SI at International Conferences

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During the course of May SI people will have participated in various interesting international events in Europe, China and Africa. Mark Swilling attended the 10th meeting of the International Resource Panel in Copenhagen from 6th-10th May; Blake Robinson attended the international expert forum on the Green Urban Economy in Bonn from 14-15 May; starting 7th May Candice Kelly joined a South African delegation to China organised by the Department of Science and Technology; and on 29-30 May Eve Annecke will attend the Expert Consultation Workshop on Capacity Strengthening in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Research for Sustainable Development in Africa organised by ATPS that will take place in Naivasha, Kenya.

The 10th meeting of the International Resource Panel was hosted by the Danish Government and took place in Copenhagen. Mark Swilling presented a report that has taken two years to compile based on contributions from 25 experts from all regions of the world – the lead co-authors are Mark Swilling, Blake Robinson, Simon Marvin and Mike Hodgson. Entitled City-Level Decoupling: Urban Resource Flows and the Governance of Urban Transitions this report was approved by the Panel for peer review after which it will be publicly launched at the World Urban Forum in Naples during the first week of September.

The international expert forum on the “Green Urban Economy – New drivers for a sustainable urban development” was organised by the BMZ and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and hosted by the City of Bonn. In the run-up to the Rio+20 Summit in Rio de Janeiro, the event is intended to shed light on the term “green urban economy” and find entry points and approaches for local authorities to actively shape the transformation of local and global economy. The event includes short presentations from sustainability experts and city representatives, and working groups to explore issues of green jobs and poverty alleviation, financing and green investments, and governance and institutions. Blake Robinson was invited to participate and helped facilitate one of the working groups.

The Department of Science and Technology has established a working relationship with the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology on – according to the letter of invitation – “an evolving vision of ‘science and technology for sustainability'”. The first session of 4 days of discussion and visits to various institutions will take place on 7-11 May. The topics for discussion include decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation, south-south cooperation for sustainable development, climate change, policy management for sustainable development, integrated development planning, international environmental governance and pollution.

The African Technology Policy Studies (ATPS) network defines itself as the “leading trans-disciplinary network of researchers, policymakers, private sector actors and civil society that promotes capacity strengthening in science, technology and innovation policy research, dialogue and practice, for sustainable development in Africa”. The SI acts as the ATPS chapter in SA. Eve Annecke will participate in the Expert Consultation Workshop that will take place on 29-30 May in Naivasha, Kenya.