The JRS Biodiversity Foundation has pledged $25,000 to support the 22nd Congress of the Association for the Taxonomic Study of the Flora of Tropical Africa (French acronym: AETFAT) from March 22-26, 2021, in Livingstone, Zambia. This triennial conference has been held in various parts of the world since 1951, with this year’s theme, “Diversity and conservation of African plants: challenges and opportunities” expected to inspire and promote resilience of Africa’s botanical resources in the face of human population growth and climate change. The 22nd AETFAT Congress was orginally scheduled for March of 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
AEFAT brings together botanists and other scientists with an interest in African plants. This year’s conference is organized by the University of Zambia and will include thematic sessions on plant taxonomy and systematics, ecology, mycology, lichenology, biodiversity informatics, DNA barcoding, and the role of pollinators and other plant-animal interactions. A large portion of JRS funds will support the participation of at least 10 African students and early career researchers through travel and accommodation expenses, as well as conference registration fees. JRS will also support conference sessions on biodiversity informatics and pollinator biology, the publication of conference abstracts and programs, and English-French translations during the conference.
JRS support for travel of African scientists to international conferences strengthens the networks of scientists who use biodiversity informatics and leads to innovative solutions to biodiversity challenges. Networking opportunities promote global cooperation and capacity building for upcoming scientists, contributing to new collaborative projects, partnerships, and publications that advance the study and conservation of African biodiversity, as well as strengthen old networks and partnerships. JRS expects the opportunities at the 22nd Congress to build interest in biodiversity informatics and the role of pollinators in ecosystem services and encourage African scientists to work together to improve access to biodiversity data.
We are grateful to the other major sponsors for this opportunity: the government of the Republic of Zambia; the University of Zambia; Botanic Gardens Conservation International; Royal Botanic Gradens, Kew; Missouri Botanical Garden, USA; and the Association of Botanical Gardens of France and French-speaking countries (JBF).
For more information see 22nd AETFAT Congress Sponsorship.