’s main sphere of interest is mountains in Sub- Saharan African countries, but ultimately hopes to include the mountains of Madagascar and the Indian Ocean islands (Mauritius, Reunion and the Comores).
Opportunities for Collaboration - AfroMont supports collaborative research that will lead to a better understanding of global change in African mountains. AfroMont hopes to contribute to the creation of a sound platform for science-based decision making in African mountains. AfroMont is also committed to ensuring that new trends, technologies and perspectives of research are brought to bear on African mountain challenges.
Core Funding - AfroMont is funded by the Swiss Government via the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). AfroMont will also develop a sustainable fund raising programme to fund research short falls and monitoring equipment, as well as respond to needs for African scientists to attend international conferences and training where possible. AfroMont will also respond to international funding calls and develop collaborative programmes that include partners on the African continent and internationally.
Partners - Research collaborators and colleagues include ARCOS, the African Mountain Partnership, academic research groups in Africa and elsewhere, science academies like the International council for Science (ICSU), and data repositories like the South African Environmental Observatory Network (SAEON). Other network partners in Africa include the Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS), the Manica Highlands Initiative in Zimbabwe, and the Great Escarpment Biodiversity Research Programme based at Rhodes University, South Africa.
Bi-annual conferences – AfroMont hosts a biannual research meeting in an African country. In 2015, the meeting was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in collaboration with the University of Addis Ababa. In 2017, the meeting will be held in Moshe, Tanzania, in collaboration with the Mt Kili research programme based at Moshi (see https://www.kilimanjaro.biozentrum.uni-wuerzburg.de/project/Studysite.aspx).
Delegates at the 2015 Addis Ababa University-AfroMont conference
AfroMont locality - AfroMont is hosted by the Centre for Environmental Studies (CEFS) within the Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. http://www.up.ac.za/centre-for-environmental-studies
Read more: AfroMont - a networking platform