Health Oceans

The link between ocean and health in general and marine biodiversity and health, in particular, is interesting through the One Health approach as it shows the interlinkages between human, wildlife, and ecosystem health. Such an approach has been considered appropriate when it comes to the world’s ocean, playing a critical role for the various processes that sustain life on Earth (Showstack, 2003; Wilcox and Aguirre, 2004).
The One Health approach of the Ocean is developed under different projects studying the continuum between the coastal marine areas to the deep sea (presentation Lajaunie in 2018 at the Ocean Roundtable on the ‘Ocean’s Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals’). The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) aims at the development of good science to ensure the conservation of the ocean, the sustainability of its uses and the protection of ocean health. While there is a need to connect the One Health approach to the ocean-climate nexus, this session will present the context in which the ongoing science can contribute together to the SDGs through the One Health approach.

It illustrates, using multidisciplinary research, how the One Health approach can be implemented to favour the protection of the ocean and its biodiversity. It explores the link between coastal cities and the ocean, the contribution of regional and national policies to an integrated management to protect the health of the ocean. It notably shows the links between the implementation of One health and Ocean transportation, the microplastics in the ocean and their effect on health (at the human-animal-environment interface), it presents the crucial role of data related to the ocean to have baselines of the health of the ocean. It presents the ocean policies in the Pacific and their contribution to the One Health. It features the research on One Health and the ocean : path to the SDGs The session is also a way to identify the potential partnerships with IMIBIO, the Instituto Misionero de Biodiversidad, in Argentina.

• Shipping represents 80% of the World Trade, only contribute up to 18% of ocean pollution
• IMO is efficiently regulating shipping but there are issues regarding the fragmentation of the norms followed by the IMO
• Policy management and governance instrument require ocean stewardship informed by best available ocean science observation, data and services to meet the SDGs targets
More generally
• There is no global standard for microplastic collections, no consistency between the norms adopted in different sectors
• The real impacts on ecosystems and human subjected to many MPs of different structure, dimensions, and shapes over a lifetime are still hard to elucidate
• Ocean policies focus on intersectorality and mechanisms can facilitate One Health;
• COVID-19 may be opportunity to shift from implicit adoption of elements One Health approach to the explicit acknowledgement of the One Health approach.

The extensive marine space off Argentina displays numerous marine ecosystems and large biodiversity that are pillars of the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the region. In order to understand the multiple life forms that inhabit this space, different scientific research approaches are required, among which direct observations and sample collection at sea are fundamental. In this session we went through central aspects of marine biodiversity and sustainability with dissertations by three Argentinian researchers from CONICET. Starting off with the primary producers in the sunlit ocean, we learned about the distribution, diversity and ecological role of the tiny phytoplankton. We then dived into the deep waters of a submarine canyon to discover the underexplored community of molluscs in the continental slope. The final presentation showed us the numerous marine mammals that inhabit the waters off Patagonia, to appreciate their distribution, behavior and conservation status. This session aimed to bring light to the uncertainties and constraints faced by marine scientists in studying biodiversity, and to discuss intersectoral collaborations to make marine science more accessible for policymakers and the general public.

Society makes decisions based on scientific knowledge at local, regional and global scales—today or in the future. Thus, producing and sharing this knowledge are major tasks. In this session it was agreed that publication in open-access journals, storage of specimens and biodiversity data in museums and public digital repositories, respectively, and collaborations between different research groups are crucial steps for a wide and long-term dissemination of the gathered knowledge. From here, the extra mile is to achieve a true engagement of society with ecosystem conservation. Scientists’ involvement in planning sustainable tourism around large marine mammals can offer inspiration and example actions of how to proceed. Finally, all presenters agreed that there are still large knowledge gaps—some with direct impact on fisheries and human health such as harmful algal blooms—and that sustained efforts are needed to determine how communities are responding to the accelerated global change that Earth is experiencing today.


-Fund ocean observation programs around the world.
-Promote data sharing between research bodies.
-Increase collaboration opportunities between research institutions.
-Enhance the interaction between the scientific sector, policymakers and general public.

