Building Partnerships and Investing in nature:  the Linear Way in Africa

10 - 15th March, 2019

Nombulo Mdluli Conference Centre at Skukuza Rest Camp,
Kruger National Park, South Africa

The inaugural African Conference for Linear Infrastructure and Ecology (ACLIE) will be held in 2019 in the iconic Kruger National Park, co-hosted by the Endangered Wildlife Trust and Eskom.  Centered around the theme Building Partnerships and Investing in nature:  the Linear Way in Africa, the conference will focus on the intersection of people and linear infrastructure, specifically how both people and nature are connected along, across and between different types of infrastructure.

Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its total land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population.

Africa boasts the world's largest combination of density and "range of freedom" of wild animal populations and diversity, with over 3,000 protected areas, with 198 marine protected areas, 50 biosphere reserves, and 80 wetlands reserves.

We are living in the most explosive era of infrastructure expansion in human history, with 9/10ths of all new infrastructure being built in devel­oping nations, mainly in tropical and subtropical regions that contain Earth’s most diverse ecosystems.

Linear infrastructure (which includes roads, railways, pipelines, fencing and powerlines) has numerous, diverse, and mostly negative consequences for biodiversity by, among other things, destroying and degrading, fragmenting ecological connectively and wildlife populations and their dynamics, direct impacts through collisions and secondary impacts through increased access to previously unattainable natural resources.

This first of its kind conference seeks to move away from a siloed approach, and bring various modes of linear infrastructure together, namely:
  • Roads and Rail
  • Energy
  • Canals, Pipelines and Fences
Experts in transportation development, related scientific study, policy issues, and administrative processes are encouraged to attend ACLIE to share current research, quality applications, and best practices that can enhance both the project development process and the ecological sustainability of all linear infrastructure modes.

The conference will take place at the Nombulo Mdluli Conference Centre at Skukuza Rest Camp, which is situated within the world-famous Kruger National Park in South Africa.  Apart from being home to the Big Five and a host of other iconic African mammals, the park is also renowned for its diversity of bird species.

All conference arrangements will be facilitated and managed by africaMASSIVE, a professional conference organising company.

The aims of ACLIE are:

1) To promote a safe and ecologically sustainable pan-African linear infrastructure; and
2) To promote networking opportunities and effective partnerships that facilitate communication and exchange of knowledge, ideas and news.

Our focus will target four main themes:
  1. Impacts of Linear Infrastructure on local flora and fauna;
  2. Linear infrastructure through sensitive areas;
  3. Mitigating impacts; and
  4. Building partnerships

The ACLIE programme includes podium presentations, posters, field trips, and exhibits on topisc of special interest to researchers, biologists, engineers, planners, project managers, administrators, and policy makers.

Important Dates

Date / 2019   Day   Activity
10 March  Sunday  Arrival and registration. 
"Meet and Greet" cocktail function in evening (complementary)
11 March  Monday  Paper Sessions
 Breakfast and evening meal to be arranged by delegate
12 March  Tuesday  Paper Sessions
 Breakfast and evening meal to be arranged by delegate
13 March  Wednesday  Field trips and workshops
 Breakfast and evening meal to be arranged by delegate
14 March  Thursday  Paper Sessions
 Breakfast to be arranged by delegate
 Bush braai  
(An opportunity for delegates to experience the real African bush under the stars, whilst enjoying traditional African entertainment and a dinner cooked over the coals)
15 March  Friday  Checkout and Departures 
(A final get-together evening for those staying on in the park will be arranged, more details to follow - will be at own cost)

About the Endangered Wildlife Trust

The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), champion of conservation in Africa, has worked tirelessly for over 45 years to save wildlife and habitats, with our vision being a world in which both humans and wildlife prosper in harmony with nature. From the smallest frog, to the majestic rhino; from sweeping grasslands to arid drylands; from our shorelines to winding rivers: the EWT is working with you, to protect our world.

The EWT’s team of field-based specialists is spread across southern and East Africa, where committed conservation action is needed the most. Working with our partners, including businesses and governments, the EWT is at the forefront of conducting applied research, supporting community conservation and livelihoods, training and building capacity, addressing human wildlife conflict, monitoring threatened species and establishing safe spaces for wildlife range expansion. 

A beacon of hope for Africa’s wildlife, landscapes and communities, the EWT is protecting forever, together.

Eskom is responsible for generating sufficient electricity supply to meet the increasing power demands of South Africa. Interactions between the resulting infrastructure and wildlife often lead to negative impacts to ecosystems and/or specific species. This in turn creates operational, financial and reputational risks or challenges for Eskom. The challenge for Eskom is to find the balance between the interests of industry, the residential electrification programme, and the effective use and conservation of resources. In view of the complexity, scope and persistence of the problem of interactions between wildlife and Eskom infrastructure, Eskom and the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) formalised their long-standing relationship by entering into a partnership in 1996. The Eskom/EWT Strategic Partnership was established to address the potential problems in a systematic manner from a national perspective, and to establish an integrated management system to minimise these negative interactions.

About the Kruger National Park:

The Kruger National Park is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. 

People's interaction with the Lowveld environment over many centuries, - from Bushman rock paintings to majestic archaeological sites, - is very evident in the park. These treasures represent the cultures, persons and events that played a role in the history of the Kruger National Park and are conserved along with the park's natural assets. 

The Kruger National Park is one of the most accessible protected areas in Africa and boasts an extensive, well-developed network of tarmac and gravel roads which covers most of the vegetation types and facilitates self-drive trips. It also has an extensive range of accommodation options in more than 20 camps scattered throughout the 20,000 km² of the park. In addition to accommodation and restaurants in most of the large camps, the park also offers a range of guided drives, including night-drivers as well as bush walks.

Click here for a map of Kruger National Park