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Apr 23, 2012

Germany Commits US$65.8M to Climate Change & Land Management Research Center in Southern Africa

On 18 April 2012, five governments in southern Africa signed an agreement in Windhoek, Namibia to create the Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL). The mission of this new center is to support cross-border research and land management between South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Zambia, and Namibia. The center will be funded for the first four years by €50m (£41 million or US$65.8 million) in foreign aid from the government of Germany.

SASSCAL will be headquartered in Windhoek and have offices in all participating countries. It will open for business in August 2012. Sasscal's mission will be to research climate change topics "central to preserving African livelihoods and the conservation of natural resources for the future." Topics that it will focus on include:
  • climate 
  • water 
  • forestry 
  • agriculture land use 
  • biodiversity 
The SASSCAL agreement was signed by:
  • John Mutorwa, Namibia Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry 
  • Gobopang Duke Letheko, Botswana High Commissioner 
  • Derek Andre Hanekom, South African Dep. Minister Science and Technology 
  • John Phiri, Zambia Minister of Education and Science 
  • Maria Cãndida Pereira Teixeira, Angola Minister do Ensino Superior e da Ciencia e Tecnologia 
  • Annette Schavan, German Minister of Education and Research 
Following signature of the agreement, German Minister of Education and Research, Dr. Annette Schavan noted that Germany's commitment to funding this initiative is "visible proof of Germany's willingness to accept international responsibility and to develop solutions for tomorrow in close cooperation with its partners.... SASSCAL [will] open up new opportunities for sustainable action for future generations and the decision-makers of tomorrow."

Transfrontier Conservation Areas
Southern African Development Community (SADC)
Namibia's Agriculture Minister added that "the region will be hard-hit by the effects of climate change, leading to the spread of deserts, water shortages, loss of fertile soil, biodiversity and agricultural output. Hundreds of thousands of people could be displaced, aggravating poverty and increasing the spread of vector-borne diseases and epidemics such as malaria, meningitis and cholera. ... Clearly, nations need to co-ordinate and communicate across political borders to jointly prepare for climate change."

In covering the SASSCAL agreement, The Guardian noted that this new initiative is closely related to creation of a trans-frontier conservation areas in southern African by members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and its related Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resources (FANR). This began with SADC's Protocol on Wildlife Conservation and Law Enforcement of 1999, which was ratified by all member states and went into effect in 2003. Since then SADC has been working to create 18 transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) to promote the conservation of biodiversity and endangered ecosystems, as well as encourage the free movement of animals and people across borders and the sharing of water resources. TFCAs currently in place or under discussion include:

1. |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park Namibia and South Africa
2. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park Botswana and South Africa
3. Limpopo-Shashe TFCA Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe
4. Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe
5. Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation and Resource Area Mozambique, South Africa and Swaziland
6. Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation and Development Area Lesotho and South Africa
7. Iona-Skeleton Coast TFCA Angola and Namibia
8. Liuwa Plain-Kameia TFCA Angola and Zambia
9. Kavango-Zambezi TFCA Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe
10. Lower Zambezi- Mana Pools TFCA Zambia and Zimbabwe
11. Malawi-Zambia TFCA (combination of Nyika and Kasungu/Lukusuzi TFCAs) Malawi and Zambia
12. Niassa – Selous TFCA Mozambique and Tanzania
13. Mnazi Bay – Quirimbas Transfrontier Marine Conservation Area Mozambique and Tanzania
14. Chimanimani TFCA Mozambique and Zimbabwe
15. Maiombe Forest TFCA Angola, Congo and DRC
16. Kagera TFCA Rwanda / Tanzania
17. ZIMOZA TFCA Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe

 For more see:

Barbee, Jeffrey. "Elephantine Plan Takes Off," The Guardian, 9 December 2011.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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