Welcome to the 45th Annual Research Symposium on the Management of Biological Invasions in Southern Africa

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About 45th Annual Research Symposium

The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) in collaboration with the University of Venda will be hosting the 45th Annual Research Symposium on the Management of Biological Invasions in southern Africa. The research symposium will be held from the 3rd to the 6th of July 2018 at the University of Venda, Main Campus, Thohoyandou (Limpopo).

The aim of this symposium is to encourage the engagement of scientists, practitioners and students in gathering and sharing research on biological invasions therefore using this information to make informed decisions on the management and eradication of biologically invasive species within southern Africa. The symposium will be a mix of keynote sessions, research presentations and a poster session to discuss and advance our understanding of biological invasions.

The main symposium theme would be Invasions trans-boundary with four sub-themes:
• Invasions across protected areas and biospheres
• Invasions across national boundaries
• Invasion impacts across sectors
• Invasions across species boundaries

Round Table Discussions

On the Wednesday (4 July) we have scheduled round table discussion sessions (of just over 1 hour) that will be open for all symposium attendees to participate in.

Currently we have two topics, BUT if you would like to propose additional topics, please contact us invasivesymposium2018@gmail.com with a proposed title, lead(s), and brief outline are so we can consider them for inclusion in the programme.

Round Table 1: What should the future of the Southern African Plant Invaders Atlas (SAPIA) look like?
Lead: Marcus BYRNE
Centre for Invasion Biology, School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Science, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

SAPIA has been a core component of the monitoring of plant invasions in South Africa, and through Lesley Henderson’s tireless work has developed into one of the pre-eminent databases of invasions anywhere in the world.
In this session, we will discuss the results of a survey circulated at the start of 2018; provide feedback from a strategic planning meeting held in May 2018; and, in particular, table scenarios for how SAPIA might develop in the coming years for input.
We look forward to your ideas and input.

Round Table 2: Insights from the management community on the value of research in South Africa
Lead: Brian van WILGEN
Centre for Invasion Biology, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa

South Africa is arguably both a world leader in invasion science and at the forefront in pioneering new approaches towards managing invasions.
A great deal has been spent on research of many aspects pertaining to the ecology, impacts, and management of biological invasions in South Africa. But does the research that is produced fulfil the needs of the user community?
We would like to involve as many non-researchers (i.e. managers, regulators, and policy-makers) in a discussion of the value of research findings to their work.
We would like to identify (1) those research projects or publications that have been particularly useful to the user community, and why they have been useful; and (2) obvious gaps in the research done to date, where the user community really needs more information.
The idea is to produce a chapter on “a view from the user community” for a comprehensive multi-author book on biological invasions in South Africa, preferably led by a non-researcher.

Why attend?

This symposium would be a great opportunity for you to showcase your research on biological invasions, interesting case studies, eradication methods, control measures, species awareness and management. You would also be privileged to learn and engage with other scientists and students within the field of biological invasions. This symposium would be your platform to letting your voice be heard, engaging in debate and making educated decisions with regards to biological invasive species within southern Africa.

Important Dates and Deadlines:

Abstract submission: 30 April 2018

Early bird registration: 01 June 2018

Standard registration: 18 June 2018

Late registration: after 18 June 2018

Cancellation: 18 June 2018

Symposium Registration: 03 July 2018 (Late afternoon)

Symposium closing: 06 July 2018 (after lunch)

Extended Abstract Deadline

08 May 2018

Travel Information

When travelling to Thohoyandou, Limpopo (South Africa) you have two options:
1. Landing at O.R. Tambo International Airport and driving approximately 482km to the vicinity of the University of Venda or
2. Landing at Polokwane International Airport and driving approximately 173km to the vicinity of the University of Venda.
The easiest way to get to these selected conference hotels is to make use of the shuttle service, which can be booked when registering online. (TBC)

Accommodation Information

Each delegate is required to make their own accommodation arrangements.

