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GECAFS-SAF: Links between environmental stress and food security in Africa
5 May 2008
Global Environmental Change and Food Systems Southern Africa Research Initiative (GECAFS-SAF)


The Global Environmental Change and Food Systems Southern Africa Research Initiative (GECAFS-SAF) is organising a session "Links between Environmental Stress and Food Security in Africa" as part of the IGBP Congress in Cape Town, 05 – 09 May 2008 (www.igbp2008.co.za).

Following brief overviews of (i) the GECAFS “food system” concept and how it helps food security research, and (ii) the GECAFS-SAF initiative, the session will comprise four oral presentations, each of which should examine the interactions between global environmental change and one of the sets of “Activities” in the food system, i.e:

  1. producing food
  2. processing and packaging food
  3. distributing and retailing food
  4. consuming food
Please see www.gecafs.org/research/food_system.html for a summary of the food system concept; and www.gecafs.org/publications/index.html for a more in-depth discussion on this and on and GECAFS work in the region:

  • Ericksen, P. “Conceptualising Food Systems for Global Environmental Change (GEC) Research” (GECAFS Working Paper 2)
  • GECAFS Southern Africa Science Plan and Implementation Strategy (GECAFS Report 3)
  • Mano, R. et al. “Global environmental change and the dynamic challenges facing food security policy in Southern Africa” (GECAFS Working Paper 5)

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), a partner of GECAFS-SAF, has pledged full sponsorship for four African researchers with the best papers (one on each of the four Activity sets) to attend the congress.

We would like to invite you to submit an abstract and/or alert colleagues to this opportunity. Please note that although GECAFS-SAF only covers southern Africa, submissions for the Session will be welcome from all parts of the continent.

Abstracts can be sent by e-mail to (deadline: 30 November 2007).

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