Discussions with ministerial, scientific and CSO representatives from Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia started with a first political “Round Table” meeting in Windhoek in September 2009. The overarching focus of climate change and adapted land management was welcomed by all delegates and considered highly relevant for the region.

This focus reflects real needs and is embedded in national policies and strategies. Representatives of the countries agreed on a roadmap indicating the next steps towards implementation. An Interim Committee (IC) was set up to facilitate and co-ordinate those steps.

In order to support the current preparation process the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in early 2010 appointed a group of German scientists specialized in a variety of different research disciplines lead by Prof. Norbert Jürgens to assist the African partners and to develop a joint scientific concept and implementation plan.

The forthcoming national RSSC planning workshops in July and August 2010 and the second “Round Table” meeting in Luanda will be the next steps of the RSSC process. By the end of 2010, a MoU between the partner countries will formalize the concrete steps for establishing the RSSC centre and for implementing its work plan.