SLU news

Knowledge exchange with African environmental monitoring

Published: 23 February 2023
Canoe on beach with people inside and next to it. Photo.

We have an unusually long-term tradition of robust environmental monitoring and assessment (EMA) in Sweden. The many advantages of monitoring and analysing changes in the environment are something we happily share, which is why researchers from SLU are becoming involved in knowledge exchange with African environmental monitoring. One specific activity within this realm is presentations from SLU professor Kevin Bishop and researcher Jens Olsson at a Congolese conference on biodiversity.

By attending the conference, Kevin and Jens are contributing to strengthening the existing international network of scientists, sharing experiences in collecting data on the state of the environment, and making it available for managers, decision makers and the general public.

The conference takes place March 6-10, 2023 at the University of Kisangani in The Democratic Republic of Congo.  Kisangani is well positioned to host a conference on biodiversity in the Congo Basin, being situated at its very centre. During the conference, a wide range of issues related to preserving the natural environment of the Congo Basin, will be addressed.

There are numerous presentations during the conference, arranged in thematic auditoriums. SLU professor Kevin Bishop (Department of Aquatic Science and Assessment) will present SLU’s previous work with environmental monitoring in the African landscape (a WWF-funded project).

A key reason behind the involvement in the conference is the plans to start a new project to monitor the environment in the Congo Basin. This will be a capacity building project that aims to develop science-based management tools for biodiversity. Project partners will share SLU’s competence and knowledge on how to monitor and assess the state of environments using various approaches suited for different environments, habitats, and management needs. Open data are both key aspects of the conference and the new project.

Researcher Jens Olsson (Department of Aquatic Resources) is attending the conference in his role as vice dean for EMA at the NJ Faculty. He will present EMA at SLU in general and with a special focus on data collection and analyses based on citizen science at the SLU Swedish Species Information Center.

While in Congo, Kevin and Jens are taking the time to meet with the project stakeholders and partners and visit important field sites.