Open Science

The panel discussed the crucial role Open Science played during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the significant advances enabled by Open Science, as well as the challenges in Open Science that have been brought to light. It provided a forum for a broad range of perspectives on Open Science from academia, industry, funders, patient advocates, and voices from the global research and Canadian Indigenous communities.
We learned on Open Science and healthcare innovation, data governance, open biobanking, policy, patient consent & engagement and more. We heard how Open Science offers the most promising path towards patient-centred science – helping to accelerate the scientific process towards solving the most persistent problems in a variety of disease areas (neuroscience, infectious diseases) worldwide.
The panel also discussed how to establish best practices and develop tools and infrastructure to support sharing :
• expanding and measuring its impact
• encouraging the global scientific community to embrace this new way of doing research.
Finally we had a thought-provoking patient’s perspective: how Open Science is empowering patients and how they can contribute to the greater good by offering biological samples, genetic data and their clinical story to open biobanks.

The Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN) will officially convene the Arab Science Cooperation Summit Virtually on 22 September 2022. The main objective of conducting this high-level summit is to promote and inaugurate an Arab Science Dialogue with the rest of the world. It will discuss Science as a means for development in the Arab region and how cooperation in science at national, regional, and global levels will support the efforts toward achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs).

It will also present the efforts in conducting science from policies to actions, including research, education and innovation and related cooperative projects and activities with a focus on Science, Open Science, Open Access and supporting science, research and education communities.

The summit will be attended by high-level representations from the Arab countries, including ministers of higher education and scientific research, ambassadors and permanent representatives to the United Nations, League of Arab States, the European Commission, the World Bank, Association of Arab Universities, Federation of Arab Scientific Research Councils, UNESCO, UN-ESCWA and other regional and international organisations.

The summit will also be attended by policymakers, researchers and academics representing universities, research centres and supporting organisations in the Arab region and the rest of the world to present current science cooperation and to discuss future cooperation at both policy and technical levels.

All participants have presented the status of science cooperation in the Arab region at national, regional and global levels and discussed challenges and future opportunities with focus on Science, Research and Education as means for development in the Arab region. Open science and Open Access were also thoroughly discussed as enablers for Science Cooperation. Participants highlighted that infrastructures, tools and access to resources are among the main challenges facing science cooperation.

One of the main outcomes of the summit is that it opened up the dialogue on cooperation in science between the Arab countries and other regions, and it called for cooperation projects with the surrounding regions with focus on Science, Open Science, Open Access and supporting science, research and education communities. Good Connectivity and advanced technological infrastructures and services are always crucial.

The Summit recommended ASREN to play a critical role in connecting the points of science nodes and domains among the Arab Member states. Also requested that ASREN to lead the region as a convener for the Summit of the Future as all are interested to present the region’s science cooperation and discuss and explore regional and international cooperation.


– Rethink/redesign science leadership.
– Design science development and cooperation based on mid and long-term programmes, with sustainable funding and multi-national partnerships.
– Introduce cross-sector movement between scientists, industrialists, policy makers, and civil society organisations.
– Regional joint fund for science cooperation of our regional challenges and regional policy for science sharing of infrastructures, labs and data
– Encourage further collaboration between R&I stakeholders from both regions. Horizon Europe remains open to EU partners around the Globe,
– Mobilizing resources for the implementation of the agreed priorities including reaching out to private sector
– Engagement of various R&I stakeholders in the implementation process through awareness events
– Supporting the networking and communication of R&I stakeholders from both regions through linking existing communication platforms
– Support the development of research and education infrastructures and connectivity
– Supporting the progress of open science and open data and establishing the Arab Open Science Cloud
– Supporting mobility of researchers and scientists

Public Health

The aim was to share knowledge about the relation between zoonotic diseases and the public health, animal health and the health of the environment to raise awareness on the topic and to underline its effectivity to accomplish the SDGs 3 in association with SDG 15 as well as SDG13 and indirectly the other SDGs. The session presented the One Health National Hub of South Africa in line with the OHHLEP Plan of action; the European OH strategy, the challenges related to its implementation; the key elements needed for an appropriate OH surveillance (including the wildlife and the surveillance of the drivers), the need to identify the interfaces of risk and use research outputs to take into account to develop appropriate interventions. It raises the issue of the harmonization of data standards and the need for a platform to enable fair and equitable data sharing. Experience of OH in the Americas and the Pan-American Health Organization OH Policy and examples of initiatives in food safety, AMR, zoonoses prevention and control: ianimal welfare and wellbeing are crucial in the process.
End of the anthropocentric approach of OH, from symptom control to prevention, a more holistic public health policy with a better collaboration.

