DAAD climapAfrica - Climate change research in Africa

Desert landscape in South Africa

The DAAD climapAfrica programme - Climate change research Alumni and Postdocs in Africa for future leaders in the field of climate research and protection - in cooperation with the climate competence centres SASSCAL (Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management) and WASCAL (West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use) aims to foster application- oriented research results to tackle climate change in southern and western Africa.

The programme funds postdoctoral research projects and offers a platform for collaboration in thematic working groups composed of postdoctoral fellows and African alumni of German funding initiatives with expertise in the field of climate research. Fellows and Alumni will increase their research impact and output through a comprehensive training and support program, including general skills training, science policy advising and science management. The working groups serve as a platform to connect with peers, regional and international experts and practitioners and to build a growing professional network across Africa. 

According to Professor Richard Washington, University of Oxford, School of Geography and the Environment, DAAD climapAfrica Scientific Adivsory Board member,

climapAfrica correctly identifies the crucial role of future leaders in the field of climate research and the collaboration with SASSCAL and WASCAL has demonstrated how quickly progress can be made. Climate change scientists are much sought after in other fields of commercial technology. Expertise is therefore easily lost to these fields and this sets us back heavily in the race against climate change. A programme which draws together the expertise, provides opportunities for continued research and collaboration is central to retaining experts. ClimapAfrica does that. 

DAAD climapAfrica Picture of the Month 

 DAAD climapAfrica Postdoc fellow, University of KwaZulu-Natal
South Africa

Africa's diverse agricultural landscape 

Picture of the month North

Some people think of Africa as entirely tropical - either hot, sunburnt savannah with cattle grazing among giraffe and antelope, or humid forest with chimpanzees and coffee plantations. However, there are areas which get properly cold, experiencing heavy frost and snow during winters, and one of my favourite places happens to be in one such area - a large scale, commercial, family-run, pasture-based dairy farm in southern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. As a veterinary student, I spent many holidays visiting these farms for practical experience, learning aspects of farm management, including never-ending pasture and irrigation inspections, before-dawn visits to the dairy to monitor the morning milking, as well as routine veterinary care like dehorning, vaccinations, AI, and pregnancy diagnoses.

Why do I think this photo is worthy of  DAAD climapAfrica's "photo of the month"?

Because it is important to remember that Africa is not one place, with a single agricultural model, or single climate. Africa includes large, cutting-edge agricultural enterprises as well as small-scale subsistence farming households. All these systems will be impacted by climate change, and all need to be considered when proposing solutions.

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