ICSU Regional Office for Africa: IRDR joins review of science plan for hazards and disasters

ROA science plan review workshop participants
ROA science plan review workshop participants

As part of IRDR co-sponsor ICSU’s review of the profile and operations of its regional offices (ROs), it is reviewing and updating the ROs’ science plans. The ICSU ROA science plan was published in 2007/8 and since then science and the science policy environments across the continent have developed rapidly.

The review began early in 2015 and covered each of the four thematic areas. It had two phases – an electronic consultation phase which gathered input from a wide range of scientists and stakeholders from across Africa. The 2nd phase review meeting was held in Pretoria, South Africa, on 8-10 June 2015 and was organized as four parallel review workshops. Forty two scientists and experts from each thematic areas participated, including a few participants from outside the continent.

IRDR’s R. Klein participated in the plenary and the sessions on hazards and disasters; he presented opportunities to align with the intergovernmental process from which the Sendai Framework emerged as well as the parallel and subsequent processes that are leading towards expected 2015 agreements on Climate Change Adaptation and on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The WG operated within the context of the current ICSU Strategic Plan 2012-2017 as well as new developments in the global research agenda – inspired by the post Rio+20 Agenda, the SDGs, and the Science and Technology & Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 (STISA 2024), and sought to incorporate in their drafting new thinking on promoting transdisciplinary collaborative research.

The end of 2015 is the expected timeline for producing draft revised science plans for consultation with other scientists and stakeholders. The African Science Plan Steering Committee is scheduled to meet in October 2015 to finalize the draft revised science plans for submission to ICSU ROA for publication by end of the year.