Several GYA members recently contributed to a position paper by the Scientific and Technological Community Major Group at the United Nations. The paper, titled “Scientific and Technological Community Major Group position paper for the 2021 High-level Political Forum“, was submitted for the upcoming 2021 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), to be held 6-15 July 2021.
International Science Council (ISC) Governing Board member Anna Davies, who Chaired efforts for the contribution, says that “This statement from the Scientific and Technological Community Major Group makes it clear that coordinated and collaborative action is not only possible but essential for a just, sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
According to an excerpt from the paper: “Profound systemic transformations are needed to stabilize the Earth system, which is currently threatened by further destruction of biodiversity, air and water pollution, destabilization of climate and general devastation of the Earth’s ecosystems. game-changing climate action and safeguarding Earth’s ecosystems.”
The paper sets out ways to advance progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) throughout the Decade of Action while living with and through the COVID-19 pandemic, and underscores the urgent need to address existing scientific evidence and move from plans to action.
Former GYA Executive Committee (EC) member Robert Lepenies (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Germany) led the GYA’s contributions to the report, and says that “Transformative recovery is needed if we want to have a chance to implement the SDGs and to safeguard the Earth. The Scientific and Technological Community Major Group position paper is a sharp and clear-eyed contribution. It urges to transform financial and productive systems. The paper is also remarkably clear on the unsustainable activities (e.g., subsidies of fossil-fuel industries) that have to cease, the power dynamics that are touched, and the diverse stakeholders we need to include.”
The GYA appears throughout the report, with particular attention drawn to its collaborations with the InterAcademy Partnership and the ISC. One such instance is the IAP and GYA joint communiqué providing a set of recommendations to university administrators, higher education policy-makers, research funding agencies, academies and scholars to promote Open Education and research collaboration.
The GYA’s work on coordinating a new global working group on Open Science is also discussed, as is the recent GYA-ISC dialog on Rethinking Human Development and the 2020 Position statement from the GYA’s 2020 Virtual International Conference of Young Scientists. Heal the Earth: Sustainable Development Goals in a Changing World.
Members of the GYA who contributed to the position paper include Robert Lepenies, Anet Režek Jambrak (University of Zagreb, Croatia), Eva Alisic (University of Melbourne, Australia), immediate past Co-Chair and alumna Anindita Bhadra (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata, India), Ibrahim Sidi Zakari (Abdou Moumouni University, Niger), Nkatha Kabira (University or Nairobi, Kenya) and alumna and former EC member Nova Ahmed (North South University, Bangladesh).