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Economic Assessment of Climate Change in Uganda-Adaptation Costly but Inevitable

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After a  year of intensive research and studies, Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) in conjunction with Climate Change Department (CCD), Ministry of Water and Environment   has produced a fully fledged report on the Economic assessment of the impacts of climate change in Uganda.

Presenting the Report during the Economic Assessment Study-National Outreach Event organized by CDKN, Ministry of Water and Environment and Makerere University on 24th November 2015 at Protea Hotel-Kampala, Dr. Olivier Beucher from Le Groupe-conseil Baastel Sprl (Baastel) highlighted that although the cost of adapting to climate change is high, the cost of inaction is twenty times higher.

According to the report (Economic assessment of the impacts of climate change in Uganda), climate change is likely to cause an increase in extreme weather events such as floods, heat and droughts. Highlands are likely to become wetter and rainfall is expected to be more erratic, unpredictable and intense, with shorter rain seasons.

In addition, the report also points out that;

  • Development prospects will only be reached if the impacts of climate change in Uganda are mitigated.
  • The impacts of climate change in Uganda are expected to be felt across the sectors of agriculture, energy, infrastructure and water, as well as the local areas of Mpanga River Basin, Mt. Elgon, Karamoja and Kampala City, as studied to varying degrees
  • The cost of adaptation will be so high estimated at around US$406m over the next five years (2015-2020). On an annual basis, this amounts to about 5% of the net official development assistance received and 3.2% of the total government revenues (excluding grants).
  • The cost of inaction is 20 times greater than the cost of adaptation: inaction is estimated at between US$3.1b and 5.9b per year by 2025, which is more than 20 times of the proposed adaptation budget.

Further examining the economic impact in Uganda, Dr. Beucher said that Climate Change is more likely to affect the four sectors of Agriculture, Water, Infrastructure, and Energy. He highlighted that the damages to be reached in these sectors are estimated to collectively amount to 2-4% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between 2010 and 2050.

“The higher the growth in GDP the lower is the percentage. The estimates include the costs of current variability as well as future change.  In fact a major part of the problem comes from the current variability and a lack of infrastructure to deal with it. This gives urgency to the problem and to the need to act now to reduce impacts climate change,” he said.

Dr. Olivier Beucher from Le Groupe-conseil Baastel Sprl (Baastel),  presenting the Ecomic Assessment Report on the impacts of Climate Change in Uganda.He  explained to the participants that, the development prospects for Uganda foresee an average annual growth rate of 7-8% over the next 25 years and a drop in poverty levels. However, Beucher said that these prospects depend on a lot of factors working in favour of implementation of sustainable development policies.

“Uganda is ready to take immediate actions, and must do so. Many of the recommended actions are likely to be ‘no regrets’. They will bring about gains regardless of whether climate change happens or not. Many of the actions also have potential co-benefits, for example reducing use of biomass for energy has carbon benefits and also potential biodiversity, health, and water management benefits,” he said.

In January 2014, the Government of Uganda commissioned the Economic Assessment of the Impact of Climate Change study. Its purpose was to provide the Government with economic evidence of the current and future costs associated with climate variability and predicted climate change, and the necessary adaptation measures for different sectors on both national and local scales. This evidence was intended to help policy makers mainstream climate change and resilience into national and sectoral policies and develop the case for investing in adaptation.

The study was carried out by climate change scientists from Makerere University, Metroeconomica (UK) and the University of Wolverhampton Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT) led by the Le Groupe- conseil Baastel Sprl (Baastel. It was jointly funded by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) and the Department for International Development (DFID).   

According to the report, the evidence from the study has already informed Uganda’s Intended National Determined Contribution (INDC) to the 21st Conference  of Parties (COP21), and to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) both in Paris France. The INDC outlines Uganda’s commitment to climate adaptation and mitigation of greenhouse gases as part of a new, universal global climate agreement that will be decided at the summit.

