Southern African Mountain Conference SAMC2022

In March 2022 we co-hosted the first ever Southern African Mountain Conference (SAMC2022) which took place in the Maloti-Drakensberg mountains of South Africa.

With UNESCO patronage we joined together with our partners at Global Mountain Safeguard Research Programme (GLOMOS: United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security and Eurac Research) and the Afromontane Research Unit (University of the Free State) to arrange this momentous 5 day event. The next conference SAMC2025 is being planned right now.

About SAMC

The South African Mountain Conference (SAMC2022) was the brainchild of Professor Ralph Clark, African Mountain Research Foundation Trustee and Director of the Afromontane Research Unit at the University of the Free State, South Africa.

Ralph wanted to create an multi-day event that would provide an opportunity to grow the limited and disconnected southern African mountain community of practice and build a stronger African voice on the global mountain stage. He saw a need to bring all aspects of research disciplines; biophysical, humanities and economics together to solve the complex problems in our mountains.

Thus SAMC2022 was born. It was the first truly southern African regional mountain conference, targeting the African region south of the Congo Rainforest (DRC) and Lake Rukwa (Tanzania), but including Madagascar, Comoros and the Mascarenes.

With the conference theme Southern African mountains – their value and vulnerabilities, we used the UN’s International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development 2022 to raise awareness of the importance of the conservation and sustainable use of African mountain ecosystems.

The conference brought relevant people together into one space for networking and information sharing, leading to more robust collaborations and comparative mountain studies which led to more research activities, student capacity and academic outputs that we hope will feed into policy and action going forward.

With over 250 participants from 21 countries and 200 people leading sessions, many of whom were young MSc and PhD students it was a truly international event that shone the spotlight on these much neglected mountain systems.

Prominent keynote speeches were made by Lord Goldsmith, UK Environment Minister, Dr Carolina Adler from the Mountain Research Initiative, Switzerland, Professor Martin Price from the University of the Highland and Islands, Scotland, and Associate Professor Lyn Wadley from University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. A wide variety of topics including Protected areas & Conservation, Mountain Invasives, Communities & Livelihoods, Education & Research Management and Water Resource Management and about 200 scientific contributions brought together stakeholders from governments, international organisations, academic institutions, research institutes, NGOs and private individuals.

“I can’t believe we haven’t done this before…I can’t wait until 2025!”
- A delegate (botanist) from Angola

How To Attend SAMC 2025

SAMC2025 is taking place in the Champagne Sports Resort in the Maloti-Drakensberg mountains of South Africa on 17-20th March 2025 and is going to be bigger and better than ever. Click here to find out how you can register and to purchase tickets.

Register now

Help us on our mission

Mountains Matter. They are home to 15% of the world’s population, host about half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, provide freshwater for everyday life to half of the global population and help to sustain agriculture and supply clean energy and medicines. Help us to protect them.

Donate Now