Due to the current processes of global change, which includes, for example, demographic change, climate change and the globalisation of economic systems, there is an urgent need to develop concepts on how to adapt to the challenges. Science and research offer proactive approaches to deal with the current and future changes expected. In this context the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) established and supported SASSCAL.
The initiative aims to put possible solutions to the many challenges of global change to develop and produce scientifically sound findings and sustainable socio-economic benefits for the entire Southern Africa region. Further, its mission is to conduct problem-oriented research in the area of adaptation to climate and change and sustainable land management and provide evidence-based advice for all decision-makers and stakeholders. The long-time goal is to improve the livelihoods of people in the region and to contribute to the creation of an African knowledge-based society. Interdisciplinarity between areas of Hydro Sciences, climate, agriculture, forestry, biodiversity and "capacity building" in the partner countries is a key focus.
The SASSCAL will improve the capacities to provide sound science-based solutions for current problems and future risks in the region, in particular regarding climate change and the associated demands concerning land management practices of local players and will support national, regional and local institutions and service providers to develop relevant advisory and implementation skills. Additionally, it actively supports the exchange of information across boundaries and fosters cooperation between national, regional and local institutions and service providers.