Call for Abstracts: African Freshwater Ecosystems in the Anthropocene

Posted 22 April 2020 by under Announcements & Notices • Journal: African Journal of Aquatic Science
Call for Abstracts: African Freshwater Ecosystems in the Anthropocene

The African Journal of Aquatic Science is pleased to announce plans for a Special Medal Issue titled, 'Perspectives on protecting African Freshwater Ecosystems in the Anthropocene'.

The special issue, scheduled to be published in February 2022 will be co-edited by SASAQS Gold Medal Recipients Professors Caroline Palmer and Jaqueline King.
In the last few years, freshwater has been consistently identified as one of the top global risks. The freshwater ecosystems that are the foundation of this resource are increasingly degrading as we manipulate their flow, sediment and chemical regimes; reduce their biological abundance and diversity; and release effluents into them.  Their ecological and cultural attributes are crucial to the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people globally and valued by all, but WWF’s 2018 Living Planet Index shows an 83% decline in their health in the last four decades.

Wetlands are vanishing three times faster than forests, and freshwater vertebrate populations falling twice as steeply as marine and terrestrial ones. Climate change, pollution, biodiversity loss and growing human numbers – many of the people too poor to live in harmony with their environment - are prominent on global agendas. Degradation of Earth’s natural support systems will take centre stage as international agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Sustainable Development Goals come under review in 2020, with freshwater ecosystems a crucial consideration.

While industrialised countries are striving with rehabilitation of degraded freshwater systems, developing countries still have many in good condition. Whether addressing wise management of existing freshwaters or rehabilitation of degraded ones, the same topics keep recurring:

·         water quantity: flow, inundation, groundwater recharge

·         water quality: dissolved and particulate matter, temperature

·         sediments, geomorphic structure, hydraulics: load, extraction, channel form and function; habitats

·         freshwater species: natural community structure, life cycles, exploitation, poaching

·         non-native species: invasions, habitat destruction, imbalance, escalation to pest proportions

·         connectivity: the movement of water, sediments and biota

·         livelihoods: social and cultural dependence on freshwater ecosystems

·         governance: socio-economic drivers of degradation; balancing the three pillars of sustainable development (social equity, ecological integrity, economic wealth).

Each topic is important – considering the interactions between them is vital.
For this Special Medal Issue (SMI), the Editors seek papers on the nature, status and future of Africa’s freshwater ecosystems from freshwater, resource economic and social scientists; water managers; governments; legislators; and other relevant specialists. Authors are requested to address one or more of the above and co-authoring by more than one discipline is encouraged. Papers should focus on what is known, as a basis for addressing what is not known and the practical steps needed to better manage freshwater ecosystems. Authors are encouraged to address the benefits of collaboration between disciplines, how to capture knowledge as well as data, and the transfer of technical information in a form accessible to a wide range of stakeholders.
This is a Call for Abstracts for consideration for inclusion in the SMI: Perspectives on protecting African Freshwater Ecosystems in the Anthropocene.
Abstracts for consideration should be emailed to and
Abstracts should not exceed 350 words.
Prospective authors are also encouraged to read the AJAS Instructions to Authors, which can be accessed here.
The relevant dates and deadlines for the SMI are:
31 December 2020                             Deadline for abstracts for consideration for inclusion in SMI
31 January 2021                                  Acceptance of abstracts and Call for Papers
31 July 2021                                         Deadline for full paper submission
30 November 2021                             Deadline for completion of review process for papers accepted for SMI
February 2022                                     AJAS SMI: Perspectives on protecting African Freshwater Ecosystems in the Anthropocene

The editorial experience was excellent: the reviewers were timely and their feedback was generative. The co-editor of the special issue was proactive about communicating information to me. In latter stages, the staff that shepherded the essay through the copy-editing stages was also very helpful and in good contact.
- Author - Eastern African Literary and Cultural Studies
Since 1995, NISC has systematically built up competence and the necessary capacity in all aspects of publishing high-level research journals, with the professionalism needed to flourish in the increasingly competitive world of international research publications. No other publisher in South Africa commands the necessary technical skills, experience, competence, enthusiasm and resources to the same degree as NISC, in my view.
- Graham Baker, Editor of the South African Journal of Science (1973-2008)
The biggest development in the history of Quaestiones Mathematicae was the association with NISC and to have the journal running in a very stable way without severe financial concerns.
- Barry Green, QM Editor
Excellent attention by editor-in-chief; very good work of reviewers; good time for review and processing.
- Author - African Journal of Range & Forage Science
The paper was wonderfully laid out and rapidly published
- Author- Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology