United Nations Scientific Advisory Board Meets for First Time in Berlin

A new UN Scientific Advisory Board consisting of 26 leading scientists and experts from all continents held their first meeting in Berlin from 30 – 31 January 2014. The meeting was opened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and hosted and organized by the German Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the German Commission for UNESCO.

The role of the new Board is to advise the UN Secretary-General and the Executive Heads of UN organizations on strengthening the interface between science, policy and society, particularly in areas relevant to sustainable development.

“The Advisory Board is composed of some of the world’s leading scientists from a wide range of disciplines. While the Board’s fields of expertise and remit go far beyond conservation and migratory species, its composition means that it can be expected to provide advice on the important role that biodiversity plays in the Sustainable Development Goals”, said Bradnee Chambers, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Migratory Species, who attended the inaugural meeting on behalf of the Convention and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

One of the SAB’s main assignments is to improve the integration of scientific results into global political debates and decision-making and to advise the United Nations on a broad agenda relating to science and sustainable development.

The Board includes Professor Dr Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, Chair of IPCC and Professor Dr Abdul Hamid Zakri, Chair of IPBES.  Among the other members are Professor Dr Tanya Abrahamse of South Africa, who chaired the plenary sessions of CMS COP6 in 1999, Dr Rosie Cooney, the Chair of the IUCN Specialist Group on Sustainable Use and Livelihoods (SULi), Professor Dr Hayat Sindi with her expertise of traditional peoples’ relationship with nature and applied scientists such as Professor Dr Dong-Pil Min and Professor Dr Shankar Sastry.

The creation of the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) was announced by the UN Secretary-General at the inaugural meeting of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development during the UN General Assembly in September 2013. The Board’s secretariat is being hosted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

More information at the website of the first meeting can be found at www.sab-2014-berlin.de. Read the UN News Centre article here.

Photo courtesy of photothek/Trutschel

Last updated on 20 February 2014