Event Coverage / 20 Dec 2017
‘Knowledge starts with good data’: Mauritius President urges informed action on African landscapes
Scientists, leaders and communities make the connections at the Global Landscapes Forum in Bonn
A lack of information and data on biodiversity is posing barriers to conservation and human well-being in Africa, a regional leader warns.
Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of the Republic of Mauritius and a professor of organic chemistry, says that building a bridge between scientific research and the environment in support of human health and well-being will be crucial to solving Africa’s climate and development challenges.
As an island nation of 1.3 million people just east of the African continent, Mauritius is one of five global biodiversity hotspots, home to large and small species found nowhere else on Earth. But unique species in Africa are now disappearing at twice the global rate, and this threat is amplified by climate change, Gurib-Fakim warned.
Rapid loss of species and a changing climate will inevitably impact human well-being, requiring a landscape-scale approach to find solutions, she added.
“The separation between the haves and the have-nots will be defined by investment in research and innovation in this area,” Gurib-Fakim said during a keynote address at the Global Landscapes Forum, the world’s largest science-led platform on sustainable land use, held in Bonn, Germany.
“The big issues of hunger, poverty and climate change are linked, and need to be addressed together,” she said.
“Knowledge starts with good data,” she added. “We need a common understanding to find common solutions, to enjoy health and prosperity around the world.”