More than 200 scientists and other stakeholders attended the 8th annual Savanna Science Network Meeting held in Skukuza in March.
The week-long meeting hosted 209 delegates from 66 different institutions and nine countries. The 109 presentations covered a wide range of topics and research conducted in all Savanna National Parks and Protected Areas.
These included water issues, the role of large mammals such as elephants, sustainable use of resources inside and on the borders of the park, the impact of fire as monitored in long-term research projects, and the need for more social science projects to explore the relationship between humans and the environment, with specific focus on protected areas and the governance thereof.
"This is our premier annual event for the Scientific Services department of SANParks and we are pleased that the interest among the scientific community is still growing annually. Our ever-expanding network of collaborating scientists and scientific institutions provides us with the most up-to-date scientific knowledge and understanding which enable information based inputs to better manage our national parks," commented scientific services head of department, Mr. Danie Pienaar.
The Savanna Science Network Meeting provides an opportunity for scientists to share their latest findings. It is an important forum for dialogue and debate about ecological science and conservation matters as well as a pivotal point for future research collaborations. Scientists from numerous South African universities, South African National Parks and a number of high profile overseas universities spoke at the meeting.