More than half of southern Africa is either arid or
semi-arid, encompassing a diversity of biotic ecosystems.
Because of a growing demand for food from a burgeoning
population it is likely that these areas will be subjected
to increased pressure in the future. An awareness of
potential environmental problems – such as erosion,
land degradation, plant and animal species extinctions,
and global climate change, amongst many others –
has already substantially influenced agricultural and
management policies and research activities in these
regions. The Arid Zone Ecology Forum has been initiated
to focus attention on these problems and possible solutions.