‘Academic conference tourism’ allows delegates to understand mountain issues first hand
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‘Academic conference tourism’ allows delegates to understand mountain issues first hand

Introduction I have had the privilege to visit many unusual places by attending research conferences, an activity I jokingly call ‘academic tourism’.  Perhaps the Mt Kili-AfroMont mountain research conference could be considered an ‘academic tourism’ event in that, as well as the science meeting, it gave delegates an opportunity to see and share information about […]

NILE-NEXUS: Opportunities for a Sustainable Food-Energy-Water Future in the Blue Nile Mountains of Ethiopia
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NILE-NEXUS: Opportunities for a Sustainable Food-Energy-Water Future in the Blue Nile Mountains of Ethiopia

I first met Belay Simane at a United Nations negotiation in Germany. We were both on government delegations to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and during one of the many, many procedural delays we struck up conversation. It turned out neither of us were full-time negotiators. In fact, we were both researchers, […]

Exploring the Aberdare Mountains in Kenya
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Exploring the Aberdare Mountains in Kenya

This post was written by Dr. Lydia Olaka. She is a member of the Department of Geology at the University of Nairobi, with research interests related to water: hydrological and groundwater dynamics, tracing geogenic pollution in groundwater, paleoclimate reconstructions, climate variability and multi-disciplinary interaction between science and society.   Fieldwork is very special to me because […]

Is Table Mountain in South Africa a sustainably managed mountain?
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Is Table Mountain in South Africa a sustainably managed mountain?

One of the challenges of our time is to achieve sustainable development, that is, to create human development at the same time as reducing the impact on the natural environment. To this end, ways are being sought to manage mountains sustainably, yet researchers interested in mountain governance struggle to identify good examples of ‘sustainably managed […]

Agricultural impacts in African mountain landscapes and the Land Matrix database
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Agricultural impacts in African mountain landscapes and the Land Matrix database

Researching Large Scale Land Acquisitions and their impacts on African mountains A PhD research study by Kablan Effossou is being driven by the Land Matrix Initiative at the University of Pretoria and aims to find innovative new ways to use the Land Matrix database (http://www.landmatrix.org/) of large scale land acquisitions (LSLA) to explore agricultural impacts […]

What lies hidden, beneath and within
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What lies hidden, beneath and within

Mountains are more than just rock We often think of mountains in terms of rocks, geological upheavals, massive rock folding, cliffs, traverses, north faces, tree lines, alpine vegetation, rain, snow, wetlands, glaciers and those very important ‘water towers’ – everything to do with the outside of the mountains. We seldom consider what is inside or […]

Teaching catchment and river management in the Drakensbergs
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Teaching catchment and river management in the Drakensbergs

Erosion is a major problem in the Drakensberg and foothills I have always been interested in catchment and river management and this interest grew from my widespread experience as a mountaineer and hiker, and during my Master’s degree in Regional Planning.  In addition, over the last fourteen years, I have worked as a lecturer in […]

Wanted: US5$ million against invasives
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Wanted: US5$ million against invasives

‘Mountain gardening’ might not sound like an expensive exercise. However, some of our mountains are so overrun with weeds that drastic ‘gardening’ on a macro-scale will be necessary to clean up this green pollution. Alien invasive species cause huge amounts of destruction that is not necessarily evident to the untrained eye. For instance, aggressive woody […]

2016 WUN workshop: Compelling new issues for old African mountains
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2016 WUN workshop: Compelling new issues for old African mountains

African mountain researchers are adventurous people. African mountain researchers will walk miles in 50 degree Celsius temperatures to fly a drone that films geological fault lines in the Rift Valley. They will spend years in a Massai village near Mt Kilimanjaro eating blood and porridge to study life in an African pastoralist culture. They will […]

Moving mountains of water in Lesotho
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Moving mountains of water in Lesotho

On a recent trip to Lesotho’s Maloti mountains, our group visited the Ash River outfall. This is the seemingly insignificant tunnel outlet where the Lesotho Highland Water Project’s water (supplying around 10 billion m3 of water per year) finally arrives out into the open in South Africa after a two week journey via 63 km […]