• Hotel2Ten: http://www.2tenhotel.com (website); reservations@2tenhotel.co.za (email);
015 963 0210
• Khoroni: http://www.khoroni.co.za (website); info@khoroni.co.za (email); 015 962 4600
• Avkhom Hotel: http://www.avkhomhotel.co.za (website); info@khoroni.co.za (email); 015 962 4600
• Kalahari Inn: http://www.kalahariinn.co.za (website); info@kalahariinn.co.za (email); 015 963 3755
• Porche Villa: http://www.kalahariinn.co.za (website); info@porche-villa.co.za (email); 076 446 0322

There are also other reasonable guest houses in close proximity to the conference venue (University of Venda).

Documentation – International Delegates

Please ensure you have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity. Before travelling to South Africa, it is important that your passport contains no less than 2 to 3 blank pages to accommodate entry and exit stamps by custom officials.
Please view the following link to determine if you require a South African visa and what the process and requirements are: http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/applying-for-sa-visa
In the case of Visa applications, please notify the Symposium committee if you require a letter of invitation on completion of your registration and payment.

Keynote speakers

– Dr Ali Halajian
– Dr Arne Witt
– Prof Karen Esler
– Dr Llewellyn Foxcroft
– Prof Wilmien Luus-Powell

Medical requirements

When travelling to South Africa, international immunization is not required. The only mandatory vaccine is Yellow Fever for those travellers arriving from a country at risk for yellow fever or in transit for more than 12 hours at an airport in a country at risk for yellow fever.

For more information visit the following link: https://www.santhnet.co.za/index.php/travel-health-advice/travel-help/vaccination-requirements.html

General Information

• Currency and Credit Cards – The official currency in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR). It’s important to note that retailers, hotels, cafes and restaurants only accept the South African Rand. Some retailers and restaurants accept credit cards, however not all accept AMEX or Diners cards. Your currency can be exchanged at banks or the airport. There are many ATM’s (Automated Teller Machines) situated at airports, malls and around town.

• Electricity – In South Africa our standard electricity runs at 220/230 volts AC at 50 cycles per second and three pronged plugs are standard. Most hotel rooms have 110 volt outlets for electric shavers and small appliances. Please carry an adapter if your electronics have a different plug type.

• VAT Refunds (Value Added Tax @ 15%) – A VAT refund is an amount of VAT that was charged (increased from 14% to 15% from 1 April 2018) by a vendor and paid by a qualifying purchaser, on the acquisition of goods in South Africa. The qualifying purchase must be in South Africa at the time of acquisition and must also export the goods from South Africa. The VAT refund will only be applicable to the acquisition of goods and not on the acquisition of services i.e. such as transport and accommodation, will not qualify for a refund. For more information please visit : http://www.sars.gov.za/TaxTypes/VAT/Pages/VAT-Refund-on-Exported-Goods.aspx

• Driver’s License – To drive in South Africa, you’ll need to have a valid driving license from your country of residence. If the language on your current driving license is not English, you will need an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) in South Africa; otherwise you are subject to a fine if the authorities require your documents.

• General Safety –Crime is something that is inevitable and tourist may seem vulnerable therefore it is best to avoid walking at night and driving into areas that are unknown to you. Never accept assistance from strangers at ATM’s (Automated Teller Machines). Try to stand as close as possible to the ATM to avoid strangers seeing your pin number. Ensure to make copies and certify all important travelling documentation (e.g. passport, visas, bank cards and driver’s license) therefore if lost or stolen, you would be able to verify your documentation at any police station. In case of such an incident, please contact a member of the conference team immediately in order to assist you in reporting the theft as soon as possible at any police station.


All cancellations must be done in writing and sent to invasivesymposium2018@gmail.com by 18 June 2018.

Any registered delegates failing to cancel by the due date will be liable to pay the FULL AMOUNT as indicated on their registration form.

For any enquiries contact

Mr Femi Elegbeleye
+27 (0)73 384 4467

Ruqaya Adams
+27 (0)21 799 8403

University of Venda
University Road
Thohoyandou, Limpopo, 0950

GPS Coordinates: Lattitude -22,9757 / Longitude 30,4444

Important Dates and Deadlines:

Abstract submission: 30 April 2018

Early bird registration: 01 June 2018

Standard registration: 18 June 2018

Late registration: after 18 June 2018

Cancellation: 18 June 2018

Symposium Registration: 03 July 2018 (Late afternoon)

Symposium closing: 06 July 2018 (after lunch)

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