Humanity is at a critical stage in the transition to a more sustainable planet and society. Our actions in the next decade will determine our collective path forward. Our Future on Earth 2020 aims to tell the story of where we are on our collective journey by connecting the dots between what society is currently experiencing – from fires to food shortages to a rise in populism – with recent developments in the research community.
Global launch events highlight Our Future on Earth 2020 around the world
Since the launch of Our Future on Earth 2020 on February 6, its media and global impact has increased thanks to the hard work of the international Future Earth community helping to promote this new report. Online coverage has expanded to over 200 international media outlets, in 60 countries and a dozen languages. Notable pieces included articles by The Guardian, Thomson Reuters and op-eds in The Conversation and Project Syndicate.
Future Earth’s regional structures mobilized to host events that consider the report’s key theme (interconnected social and natural science underpinning current events) within a regional context. Here are some highlights.
Feb 13, Bengalaru, India
The Future Earth South Asia Regional Office, Divecha Center for Climate Change (DCCC), and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) hosted an event open to nearly 300 students and faculty from colleges in and around Bengalaru. It featured contributions from K. Kasturirangan, former Chariman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), among other distinguished regional scientists and politicians, and resulted in local media coverage.
Feb 19, Taipei, Taiwan
Future Earth Taipei and the Center for Sustainability Science, Academia Sinica held a panel discussion gathering 40 participants including scientists, experts, government officers and funders to discuss the report’s findings. A series of videos and a description of the event are available here.
Feb 27, Dakar, Senegal
A French-language event was organized by Editorial Board member David Akana in partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the agricultural non-profit CORAF. The event welcomed about 60 participants, (UN agencies, NGOs, media, scientific and diplomatic community) and featured a video address by Robert Blasiak, lead author of the Ocean chapter. Media coverage of the regional launch include articles in Scidev, Seneweb, All Africa.com, APS, Afrique Actu and Sud Quotidien.
Feb 13, Pretoria, South Africa
The Future Earth Regional Office for Southern Africa (FEROSA) Secretariat hosted a launch event during its Stakeholder Platform meeting held at the National Research Foundation (NRF). The Africa Launch was attended by over 70 delegates from eleven 11 countries across the continent; Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The launch began with Professor Robert Scholes, a member of the report’s Editorial Board, provided an engaging account of the report’s purpose and origin. This was followed by a presentation from Dr Odirilwe Selomane, a co-author on the report’s Biodiversity chapter. The launch was also attended by Professor Richard Calland, Politics Chapter lead author, and Coleen Vogel, Transformations Chapter co-author. Professor Calland also published an article in the Conversation Blog and in local media (South Africa Saturday Star), highlighting the report and his chapter’s message for the need to face climate denialism and right-wing populism.
Feb 21, Bucharest, Romania
The Romanian National Committee of Future Earth presented the report during their annual meeting at the Romanian Academy. The meeting was attended by 21 members and colleagues from diverse research institutes and universities. The topics raised in the 11 chapters of the report were concisely exposed by Dr. Diana Dogaru, while Dr. Mihaela Sima focused her talk on the Future Earth survey of the scientists’ perception regarding global risks. Acknowledging the multidisciplinary character of climate change topics and the fact that business as usual cannot be a solution for sustainability, and consenting on the key topics of the Our Future on Earth Report 2020, the participants evoked the need for continuity for collaborative and transdisciplinary projects in Romania for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Feb 22, Sikkim, India
The Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI) – Sikkim Chapter (inmi.in) in association with Eco-Tourism & Conservation Society of Sikkim (ECOSS), Gangtok; World Wildlife Fund, Sikkim and Darjeeling; and Sikkim University in partnership, with the Future Earth South Asia office at the Divecha Centre for Climate Change (DCCC) organized a launch event for students, policy representatives and the non-profit sector. The event was covered by the local media. The counselor of IMI Sikkim, Mr P.D. Rai, former Member of Parliament (Lok-Sabha, India) and member of the Future Earth South Asia Governing Council convened the event and published an opinion article in the Sikkim Express and Summit Times.