A non-profit organisation focused on research in the arid zone of southern Africa

AZEF 2012: Emerging Threats in the Arid Zone 

Building knowledge and developing solutions

17-19 October 2012, Worcester


This was our first year as a Non Profit Organization

We had sessions with cutting-edge research on fracking, climate change and other topics. Our interactive session on Climate Change was a highlight with several prominent speakers.

Other topics included:

  • Impact of bush encroachment
  • Fire in arid systems
  • Landuse and development
  • Rehabilitation of arid ecosystems


Worcester, nestled at the bottom of the Brandwacht, Langkloof  and Overhex Mountains, boasts many attractions including:

  • Karoo Desert Botanical Gardens-recently turned 90 years!
  • Worcester Veld Reserve
  • The Nekkies Wetlands
  • Wine estates with a conservation ethic
  • Kleinplasie Living Museum


1st Prize oral presentation:
Sam Jack: "Blow me down! A new perspective on Aloe dichotoma mortality
as a result of windthrow" 

2nd Prize oral presentation:
Ancois de Villiers: Holistic Management: considering "wholes within wholes" in rangelands

1st Prize poster presentation:
Miya Kabajani: Dark or Light? Rock colour and geology appear to influence the habitat choices of the Husab Sand Lizard (Pedioplanis husabensis) in the Central Namib Desert

2nd Prize poster presentation:
Gabrielle Solomon: Assessing soil microbe and plant diversity in two renosterveld vegetation types around Nieuwoudtville, Northern Cape