The bilingual French-English wildlife publication bridges the gap between Africa's Francophone and Anglophone communities, and is a welcome boost to AGORA's forestry resources
Nature & Faune – the international peer-reviewed wildlife journal, has been described by our colleagues at Cornell University’s Mann Library (who help curate AGORA) as a “great addition,” not least because of its focus on forestry. Nature & Faune editor Ada Ndeso-Atanga also welcomed the announcement, calling it: “good news to the Nature & Faune readership and to the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission.” (AFWC)
“Nature and Faune is more than a simple publication,” she added, “it’s a community and we are happy that this community is becoming more inclusive and has now expanded significantly by its addition to AGORA. It’s a very refreshing unfoldment indeed”.
Nature & Faune began life in 1985. AFWC members wanted to create a space for authors to share ideas and scientific knowledge about wildlife, protected area management and renewable natural resources in Africa.
Broadly speaking the journal is aimed at an African readership. But since switching to digital format in 2006 (it comes out twice a year online) its readership has exploded to over 30,000 subscribers worldwide as of 2010, against just over 1000 readers worldwide when it was released in print form.
It is produced by the FAO Regional Office in Accra, Ghana, and its bilingual quality makes it something of a rarity in the scientific editorial world. It provides an essential link between Africa’s Francophone and Anglophone research communities who historically have differing approaches and philosophies to research and development planning. It also enjoys a broad readership, which cuts across categories – academia, research, government, development, donors, and helps to spark interest from potential contributors.
Scientists in Africa may yearn for a journal that deepens knowledge, but Ndeso-Atanga says that the current research capacity in Africa could mean this would take years to achieve. Meanwhile, Nature & Faune is something of a go-between. Whereas other publications of its ilk can be top-heavy on hard science, it strikes a balance between readable and academic, and even when an edition has a specific disciplinary focus, the articles remain broadly of interest.
A typical edition of Nature & Faune contains a mixture of short articles and features, as well as an opinion piece based on the issue’s theme (this latest – a special to mark the International Year of Soil, looks at sustainable soil management as key to food security and nutrition in Africa.) Readers also get a round up of wildlife and nature news stories from around the world, as well as announcements about research opportunities, meetings or other activities of interest in the sector.
Appearing on AGORA will give the journal - and the important field work that appears in it - an extra surge of visibility. It’s already a space for African research to be seen and to draw attention to emerging issues, and its broad multidisciplinary content contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals.
Nature & Faune has already been flagged-up on AGORA with an icon that appears for around a month to let users know that the publication is “new.” Although part of the Research4Life collection is only available for registered users you can select “proceed to Nature & Faune without logging in,” and this will take youstraight to the journal, and previous copies of it.
The next issue looks at: “Sustainable management of forests and wildlife in Africa: enhancing values, benefits and services”, and if you’d like to contribute (brevity is encouraged!), send manuscripts to the journal by April 2014.
The AGORA programme, set up by Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) with major publishers enables developing countries to gain access to an outstanding digital library collection in the fields of food, agriculture, environmental science and related social sciences.
As part of the Research4Life initiative, AGORA provides a collection of up to 6,100 key journals and 5,800 books to 2,900 national institutions in more than 100 countries. It is designed to enhance the scholarship of the many thousands of students, faculties and researchers in agriculture and life sciences in the developing world.
A warm welcome to Nature & Faune!