During the National Outreach Event organised under the theme: Economic Impact of Climate Change: what does it mean for Uganda’s development?, the Minister of Water and Environment Hon. Ephraim Kamuntu, acknowledged the great work carried out by CDKN, in sponsoring and developing the process of generating hard and empirical evidence on effects of Climate Change in Uganda. The Minister said that the figures generated will help to create awareness to the community.
Minister of Water and Environment Hon. Ephraim Kamuntu.
He also explained that there is a need of the Ministry of Water and Environment to engage the community in influencing the impact of climate change as well as changing people’s mindsets towards a common goal of investing in Climate Change adaptation measures.

“There is a need to change peoples’ mindset and make them understand that climate change is real. Many Ugandans think that climate change is a myth. Therefore we need to prove to them that we are already experiencing it. It is very clear that in Buduuda almost 300 people were buried alive, glaciers on mountain Rwenzori melted and the recent floods in the western region clearly indicate that we are experiencing the impacts of Climate Change,” he said.

“We must also agree on means of implementation on Financing Climate Change. Money should be earmarked and not confused with funding for other programs.  Secondly, Uganda National Meteorological Authority should be well equipped with modern technology to predict climate change accurately and raise awareness on it. At National Level, we need to engage Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to understand the economic threats of climate change,” he added.

In her speech, Ms. Claire Monkhouse from Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) said that Uganda contributes very little to this climate problem with less than 1% of the greenhouse gas emission. She said that Uganda is one of the 13 countries CDKN supports across Africa, Asia and Latin America to investigate climate adaptations and mitigation.

“I would like to emphasize that the study has highlighted that Uganda’s economy has already been impacted by climate variability and I am sure that these effects will rise with climate change. I thank the people who have been involved in the study and developing the findings that have been partly illustrated in the film. We are going to show this film to the climate experts in the coming Paris conference and I believe that it will greatly influence the binding agreement, we are going to draft during the conference,” she noted.

Head, Department for International Development (DFID) Uganda Mr. Howard Standen.The Head, Department for International Development (DFID) Uganda Mr. Howard Standen noted that the Paris agreement should give a framework for accelerating a global transition of climate resilient economy. To him this can only be achieved by collective measures and true determination of countries.

“It is my pleasure to participate in such an important discussion which will positively impact on the national vision of this country. The national vision of Uganda is to transform the country into a competitive middle income country by 2040.  I therefore congratulate the Minister of Water and Environment together with the Government of Uganda for the strong efforts they invested in the study and commitment to strongly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 22% by 2030,” said Mr. Standen.

In a speech read by the Principal, College Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) Prof. Bernard Bashaasha, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu said Makerere University  has  engaged in building capacity for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

“The Makerere University College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, has integrated aspects of climate change at undergraduate level and introduced new regional Masters Programmes on the same. The College also developed seeds for rangeland forages, drought and diseases resistant varieties of crops as well as carried out extensive research on indigenous multipurpose tree species that can absorb carbon dioxide from the environment,” explained Prof. Ddumba-Ssentamu.

What do the study findings mean to Uganda?

According to Mr. David O.O. Obong, Permanent Secretary- Ministry of Water and Environment the study findings have increased awareness to guide the government and community on how to act on climate change. Mr. Obong said that Ministry of Water and Environment is currently engaging all stakeholders to come up with the legal framework for implementing climate change adaptation across all sectors.

“For coordination, Ministry of Water and Environment has asked agencies to have a focal person for Climate Change. All sectors that is to say; the infrastructure, water, energy and agricultural sectors were asked by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to integrate climate change in their activities,” he mentioned.Dr. Wilberforce Kisamba Mugerwa, Chairperson of National Planning Authority (NPA).

Dr. Wilberforce Kisamba Mugerwa, Chairperson of National Planning Authority (NPA) highlighted that NPA in collaboration with Ministry of Water and Environment has developed guidelines for sectors and local authorities to prioritize certain activities during budgeting.

