Ripples of Resilience: Exploring the Impact of Fire and Water Sustainability in African Landscapes

Ripples Of Resilience
An aerial view of a wagon wheel grazing system with a central watering point on a rural farm, South Africa
An aerial view of a wagon wheel grazing system with a central watering point on a rural farm, South Africa

Experts Delve into Fire and Water Impact on African Landscapes in Landscape Research Group Panel, including Dr. Blal Adem Esmail, a distinguished member of the Institute of Geography at Ruhr-Universität Bochum.

In a compelling exploration of the intricate interplay between natural elements and human activities in African landscapes, the Landscape Research Group (LRG) recently hosted a riveting panel discussion. This insightful event, held on Friday, December 8, 2023, at 13:30 GMT, delved into the profound impact of Fire and Water on the diverse terrains of the continent. The event was coordinated by Dr. Merham Keleg and Dr. Emily Shakespeare, Director at the LRG.

Representatives from various corners of Africa—spanning north, east, south, and west—graced the panel, each offering a unique perspective on the dynamic relationship between landscapes, environmental challenges, and sustainable solutions.

Dr. Blal Adem Esmail, a distinguished Post-Doctoral Researcher from the , Institute of Geography at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany, shared his recent research on water challenges and land dynamics within the context of Eritrea. His expertise in planning nature-based solutions and green infrastructure for sustainable urban transformations offered invaluable insights.

Professor (Emeritus) Aziz Ballouche, hailing from the University of Angers, France, brought forth a long-term perspective on the role of climatic variations and human activities in the dynamics of West African savannah landscapes. His talk focused on bushfires as a dynamic factor, exploring their relationship with climate change and anthropogenic influences across different epochs.

Gaby Hansen, a Lecturer at Namibia University of Science and Technology, highlighted the significance of Dryland Nature-Based Solutions in co-creating climate adaptation plans in Namibia's arid regions. Her expertise in conceptualizing performative urban public spaces in semi-arid cities, particularly Windhoek, Namibia, offered a fresh approach to tackling environmental challenges.

Dr. Manel Ouaret Ladjouze, a teacher-researcher at Université de Béjaïa, Algeria, captivated the audience with insights into the natural and cultural landscapes of Algeria. He provided essential links to water dynamics while shedding light on the wildfires that plagued North Africa earlier in the year, offering a comprehensive understanding of the region's environmental challenges.

The panel's comprehensive discussions shed light on the multifaceted nature of challenges faced by African landscapes, offering innovative solutions and deepening our comprehension of the complexities involved in mitigating the impact of Fire and Water. The Landscape Research Group's initiative serves as a beacon, fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange for a sustainable future in African landscapes.

About Landscape Research Group: Founded in England in 1967, The Landscape Research Group is a global community of interest. The staff, Board of Trustees, members, and partners represent a broad range of disciplines: geographers, planners, landscape architects, archaeologists, and ecologists, to list but a few. This diversity is fundamental to a holistic understanding of landscape – its evolution and its future.

Membership is open to anyone who has an interest in landscape and the ways we shape, and are shaped by, the places in which we live. Incorporated and registered as a charity in 1983, LRG became a Charitable Incorporated Organization (CIO) in 2021.

For more details on the history of the LRG, have a look at the article “Fifty years of Landscape Research Group” by Steven Shuttleworth, founder member and former Treasurer and Company Secretary of the organization, written in 2017 to mark the LRG’s 50th anniversary.


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Blal Adem Esmail

Environmental Analysis and Planning, GI-News