A five-year research program has been approved by the South African Committee for Antarctic Research on cryogenic landforms and processes on Marion Island, situated at 46°S, southeast of the African  continent in the maritime Subantarctic. The project, led by Jan Boelhouwers and Ian Meiklejohn, aims to assess the environmental controls, active processes and resulting landforms of geomorphological phenomena on the island. The focus is on forms that have a high paleoclimatic indicator value, or have a high environmental impact. Jan Boelhouwers and Stefan Grab undertook their first visit to Marion Island in April and May 1996, during which ground climate and sediment movement monitoring sites were established.

Currently five members of the Southern African Permafrost Group (SAPG) are cooperating in a project under Ian Meiklejohn's leadership on mountain environments. One of the prime aims of the project is to use paleogeomorphic features to develop a Pleistocene climate history for the high mountains of southern Africa, In the context of mountain environmental research, Ian Meiklejohn will be working with Kevin Hall in British Columbia during July.
Two conferences of relevance to IPA members will take place in southern Africa over the next 15 months. First is the Southern African Association of Geomorphologists (SAAG) Biennial Conference in Cape Town, as announced in the last issue of Frozen Ground The second is an International Conference on Environment and Development in Africa, 29 June to 4 July 1997, hosted by the University of Pretoria, the Society of South African Geographers, the International Geographical Union, and the African Association of Geographers. There will be a post-conference field workshop, hosted in conjunction with SAAG and the SAPG, to the Drakensberg Mountains. Interested parties are invited to contact the Conference Organizers, Department of Geography, University of Pretoria, 0002 Pretoria, South Africa; Tel: 27 12 420 4049; Fax: 27 12 420 3284;E-mail: kim@scientia.up.ac.za

Submitted by Ian Meiklejohn (kim@scientia.up.ac.za)