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Future Earth in Nairobi: Cheikh Mbow addresses Future Earth on the International Day for Biodiversity

At a high level event in Nairobi on 22 May celebrating the International Day for Biodiversity, Cheikh Mbow, a member of Future Earth’s Science Committee, participated in a panel describing the global state of knowledge and actions on biodiversity. He was joined by Judi Wakhungu, Kenya’s Minister of the Environment, Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias,  Executive Secretary of the Commission on Biological Diversity, among others. Mbow's presentation delved into Future Earth and the newly-launched Knowledge-Action Network on Natural Assets.

The session generated discussions around the need to mainstream global priorities for preserving biodiversity and to integrate them with priorities in other sectors, including agriculture, health and industry. Panelists referred to the relevance and value of Future Earth’s ambitions several times, highlighting how it important it will be for the organisation to contribute to this process.

Closely following this discussion came a session focusing on biodiversity and health. There, Anthony Capon from the United Nations University discussed the Rockefeller Foundation Lancet Commission on Planetary Health and at the same time introduced the Future Earth Knowledge-Action Network on Health.

The potential value of the emerging Future Earth Knowledge-Action Networks becomes increasingly apparent in the run up to the second United Nations Environment Assembly. Governments are looking for support in integrating environmental knowledge into efforts to implement the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The numerous inter-departmental commissions and inter-ministerial structures that are being created in nations around the world to meet those goals continue to struggle to find transdisciplinary research that can inform their actions – research that Future Earth is well-positioned to deliver.

Stay tuned for more dispatches from Future Earth on the events surrounding the UN Environment Assembly in Kenya.