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Sustainability science: An answer to Africa’s challenges

Publication Date: 
Thursday, March 3, 2016

The CSIR has partnered with local and international institutions to co-host the 6th International Conference on Sustainability Science (ICSS) on 2 – 3 March 2016 at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies. This annual meeting of sustainability experts across the globe will seek answers to the question: How can sustainability science help tackle some of the pressing sustainability challenges that Africa is facing?

Contact Person

Tendani Tsedu

+27 (0) 12 841 3417

mtsedu@csir.co.za

The CSIR has partnered with local and international institutions to co-host the 6th International Conference on Sustainability Science (ICSS) on 2 – 3 March 2016 at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies. This annual meeting of sustainability experts across the globe will seek answers to the question: How can sustainability science help tackle some of the pressing sustainability challenges that Africa is facing?

Sustainability science - a 21st century novel discipline - is focused on integrated cross-disciplinary coordination needed to examine the interactions between human, environmental, and engineered systems to understand and develop solutions for complex challenges that threaten the future of humanity and the integrity of the life support systems of the planet. Such examples include climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution and land and water degradation.

The goal of this conference is to provide an international and interdisciplinary forum to promote a deeper understanding of diverse academic approaches to sustainability science and to discuss how to design a framework for integrating and structuring knowledge on sustainability science. The thematic areas of the conference focus on the African continent and include: Africa’s green economy transition; food security and sustainable agriculture; urbanisation and sustainability, mineral resource extraction and development in Africa; and transdisciplinary research methods.

South Africa’s hosting of this conference holds international significance as the world is tasked to meet the recently launched sustainable development goals.

Africa has made the bold move to transition to a low-carbon resource efficient green economy. This move is imperative, especially for South Africa, a developing country rich in mineral resources with a heavy reliance on non-renewable energy sources.

The CSIR will be facilitating a session on “The transition to a green economy in Africa”. “This session will focus on the meaning of the ‘Green Economy’ in Africa, both in a general sense, and in relation to specific sectors, such as waste and natural resource management,” said CSIR competence area manager for green economy, Dr Douglas Trotter.

The session, which will be facilitated by Trotter, will provide an overview of the key issues concerning a transition to a green economy on the continent and in South Africa particularly, as well as the opportunities that sustainability science offers in enabling this transition. The conference is co-hosted by the CSIR, University of Tokyo, Stockholm Resilience Centre, United Nations University, University of Stellenbosch, and University of Cape Town.

For more information, visit the ICSS website.