“Afrideltas” Conference: Aquatic Science Suite

Posted 4 April 2016 by NISC under Announcements & Notices • Journal: African Journal of Aquatic Science
“Afrideltas” Conference: Aquatic Science Suite

The International Conference on the Contemporary Evolution of African Floodplains and Deltas, shortened as “Afrideltas Conference” was held in Tanzania in 2014. This conference brought together scientists from varied disciplines to explore floodplains’ and deltas’ contemporary evolution under a range of hydro-climatic and socio-political drivers. The latest issue of the African Journal of Aquatic Science contains a selection of papers from the conference. 

This selection of papers illustrates these dynamics and investigates the complexity of the management of the floodplains and deltas, with particular attention to the contributions of science in the decision-making process.
 
The Guest Editorial written by Stephanie Duvail, indicates that these floodplains and deltas, at the downstream end of many large river basins, where these reach the ocean or, for inland deltas, spread out to seasonally inundate large areas, are characterised by ecosystems of an exceptional productivity. This Guest Editorial is available to read for a limited free access period here

In his paper, EJ. Anthony et al. looks at the Volta River Delta case study where we are reminded that deltas are primarily the result of geomorphologic processes, induced by both natural processes and human activities, and that their fragile sediment dynamics must be considered at the river basin scale. 

On a less optimistic note, two papers also explore the pitfalls and threats of mangrove and agro-fuels planting projects that are politically manipulated or externally planned, without local involvement. Marie-Christine Cormier-Salem and Jacques Panfili show how afforestation can be instrumentalised with electoral objections, while Laura Mukhwana et al. highlight the false promises of carbon saving by a biofuel project in the Tana Delta in Kenya.

These examples show the diversity of the research undertaken in African floodplains and deltas. 

One of the objectives of the ‘Afrideltas’ conference was to compare case studies in order to learn from each other’s experiences and to draw generic research questions. 

These five specific delta papers are available to download free of charge for a limited period (End of April 2016) by clicking on their respective titles below. 

1. Recent shoreline changes in the Volta River delta, West Africa: the roles of natural processes and human impacts.  EJ. Anthony et al.

2. Mangrove reforestation: greening or grabbing coastal zones and deltas? Case studies in Senegal. MC. Cormier-Salem and J. Panfili.

3. Reflooding the Faguibine floodplain system, northern Mali: potential benefits and challenges. O. Hamerlynck et al. 

4. Studying the Logone floodplain Cameroon as a coupled human and natural system. M. Moritz et al.

5. Carbon stocks of the terraces of the Lower Tana River floodplain and delta, Kenya, prior to conversion for biofuel production. LV.  Mukhwana et al. 

Photo Credit: Multiple Channels Irrigate the Floodplains - Colin Jackson

 

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