“Guidelines for local authorities exist. We have limitation of capacity at both sector and local government levels. Climate Change is a crosscutting issue just like HIV and Gender, so capacity has to be built if we are to mainstream and stipulate roles for each agency. There is also a need to identify who is responsible for what activity,” he said.

On behalf of Kampala Capital City Authority, Dr. Najib Lukooya Bateganya mentioned that most of the issues raised in the study i.e. water, infrastructure and energy relate to Kampala except agriculture. Dr. Bateganya said that engaging in the study helped KCCA to better understand the impact of climate change on its development activities. He  Dr. Najib Lukooya Bateganya. further noted that with the help of the French Development Agency, KCCA was able to develop a Kampala Capital City Action Plan in which infrastructure is key.

“KCCA is also prioritizing drainage in which the Authority has developed projects planned up to US$500m to handle the drainage situation. On Renewable Energy, we are switching streetlights to solar and our target is to convert to 100% solar street lighting. We also need to decommission and start on new project to help recover recyclable resources at the Kiteezi landfill as well as create demand for climate-resilient planning at community level,” he stated.

The conference was moderated by Mr. Joseph Epitu, from Climate Change Department- Ministry of Water and Environment, Dr. Revocatus Twinomuhangi, Country's Engagement Leader-CDKN  and Ms. Janefrances Alowo from Makerere University.

Participants pose for a group photo with the Chief Guest Hon. Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu, 24th November 2015

 

Article by Mak Public Relations Office

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Rotary International President visits Mak

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The Chairperson of Council, Mrs Lorna Magara (L) presents a plaque to Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta in appreciation of his visit and invaluable service, 15th September 2021, CTF1, Makerere University.

By Hasifa Kabejja

Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta has appreciated Makerere University for supporting and carrying forward the newly introduced programme aimed at advancing peace on the African Continent. Launched in January 2020, the Rotary Peace Centre at Makerere University runs a postgraduate diploma programme in Peace-building and Conflict Transformation. The hands-on program entails coursework that addresses topics including human rights, governance, and the role of the media in conflict. Other studies focus on refugees and migration, as well as resource and identity-based conflicts.

At a high level meeting held with the University leadership on 15th September 2021 at CTF1, President Shekhar Mehta said Rotary International was proud to be partnering with Makerere to promote peace on the African Continent. “The mere absence of war does not translate into total peace. Besides war, there are many other factors undermining peaceful co-existence. It is our duty to address these issues so as to create harmony in our communities. Through the Rotary Peace Centres across the globe, we are undertaking a number of initiatives aimed at promoting peace. Since 2002, the Rotary Peace Centres have trained more than 1,300 fellows who are working to advance peace in more than 115 countries. We are happy to work with Makerere University to foster peace and development on the African Continent,” he noted.   President Shekhar Mehta, who was on a three-day tour of Rotary projects in Uganda, was visiting Makerere for the first time since the University won the bid to host the International Rotary Peace Centre, the first of its kind on the African Continent.

President Shekhar Mehta, who was in company of past and current Governors of Districts 9213 and 9214, said peace was a necessary catalyst for the progress of humanity and general development of nation states across the globe. Elected for the 2021-22 term, President Shekhar Mehta, through his year theme Serve to Change Lives, asks Rotarians to participate in service projects where they can make a difference in their communities and the people who live in them. Since he joined Rotary in 1984 as a member of the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, West Bengal, India, President Shekhar Mehta has led many major service initiatives in India and South Asia, including among others, constructing 500 homes for Tsunami survivors at Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and starting the Shelter Kit programme in India which has served about 20 disasters and benefited about 75,000 disaster victims. 

