SASSCAL is a joint initiative of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Germany, responding to the challenges of global change. The establishment of a Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management could create added value for the whole southern African region. It should be conceptualised and operationalised to complement the excellent existing research and capacity development infrastructures and research initiatives in the region. It should be embedded in the regional and national research. Its mission is to conduct problem-oriented research in the area of adaptation to climate change and sustainable land management and provide evidence-based advice for all decision-makers and stakeholders to improve the livelihoods of people in the region and to contribute to the creation of an African knowledge-based society.