– Up-to-date science and crucial areas of interest within the One Health to share with decision-makers: In developing our session with the group Latin America of the Science Summit, we aimed at presenting insights from different disciplines involved into the One Health implementation and from different regions of the world (in accordance with SDG17 on the development of international partnerships to achieve the SDGs). Our concern was to present the most recent initiatives and up-to-date research regarding the One Health. We had the great privilege to hear presentations from various research organizations around the world and from 4 OHHLEP members (on a total of 26, one of them being a convener) who were finalizing the OHHLEP Theory of Change (published in November 2022) and involved into discussions regarding the One Health Joint Plan of Action launched in October by the Quadripartite – the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH, founded as OIE).
– Make the links between scientists and international and regional institutions willing to implement the One Health approach in practice through pilot studies.

Tha pandemic of COVID-19 unveiled both the fragility and the strength of Latin America. While the population suffered the consequences of ill designed responses and the lack of resources, Latin American biotech researchers accelerated the development of diagnostic tests, medical devices and vaccines. Alongside, natural scientists called for immediate actions to prevent further deterioration of our ecosystems. Together, they propose a new response framework for the prompt response of future pandemics.

Latin America is proficient in human capital and research institutions of international level able to deploy innovation for the attention of sanitary crises. National governments should keep pace by desgining and/or improving the mechanisms for emergency research funding and for the accelerated interaction between industry and academia. International cooperation is key inside the region and also with other countries. The COVID-19 pandemic should noy be viewed as a single case scenario but as the first manifestation of deeply perturbed ecological, social and economic global systems.


1. Promote international calls for basic research on virology, epidemiology and biotechnology
2. Promote international calls fot the development of diagnostic tests, medical devices and vaccine production technological plataforms.
3. Create incentives for innovation in the regional biotech industry

How do we get ahead of the next pandemic? Covid-19 has exposed systemic shortcomings in the face of a global health emergency. It’s clear that we need new, powerful capabilities to get ahead of spreading illness. Over the past 20 years, significant innovations have been developed by the private sector with the potential to revolutionize public health, epidemic response and pandemic resilience. These technologies are developed by startups and large companies alike: from advanced treatments and diagnostics, to wastewater surveillance and IoT products that transform early warning and forecasting. But why isn’t the public sector fully leveraging innovation, especially novel informatics and data science technologies that enable early warning and effective forecasting, to save lives? While successful models exist for vaccines and therapeutics, significant barriers remain preventing the rapid evaluation and adoption of these powerful informatics. What needs to change in order for governments and industry to work well together in a data-rich environment? Featuring builders of successful public-private partnerships, startup founders, and senior leaders of global multilateral organizations (e.g. WHO Foundation, World Bank, Gavi, and others), this panel will explore lessons from past global health challenges and discuss a path forward using market forces to position these technologies for greater impact.

We must apply lessons from other global public health challenges toward creating robust frameworks for public-private partnerships, with a focus on aligning incentives and scaling solutions. Examples abound from public-partnerships formed to support HIV and Malaria prevention and access to medication in developing countries. Addressing the needs of the world’s poorest regions requires a complex dance between global health organizations, governments, and pharmaceutical companies; success is dependent on leveraging the power of markets to achieve humanitarian ends. These relationships can be facilitated by a trusted intermediary, charged with negotiating in good faith and finding common ground between economic realities and public health needs. In the context of pandemics, such intermediaries can help build coalitions of innovators and catalyze action.

1) Create the structures necessary for governments to work closely with private companies, and to scale innovations created by the private sector. This will require the use of trusted intermediaries to understand the incentives at play, arrive at common goals and mutual understanding, and facilitate negotiations between the parties.

2) Emphasize novel technologies (such as data and analytics) to the same degree as vaccines and therapeutics. There will inevitably be a gap (30-90 days at a minimum) between the detection of an emerging epidemic and the development of vaccines and therapies. That’s why early warning systems are so critical in order to reduce transmission and provide as much time to prepare and mitigate as possible. But we have yet to invest in novel data and analytics tools with the same fervor as pharmaceutical solutions. That needs to change.

Health Care

The session involved exciting and timely discussions regarding the future of personalized medicine (PM) at the institutional, regional, national and global levels. Including a focus on the applicability of such costly approaches to resource limited developing countries. The panelists concluded that personalized medicine is likely to dominate clinical approaches in the coming decades and that the rate of its success will depend in large part in investments at all levels from research to implementation. The panelists also agreed that on the long term PM implementation is likely to be cost saving and lead to a healthier population given its targeted approach. Cost reduction as the technologies develop and become more mainstream will be key to PM applicability to developing countries. It will also be important in the intermediate phase to incorporate under-represented populations from around the globe as we develop PM approaches.