Delivering her remarks, the Chairperson Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara appreciated Rotary International for entrusting Makerere University with the mandate to host the first rotary peace centre on the African Continent. “Choosing to house the Centre at Makerere University shows Rotary International’s trust and confidence in Makerere and her vision for building for the future. We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the advancement of Rotary International’s agenda. We also sincerely appreciate Rotarians all over the world who have committed funds to support the Rotary Peace Centre at Makerere University,” she noted. Similarly, she appreciated The Rotary Foundation (TRF) of Canada for setting up an endowment fund for the Peace Centre. “This will go a long way in ensuring the sustainability of the Peace Centre at Makerere University. The fund will help in the Capstone week where Fellows will present their social initiatives. These initiatives will showcase how the Rotary Peace Centre contributes to positive peace initiatives all over the world.”

In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe informed the President that the decision to establish the first Rotary Peace Centre in Africa at Makerere University was welcomed with ‘excitement and gratefulness’. “We consider this to be a vote of confidence in our efforts in the peace and conflict resolution agenda. We extend our appreciation to Rotarians in Uganda and beyond for selflessly supporting this noble cause.” The Vice Chancellor appreciated the leadership of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Makerere, and the Director of the Centre, Dr Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala for their tireless efforts in ensuring the centre achieves the intended objective.

By the end of this year, the Centre will have hosted two cohorts of peace fellows. The first cohort was at Makerere University between February and May, 2021. Currently, these Peace fellows are carrying out their peace initiatives in their communities. The second cohort will report on September 27, 2021. In both cohorts, Peace Fellows were chosen from 20 countries and by the end of the year, the Centre will have had a total of 36 Fellows.

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Intentionality Key to Nurturing More Women Leaders

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The "Enhancing Women’s Participation and Visibility in Leadership and Decision-Making Organs of Public Universities in Uganda through Action Research" Phase One Study dissemination poster for the event held on 14th September 2021, CTF1, Makerere University and Online.

The Gender Mainstreaming Directorate (GMD), Makerere University on 14th September 2021 presented findings from phase one of the study on Enhancing Women’s Participation and Visibility in Leadership and Decision-Making Organs of Public Universities in Uganda through Action Research. The study team led by the Director GMD and Principal Investigator (PI), Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine also consists of Assoc. Prof. Consolata Kabonesa, Dr. Anna Ninsiima, Ms. Frances Nyachwo, Ms. Susan Mbabazi and Mr. Eric Tumwesigye.  

The team is also made of coordinators from participating Universities such as Busitema University-Ms. Elizabeth Birabwa, Kabale University-Sr. Dr. Eva Tumusiime, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST)-Dr. Specioza Twinamasiko, Muni University-Ms. Amandru Stella Wawa, and Gulu Univeristy-Sr. Rosalba Aciro.

Funded by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF), the study was inspired by the fact that women are persistently few in numbers as staff, more so in leadership and decision-making organs of Ugandan Public Universities. “This is despite all the various efforts at national and international levels; the numbers are not growing as fast as needed to meet development goals of the country” explained Dr. Euzobia.

Based on this background, the study team therefore sought to conduct a situational analysis of the gender terrain of the six public universities to obtain baseline information encompassing the composition of governance and leadership organs and senior staff by sex, as well as a needs assessment and profiles of potential mentors and mentees.

Furthermore, the team sought to explore the capacity to conduct gender-responsive research as well as the role of male staff engagement in gender equity interventions within the universities as the drivers of development.

Dr. Mugisha-Baine shared that results of the baseline would then be used to design participatory training manuals or guides on gender and leadership. The manuals would cover; Institutionalized mentorship, How to conduct gender-responsive research, gender and equity budgeting, among others.

The Director GMD, Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine
The Director GMD, Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine

 “Within these manuals, we shall have a male staff engagement strategy in gender equity interventions in universities” she explained.

The development of the aforementioned materials would then be followed by their adoption and use to build capacity for women not only in leadership of participating and other public university but also beyond. “We shall periodically evaluate whether the capacity we have built has influenced women’s participation in leadership and decision-making organs of the university” supplemented the PI.

The capacity building trainings for women, it is envisaged, will lay the foundation for the formation of a functional Uganda University Women’s Think Tank, starting with the six participating universities. Dr. Mugisha Baine added that through this Think Tank, a monitoring and tracking system for gender representation in recruitment, promotion, retention/turnover and leadership of public universities shall be established and maintained.  

