Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Science academies urge action on environmental issues

Jan Piotrowski in SciDev.net: The world's top science academies have urged world leaders to engage more closely with the research community to help solve key environmental problems facing humanity, ahead of the G8 summit in the United States later this week (18–19 May).

The so-called 'G Science' statements — issued consensually by 15 national science academies — call for an innovative scientific approach to three major issues: solving water and energy needs simultaneously; combating natural and man-made disasters; and accurately assessing greenhouse gas emissions.

The first statement urges governments to pursue an integrated approach to water and energy issues, stressing the interdependence of these resources and their impact on food security. Efforts should be made to integrate research and policy in both areas, it says, adding that this would require "building local and regional human and institutional capacity for the necessary research, data-gathering, evaluation, planning, governance, technology adaptation, and long-term maintenance". To achieve this, it says, "global cooperation will be essential, including development assistance to many of the most vulnerable countries".

The second statement calls for strategies to increase resilience to disasters, such as improving health systems and infrastructure, and applying advanced technology to monitor, warn and respond to disasters more efficiently.   It adds that capacity building is needed in vulnerable countries and should be integrated into development assistance programmes....

Thomas Eakins, "Arcadia"

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