– Technological improvements are proceeding at a steady pace yet more targeted local studies on the health economics and applicability of PM are needed to convince policy makers and the public of its important clinical application.
– A challenge to the community will be how to incorporate global equity in personalized medicine availability and representation.

Indigenous knowledge

Bolivia has important advances in the Interscientific Dialogue, which aims to open a dialogue between the different ways of knowing, living and being with Mother Earth. The Indigenous Peoples (IP) have been proposing alternative forms for the construction of knowledge from their own vision, wisdom and practices; on the other hand, the inclusion of indigenous peoples, youth and women in the construction of knowledge and policies on climate change is on the national agenda. This is why the Plurinational Authority of Mother Earth has created 3 consultative platforms to broaden the participation of these groups in the development of policies and actions to face climate change.

Through this panel, the Indigenous, Youth and Women’s Consultative Platforms will reflect and share their experiences and proposals on their participation in the construction of knowledge and policies related to climate change.

Value Chains

Value chains (global, regional and local) are composed of numerous activities, beginning with an idea to end-use and beyond. These processes may include designing, production, marketing and after-sale services that are often done by different enterprises within and/or outside national boundaries. Offshoring, near-shoring, friend-shoring or re-shoring activities are emerging, changing the contours of value chains. Participation in value chains and its relation with technological capabilities, innovation systems, industrial structure, institutional factors etc. are important aspects that drew the attention of the scholars in the recent past. Broadly, the focus remained on understanding the factors that determine the entry of different firms into value chains and their gainful sustained participation, and on the policies required for this purpose. But, given the fast advancing technological frontiers, continuous evolving technological capabilities through varied learning mechanisms and institutional dynamics, the scope of the research in the area grew wide.
In this context, it is important to examine the implications of (i) dynamics of locational orientation, (ii) Supply Chains Greening (iii) emerging manufacturing and services hubs in different parts of the world on determining the pace of innovation, direction of innovation and inclusive growth. Broadly, the session tried to draw the implication of participation in value chains on innovation capabilities, employment, environment, development, welfare and income inequality aspects.

The pattern of world production system is getting increasingly fragmented with the technological advancements in communications and transportation systems. Production and knowledge systems are increasingly relocating, providing novel opportunities amidst pressing challenges for firms across geographies. Greening the value chains, building technological capabilities and continuous advancement of knowledge can acts as prominent building blocks for the future growth strategy.

The growth trajectory has started tilting towards greening the supply chains. Therefore, more closer and deeper inter-linkages amongst various actors, organizations and institutions are needed. Greater focus should be upon Responsible Innovation and Open Science for inclusive growth perspectives, gainful employment opportunities, and welfare enhancing aspects across geographies.

African Leadership

Endowed with two great assets, natural resources and human resources (youth population) Africa is still struggling to use their resources for the benefit of the populations majority of whom still live in abject Poverty. The current investment policies and regimes across the continent have not benefited Africa. There is huge illicit capital and financial flows, MNCs are evading tax, poorly negotiated contracts are skewed to MNCs maximizing profits for their shareholders at the detriment of African sustainable development thus increasing poverty in Africa, African countries give high incentives due to high risk associated with the sector, but the incentives do not take African interests into account. The mineral resources (Extractives – Solid, liquid and gas resources) sector is a capital and technology intensive sector that requires long-term and investments. The cost-benefit analysis should be looked at through the prism of Returns on Investment (RoI) which most investors look at. As already stated, African policies are incoherent and, in most cases, they are more cyclical than the commodity prices leading to more risk of the sector. With a Value Optimisation Model, Africa has demand for most of the minerals, eg. ICT, Infrastructure (transport and energy), urbanisation (real estate, industrial minerals and construction materials), modernisation of agriculture, manufacturing as well as the increasing middle-income class are all mineral led development sectors. A
frican Leadership for African Development to focusing on three key areas than can unlock Africa’s Minerals Resources transformative role for social and economic structural transformation, inclusive growth and sustainable development in Africa through Regulations, Innovation and

Investment: 1. Regulations – African home-grown well researched and coherent policies, prudent legal and regulatory
frameworks, 2. Innovations – Invest in People (IIP) – Investing in the Youth to be innovative and creative using science and technology to inform industry, manufacturing and taking the advantage of Industry 4.0, quantum computing
etc 3. Investments – attract responsible investments that are based on African Minimum ESC Standards using value optimization model that takes into account- Environment, Economic, Social and Governance (EESG) instead of ESG that are looking at revenue maximization through tax and revenue maximization which remains which have not yielded the needed development as prescribed by the SDGs and Agenda

2063. The need to invest in the youth is very apparent but requires African Leadership to refocus on their priorities in order to achieve sustainable development.

