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ICSU-UNESCO Africa Regional Science and Technology Workshop
30 May 2011 - 1 Jun 2011
Pretoria, South Africa

ICSU and UNESCO organised a Regional Science and Technology Workshop for Africa prior to the intergovernmental Rio+20 Regional Preparatory Meeting for the region. Natural scientists, social scientists and engineers from across the region participated, along with high level policy-makers and representatives of other Major Groups. This gave scientists and engineers the opportunity to prepare joint positions and concerted
inputs for the regional preparatory processes, and to discuss their views with policy-makers and other key actors. In this way, region-specific scientific knowledge, issues and concerns will be integrated into the Rio+20 conference.

Overarching aims of the Africa Regional Science and Technology Workshop:
o To ensure that the best available science, including social science, is integrated into policy recommendations resulting from Rio+20.
o To ensure that relevant policies resulting from Rio+20 take account of the needs of international and national science, as strengthening science, technology and innovation will be essential for accelerating implementation of sustainable development.
o To incorporate specific regional concerns and priorities into the global agenda of Rio+20.
o To use Rio+20 as an opportunity to consolidate and strengthen regional and sub-regional policy frameworks for sustainable development.

Objectives of the Regional Workshop:
o To prepare agreed upon positions as a concerted input by the regional scientific and technological community into the intergovernmental Regional Preparatory Meetings.
o To organize a science ? policy dialogue at the regional level prior to the Regional Preparatory Meetings.
o To organize a multi-stakeholder dialogue with other ?Major Groups?, including business & industry.

Key questions to be addressed at the Workshop:
1. What are the priority issues for Rio+20, as seen by the scientific and technological community from the region, taking into account the UN GA outline of Rio+20 in 2012?
2. How can the link between science, education and policy be strengthened in order to ensure early detection of emerging crises and quick response actions?

3. In addition to measures already being implemented by countries, what additional measures are needed to enable countries to strengthen resilience to shocks emanating from new and emerging challenges?

4. What are the needs of science and technology in the region, in order to be able to contribute best to sustainable development in the region and to international endeavours of sustainability science?

5. What are the major contributions from the sciences and engineering to sustainable development at local, national, and regional scales?

6. How can science and engineering contribute to a Green Economy, also taking into account the role of the private sector in science, engineering and technology?

7. What role can the different stakeholders and Major Groups play in enhancing regional science and technology for sustainable development, and what are their needs from science and technology?

Participants:
o Natural scientists, social scientists and engineers
o High-level policy makers/ government representatives
o Representatives of Major Groups
o Co-sponsors

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