May 17, 2013
universityworldnews.com | By Michael Gardner
An interdisciplinary symposium on sustainability research involving young academics from South Africa, Germany and several other countries was held in Berlin in late March. It was the latest event of the Global Young Academy of up-and-coming researchers.
The symposium was part of the German-South African Year of Science, and scientists at the meeting, who are members of the German and South African young academies as well as the Global Young Academy, discussed a wide range of issues relating to ecological novelty.
“Socio-ecological Novelty – Frontiers in Sustainability Research” centred on the concept of ecological novelty – new ecosystems created by humans that have become irreversible, are having novel effects and demand attention from researchers and politicians.
Caradee Wright, an environmental health specialist at South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and co-chair of the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS), stressed the importance of integrating the issue of sustainability into people’s basic needs, but also pointed to the difficulty of getting such a task onto the political agenda.
Giving young scientists a voice and providing them with a platform to influence policy decisions is a key objective of SAYAS, which was launched in 2011.
Silja Klepp, a sustainability researcher at Germany’s University of Bremen, gave a vivid account of the future that the island republic of Kuribati is facing given rising ocean levels, demonstrating the wide range of issues ecological changes trigger.
Klepp, a member of Junge Akademie – German Young Academy – explained that it also aimed to engage with politics and maintained that sustainability could only be achieved if fair solutions were worked out for people at both the global and local levels. Read More...
Image Courtsey of BSD