Africa must invest in the youth to enable and in science and technology for innovation so as to develop home grown well researched solutions for development,

Africa must have its own regulations based on prudent laws for the development of the minerals sector to benefit Africa

Africa needs to have its own sets of standards benchmarked on the ESG but including an element of economic benefits. Social doesn’t mean economic. So, we need to attract investments that investments, domestic and foreign that include Environment, Social, Economic and Governance aspects.

We need to invoke SDG 17 (partnerships) to support Africa in the investment for the youth, Science and Technology, Research and Development. This should not be only through AID but through proper investments in African youth start-ups and innovations etc

Work with African Institutions such as Minerals Africa Development Institution to assist Africa to achieve inclusive growth and sustainable development through mineral resource exploitation.

Groom African future leadership by empowering the youth through innovation, science and technology. Building African Skills for African Development require sustainable and concerted efforts.

Sub-saharian Africa

The session consisted of two segments whose purpose was to raise awareness of the urgency to build research and academic capacity in Africa, to enable sustainable development, which is made possible by universal access to sustainable, reliable energy at an affordable price. The highest priority is in Sub-Saharan Africa with about 560 million people without access to electricity. The first segment presented the positions of researchers, academics, and religious community leaders from Africa’s regions – North, South, East, West and Central. The needs of electricity access-deficit countries (such as Nigeria, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Mozambique, South Sudan, Cameroon, and Tanzania received particular attention. Also, emphasized was action to advance the role of women in research, teaching and professional work. Half of the speakers were women professors and professionals. There is an urgent need for electricity access deficit regions in Sub-Saharan Africa for community level energy solutions that provide electricity, pure water and clean and safe ways for cooking. Dr. Peter Schubert, Director of the Lugar Renewable Energy Center in Indiana, USA presented decentralized modular energy systems to produce green hydrogen and byproducts from local biomass.
Funding sources for capacity building in Africa were discussed starting with the Horizon Europe research program for which African states are eligible. The Need for capacity building in advanced energy research was addressed by Dr. Shaimaa Mohamed, Zewail City of Science and Technology while pastor Pastor Daniel Mbiwan addressed building community level capacity to implement sustainable energy solutions by engaging religious congregations and local civil communities.
Prof. Sarah Anyang Mbi Agbor, former AU Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, present her vision for a path to universal access to sustainable energy for all Africans. Prof. Daniel Ayuk Mbi Egbe, CEO of ANSOLE led the session and Vidvuds Beldavs, Chairman of the Riga Photonics Centre (ANSOLE Institutional member) overviewed the ANSOLE Energy Compact -:

The second segment discusses policies and international support for capacity building for SDG7 in Africa. This panel provided a trans-African approach with a global perspective to the issues and opportunities for human resource and research capacity building raised by ANSOLE members at universities in key countries in Africa.

Community-level implementation capacity building is key to achieving SDG7 in Sub-Saharan Africa. Here both religious communities (churches and mosques) as well as local governments and civil society organizations have a role.
Staff exchanges are a key capacity building activity between institutions and SMEs in different regions of Africa as well as with European, U.S., Canadian and other universities, and research centres. The Horizon Europe MSCA Staff Exchange call with an 8 March 2023 deadline is under development involving partners from Europe, the U.S., Northern Africa, South Africa, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Kenya, and other African partners.
The Energy Compact with the UN provides a sound framework to achieve ANSOLE’s mission. Now early projects need to be funded to build momentum to sustain and accelerate development to 2030 and beyond. Funding is an extremely urgent matter.

The reality that over 600 million people in Africa do not have access to electricity means that 600 million people are denied a pathway to development. This is the most urgent issue in African development.
ANSOLE needs to secure sustainable funding to implement its Energy Compact because it offers a highly promising approach to accelerating access to sustainable energy at an affordable cost which is key to achieving all other sustainable development goals. ANSOLE needs to grow funding year by year with a minimum target being 1 million euros in 2023, doubling in 2024 and doubling again in 2025 with incremental growth thereafter to 2030.
A funding plan needs to be developed before 31 December 2022 with the ANSOLE session at SSUNGA78 a workshop discussing the long term vision and strategic plan as well as success towards the Energy Compact milestones and lessons learned.
ANSOLE as a pan-African organization can accelerate development by building cooperation between Northern Africa and Sub-Sharan Africa through fellowships, summer schools, and staff exchanges. The African Union Commissioner for Education, Science, Innovation and Technology needs to be engaged in the process.


