Alta de Vos, SAPECS Working Group Member and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Environmental Science at Rhodes University, has been appointed to represent SAPECS on the Expanded Freshwater and Terrestrial Environmental Observation Network (EFTEON) Advisory Panel.

The EFTEON is a research infrastructure that is being developed under the South African Research Infrastructure Roadmap program of the Department of Science and Technology. EFTEON is conceived as a modular, highly-networked research infrastructure to support studies on coupled ecological social systems in South Africa.

EFTEON will focus on setting up a network of research infrastructure in a number of distributed landscapes, each representing important South African Ecosystem/Human complexes. This research infrastructure is eventually expected to yield a number of free and discoverable datasets, ranging from long term, time series measurement data of energy fluxes, carbon dioxide and water, vegetation and land use and landcover, to socioecological studies of ecosystem service use and land use decision processes.

“At SAPECS, we strive to support the stewardship of social-ecological systems and ecosystem services in Southern Africa,” explains de Vos. “Long-term, strategic social-ecological monitoring of these complex adaptive systems is critical to achieving such stewardship, but social-ecological monitoring is resource-intensive, and frankly near impossible without buy in and investment at multiple scales. EFTEON represents a critical and unprecedented leap in putting a much-needed multi-scale monitoring network in place. We are extremely excited about the opportunity to contribute strategically to this important initiative, and about its long-term potential for understanding and managing social-ecological landscapes in South Africa.”