The Upcoming 3rd African Congress for Conservation Biology - Morocco 2016

Africa Congress for Conservation Biology

By Tuyeni Heita Mwampamba

The 3rd African Congress for Conservation Biology (ACCB 2016) will meet at El Jadida, Morocco, at the Faculty of Science of the University of Chouaib Doukkalii from 4 – 8th September 2016. The Congress is themed "Conservation Biology in Africa: Challenges of Globalization."

The recent submission of the 100th abstract was a shot in the arm for the Local Organizing Committee which has intensified the ongoing work. The abstract submission deadline is 30th May. There is a surge in interest from students and researchers from African institutions and conservation organizations and the meeting likely could attract the largest congregation of conservation practitioners in the continent for a long time to come. In the spirit of ICCBs, students, researchers and practitioners are the ACCB’s target audience; not only to present one’s work, but also a chance to expose oneself to the work of others and to reference one’s own work in the context of a larger community. Particularly for students, ACCB could be the first international scientific congress that they attend, and in all likelihood their first chance to make an oral or poster presentation within the ambit of a scientific meeting. It is an exciting proposition for everyone involved.

Processes are underway to consolidate and disseminate key findings of the meeting and to identify solutions for addressing the congress’ theme. In response to a request by the Ministry of Environment of Morocco, the Climate Change and Conservation committee will consolidate and synthesize climate-related presentations to be able to say something meaningful about the effects of climate change on conservation efforts in Africa. A report from this committee to the Ministry will serve as input for UNFCCC’s COP22 which will take place in Marakesh, Morocco in November 2016. The Consolidation and Synthesis Committee will undertake a similar task for broad themes and issues identified by Section members as priority areas for conservation.

For the first time at ACCB abstracts are accepted in French and English and some sessions will be held in French as well. The good work and research done by our Francophone peers is hampered by language barriers for what is shared within community. While language can’t be a reason for not hearing about this work, the expense of interpretation can. Please contact us if you know of any organizations we should be enlist to fund the cost of interpreters. If you are an interpreter or if you could direct others our way, we would be grateful and waive your registration fees.

It hardly matters if you are a student, faculty, practitioner, writer or activist so long as conservation and Africa are your purpose to attend the El Jadida meeting in September. ACCBs are mini versions of ICCBs, but rare events with no particular interval between one and the next. They are highly dependent on the good will, big heart and enthusiasm of local hosts and serve to make-up for the shortage of international conservation biology meetings held only once in Africa thus far (ICCB South Africa 2008). So all roads should lead to El Jadida in September, and it can’t get better than this. 

Tuyeni Heita Mwampamba is research associate at National Autonomous University, Mexico, and Chair, SCB Africa Meeting Committee