At the conclusion of phase one, the study team had drafted participatory training manuals in gender and leadership with content on; gender specific critical analysis of the leadership spectrum of public universities, positioning of individual women within the institutional framework and strategies for their advancement, gender equity advocacy in the university setting, institutional mentorship, building capacity in conducting gender-responsive research, among others.

“This content will be validated by the participating universities before the actual research training is conducted” added the PI.

On behalf of the research team, Dr. Mugisha Baine thanked the Government of Uganda for providing the resources that facilitated phase one of the study and prayed that the Mak-RIF Grants Management Committee (GMC) would support the next phase of capacity building.

Speaking on behalf of the Mak-RIF GMC Chairperson, Prof. William Bazeyo, Dr. Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala thanked and congratulated the team led by the Director GMD upon the milestones registered in the critical research.

“We are very proud of that work that is being done by all researchers in Mak-RIF and we would like to most sincerely thank Management for all the support throughout this process” she remarked.

Dr. Nkabala encouraged the research team to continue disseminating and using the findings for the furtherance of gender mainstreaming, particularly through the aspect of male staff engagement in gender equity interventions.  

The Executive Director, NCHE, Prof. Mary Okwakol. Courtesy Photo.
The Executive Director, NCHE, Prof. Mary Okwakol. Courtesy Photo.

Prior to delivering the keynote address of the day, the Executive Director National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) Prof. Mary Okwakol thanked the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe for inviting her to the important forum, noting that women’s participation in decision making and governance is a priority area of the Uganda Gender Policy 2007.  

She commended Makerere University for being at the forefront of gender mainstreaming in Uganda, noting that this prominence was one of the reasons why the Gender in Education Policy 2007 provides for replicating the institution’s strategy in all other Higher Education Institutions.   

Prof. Okwakol whose keynote address was punctuated incisive personal examples reaffirmed the statistics that women are generally not visible in leadership of Universities. That notwithstanding, in instances where they rise to leadership and decision-making positions, they are regularly subject to roles traditionally deemed as women’s inconsiderate of their managerial seniority and experience.

She nevertheless rallied the women to play their respective roles in enhancing participation and visibility at a personal level. The following were some of the strategies she proposed; work hard to acquire academic credentials so as to compete favourably with men, acquire necessary administrative training and experience, network among women, join professional networks as well as do research and publish.  

On joining professional networks, she shared her personal experience as a young zoologist who joined UNESCO’s Tropical Biology and Fertility Programme. “Within a short time I was appointed Coordinator for Africa and after two years, I was elected as a Member of the International Board of Management. After serving for two years, I became Vice Chairperson of that Board and finally I became Chairperson of that International Board.”

At the institutional level, Prof. Okwakol appealed to the Chairperson Council and Vice Chancellor to proactively recruit women who meet the requirements for leadership positions even if it means actively seeking out the reluctant ones. In this regard, she shared that it would be useful for the university to develop a database of women and their qualifications to ease this process.

She shared that NCHE has in recognition of female underrepresentation at every level in Higher Education approved the establishment of a Gender and Equity Unit with the aim of promoting inclusive gender participation in the sub-sector.

“This unit has been placed under the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Accreditation which implies that as we look out for and regulate quality, gender will be a very important aspect of that regulation” she reassured.

Prof. Okwakol concluded by urging participants to read the; Third National Development Plan (NDPIII), Uganda Vision 2040, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) noting that there is no way all three can be achieved while women are left behind because they each make a case for inclusion of the female gender.  

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe follows proceedings during the dissemination.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe follows proceedings during the dissemination.

“What we are addressing here are historical injustices” said Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe as he commenced his remarks, “And in the case of Makerere University, it is well known that the institution started as a male-only institution and we all know the original motto was ‘Let us be men’” he added.

