Mike Elected as President
Dr. Peel who is based in Nelspruit is programme manager of the Rangeland Ecology Programme and also heads up the Savanna Ecosystem Project which he initiated in 1989. at the 44th Congress of the society held at the UNISA campus in Johannesburg in July. He looks forward to the challenge of taking this vibrant and diverse society which comprises both rangeland and pasture scientists into 2010.
Important topics discussed at Congress 44 included: the impact of climate change on the natural resources of southern Africa and the need for a complete re-analysis of the agricultural sector; concerns around the shortage of plant breeders in South Africa; the issue of future payment for ecosystem services; food security; rangelands and mining; the use of pastures in animal production; the burgeoning wildlife industry; and the importance of the emerging farmer sector.
Dr. Peel believes that the interconnectedness of ecosystems and the fact that there is often a shortage of personnel in institutions necessitates a networking approach to rangeland and pasture research.
He states that 'the Society is in a strong position to grow and in this regard the mentorship programme of the society should encourage working partnerships between young and established scientists to ensure the future of the discipline in southern Africa'. Dr. Peel who is based in Nelspruit is programme manager of the Rangeland Ecology Programme and also heads up the Savanna Ecosystem Project which he initiated in 1989.