SASSCAL Executive Director, Dr Jane M Olwoch has been serving as a member of the Interim Steering Committee for  Future Earth Southern Africa since February 2019. The Committee recently released the   Future Earth Regional Office for Southern Africa  (FEROSA) Operational Framework report.

Group picture of members of the Future Earth Interim Steering Committee. Far Left: SASSCAL Executive Director, Dr Jane M Olwoch

Future Earth Global was founded in 2015 as an international research program designed to provide the knowledge needed to support transformations towards sustainability.  It aims to be an inclusive global research and engagement platform in order to build knowledge about the environmental and human aspects of global change, and to find solutions for sustainable development.  Its focus on systems-based approaches seeks to deepen the understanding of complex Earth systems and human dynamics across different disciplines.  Future Earth uses this understanding to underpin evidence-systems-based policies and strategies for sustainable development.

Its  basic design principle has been to give voice and influence to expertise and institutions across the globe. This is partly reflected in regional representativeness in the science and engagement committees and the globally distributed secretariat.  Currently its Secretariat is constituted of five global hubs (Colorado, Montreal, Paris, Stockholm, Tokyo), and four regional centres based in Cyprus for Middle East and North Africa, Japan for Asia, U.K. for Europe, Uruguay for Caribbean and Latin America).

Future Earth consists of a global network of scientists, researchers, and innovators collaborating for a more sustainable planet. It therefore harnesses the experience and reach of thousands of scientists and innovators from across the globe. This global community is spread over a series of networks and governing and advisory bodies.

Regional centres and offices play a key role in Future Earth’s operational structure. These centres provide a conduit for communication within and among regions and the Global Secretariat. They garner regional partners and resources and provide the five core functions (i.e., coordination, research enabling, communication, capacity building and synthesis and foresight) of the Executive Secretariat within regions.

The recently released framework defines the research, funding and operational framework of the FEROSA and articulates the need to develop Future Earth Regional Offices that are relevant to the regional priorities.  The role of the FEROSA thus falls under three main engagement strategies of  research, resource mobilisation and people and partners. The proposed FEROSA aligns with Future Earth Global principles and seeks to be relevant to regional priorities.

SASSCAL cornerstones of Research, Capacity Development and Provision of Services and Products are aligned with Future Earth’s  aims  of building knowledge about the environment and finding solutions for sustainable development as well as its core functions. Future Earth and SASSCAL both use science-based evidence to inform policies and strategies for sustainable development. SASSCAL has developed and strengthened the regional human capacity through degree programmes from Bachelor to Post Doc studies.  Future Earth requires such initiatives to have a pool  that will constitute its global network of scientists and research. Thus, synergies of innovation, collaboration for a more sustainable planet are nurtured, cultivated and strengthened.


Compiled by SASSCAL Communications


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