Citing examples from history such as; Marie Curie – one of the smartest physicists, Hatshepsut, Nefertiti and Cleopatra – prominent Pharaohs of Egypt, George Eliot, Rosa Luxemburg and Hypatia – all great philosophers as well as Chancellor Angela Merkel – first female Chancellor of Germany, the Vice Chancellor said there is no plausible argument that there are things women cannot do as well as their male counterparts.

He said it was against this knowledge and in a bid to correct historical injustices that Makerere University pioneered initiatives such as putting in place affirmative action for girls, establishing a Gender Mainstreaming Directorate as well as a School of Women and Gender Studies. The Vice Chancellor nevertheless stressed the need to go beyond pioneering to protecting these gains through legislation. “Historically we have seen that discrimination can only be addressed by laws and policies.”

Prof. Nawangwe thanked the Government for providing funds to support Mak-RIF as well as the Funds GMC and Secretariat for ensuring that these funds are put to good use. He equally thanked the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara for her not only her support but also sparing time to attend a good number of the research dissemination events.

A screenshot of the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara delivering the concluding remarks.
A screenshot of the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara delivering the concluding remarks.

Delivering the concluding remarks, Mrs. Magara acknowledged that the study was timely and relevant the contemporary University, as one of the critical drivers of the national and international development agenda. She therefore reechoed the Vice Chancellor’s thanks to the Government of Uganda for generously supporting the University’s research through Mak-RIF.

Turning to the keynote speaker she said, “I thank Prof. Okwakol for ardently discussing the critical issues affecting the female gender, the strategies to overcome the challenges, including sharing her inspiring personal experiences.”

Mrs. Magara equally thanked Prof. Okwakol for her very instructional analysis, providing mentorship guidance with the resultant impact of enhancing the female gender in decision-making positions. In the same breath she congratulated the PI and her team upon successfully concluding phase one of the project.

“Phase one has generated insights in understanding the status of women in leadership in public universities, the legal and policy framework and its implications on women’s visibility, the institutional mentoring systems and the gaps therein” she observed.

The Chairperson of Council acknowledged that the challenge of underrepresentation of women in leadership roles cannot be resolved at an individual level. She therefore advocated for broad based strategies that can address deep-seated structural and cultural biases facing women. “These include developing mentorship networks, enacting laws and policies that address the imbalances and providing training programmes to address the leadership gaps.”

She therefore pledged the University Council’s unwavering support to the Gender Mainstreaming Programme by ensuring an enabling policy environment that facilitates gender-responsive teaching, learning, research innovation and community service.   

The research dissemination was moderated by the Principal Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ms. Ritah Namisango and the Director Communications, Learning and Knowledge Management, ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) and PRO Mak-RIF, Ms. Harriet Adong.

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Section Editors & Associate Editors Wanted-CABI Agriculture & Biosciences Journal

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The CABI Agriculture and Biosciences Journal (CABI A&B) is still in search of both Associate Editors to join the CABI A&B Editorial Board, as well as a Regional Editor-in-Chief to lead for Africa in addition to serving as a Section Editor in the area of either Environmental and SOIL SCIENCE, AGROECOLOGY, OR AQUACULTURE AND FISHERIES. Ideally CABI wants Section Editors (SE) who are prominent members of their research communities, with high-level established positions at a research institution, with a strong, current record of international collaborations and publication, with an H-index of at least 25.  For Associate Editors (AE) we hope for researchers who have with established positions at a research institution (e.g., not post-docs or Ph.D. candidates), with a strong growing record of international collaborations and publication (e.g., around 8 publications in the past two years), and have an H-index of at least 15.

Very importantly, CABI hopes for SEs and AEs who are good communicators and are passionate about serving and building the journal to be an outlet for both large and small steps of sound science that will improve the lives and livelihoods of people worldwide.

Please see Downloads for the CABI EDITORIAL DIRECTORY

Interested applicants should email PHILIPPA J. BENSON, PH.D. MANAGING EDITOR | _CABI A&B | P.BENSON[at]CABI.ORG

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