Each meeting gave the participants the opportunity to meet and discuss on important research topics. A general discussion allowed the members to discuss organizational points. 

- 2005 : 25-27 August, Pretoria (South Africa)
The present GDRI was launched during this workshop held to federate cooperative projects already existing between the CNRS and NRF. It was organized by Nicole Moreau (ENSCP and CNRS, Department of Chemical Sciences), Renée Le Roux, (NRF, Conservation, Ecosystem Management & Biodiversity), Patrick Duncan (CNRS, Centre d’Etudes Biologiques de Chizé), and William Mourey (CNRS, Representative in southern Africa). Promising topics for cooperative research on “biodiversity dynamics and management” were discussed and the four work packages developed in the present GDRI were defined. 

- 2007 : 3-5 April, Pretoria (South Africa)
It was the first GDRI meeting and 21 people met in Pretoria to share their recent results and future plans was most interesting and useful, scientifically and strategically: each presentation was followed by very fruitful and in-depth discussions and linkages were identified among the 4 main themes. 

- 2008 : 3 and 6 November, Montpellier (France)
In 2008, the CNRS proposed a common meeting between the two African GDRIs: this GDRI with South Africa and the GDRI with Madagascar (Biodiversity and sustainable development in Madagascar). This was done as a side-event at the Montpellier Conference “Agriculture and Biodiversity” (4-5 November), one of the events of the French Presidency of the European Union. Additional funding (50 KEuros) was provided by the CNRS and two people were recruited to assist in the preparation and organization of the meeting. More than 50 people attended, and had the opportunity, to hear communications of the 2 GDRIs (3 and 6 November) but also to attend the main Conference. 

- 2010 : 12-14 October, Stellenbosch (South Africa)
The meeting was the opportunity to celebrate these four years of collaborative work, participants will be encouraged to publish their results presented at the conference in the revue Acta Oecologica. All submitted papers will go through the normal review process of the journal and will constitute a special issue or a “special feature” if there are not enough papers for a full volume. The meeting and publications will also be part of the activities of the International year of Biodiversity.

        - 2013 : 10-12 September, Montpellier (France)
The 2013 meeting has been held at the University of Montpellier (France) from September 10th to 12th 2013 and has been organized by Janice Britton-Davidian and Guila Ganem (Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution, UMR 5554).

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