Language is a key medium for communication; we need language to make sense of our world.  For SDG 4 Quality Education, while the world has improved basic literacy, more needs to be done to continue advancing linguistic strategies and education access. In this session, we gather to gain insight into how education research, education systems leaders, and empowered youth are informing educators’ capability and capacity in language learning while also enabling inclusive teaching and learning environments through their language learning insights.

 Facilitated by the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, this session is a virtual roundtable where we welcome colleagues who bring curiosity to learning and learning environments as well as diverse learning, teaching, and lived experience. Our inquiry of focus is how might we enable language capability and capacity to achieve global sustainability?  Through facilitated dialogue and inquiry-based methodologies, you will be provided an overview of research insights as well as applicable frameworks and tools to inform opportunities to action language learning capacity.

Part one of the session is a moderated roundtable discussion where we hear from education professionals advancing research, policy, and practice. Part two of the session is where we welcome the presentation of mini-cases (10-minute motivators) to learn of initiatives that are currently in progress and inform education practice.

Thematically, it was agreed that language attrition and loss can happen when native languages are not valued and supported; this has a detrimental effect on one’s identity and sense of belonging. With the Agenda 2030 aim to ‘leave no one behind ‘education systems and professionals must develop and implement language-inclusive strategies. K12-PSE educators need effective training on how language acquisition works; how multilingual learners are able to transfer linguistic information from one language to the other, and how to facilitate an environment where translanguaging is possible. Technology and research in gamification are informing the practice of language teaching and demonstrate great potential. While we recognize the need for both technology and professional development, to begin the education environment can commit to welcoming and valuing all languages equally, and this commitment can start ASAP in any school, in any region. The Language Friendly Schools (a global initiative) has helped education leaders and researchers initiate making radical changes in policy, exactly because the initiative helps provide a framework that makes sense and can convince education leadership locally about the benefits of being language inclusive, without feeling overwhelmed or having to assume costs.

The Science Summit encouraged the attendance of a diverse audience and we view this as critical to engaging and developing awareness of any issue. In developing our session, we thought carefully about its design so as to welcome equally the education researcher, the practitioner, the entrepreneur, the enthusiast, the student, etc… We recommend that the next summit continue to encourage audience diversity.
Every one of the 17 goals in the global framework would identify as being central to the achievement of Agenda 2030. As an education research institute, we were asked ‘why are you at a Science Summit?’ In our era of interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity, encouraging integrated discussions would be highly beneficial. We’re interested to create spaces where the Biodiversity expert and an Education Science expert interact to inform inquiry, future research, and practice.


Peatlands cover about 11.2% of the land area of Latvia with significant biodiversity. Peat is also an important economic resource of Latvia generating about 220 million euros in exports principally in the form of peat used for horticulture in Germany, Netherlands, UK, and other countries. Degraded peatland resulting from removal of top layers of peat can become a significant emitter of greenhouse gasses (GHG). Latvia is developing a model for sustainable use of peatlands that minimizes GHG emissions while preserving biodiversity and fostering economic development in rural areas that need to create meaningful work.In 2019 Latvia concluded the project “Sustainable and Responsible Management and Re-use of Degraded Peatlands in Latvia’’ (LIFE14 CCM/ LV/001103, LIFE REstore) presenting the scientific evidence for sustainable use of peatlands. This session will update developments since the project was completed 31 August 2019 affirming the continuing relevance of the research conducted in Latvia on peatlands. The issue is very important for Latvia due to the position advanced by advocates of peatland restoration that oppose the economic use of peatlands. Models used by the IPPC to estimate GHG emissions assume that extracted peat is used as a fuel and burned rather than as a soil substrate in horticulture which can reduce GHG emissions. Analysis shows that soil substrates from alternatives to peat generate more GHGs. Extraction, packaging and shipping of peat from rural areas in Latvia creates much needed meaningful work and thereby contributes to meeting UN SDGs. Arguments for banning use of peat for agriculture need to also consider that substitutes for peat may result in greater global GHC emissions than well-managed use of peatlands coupled with both restoration of degraded peatlands and investment to grow cranberries and other health promoting crops. Peat for horticulture is a significant export of Latvia. Sustainable economic use of degraded peatlands is possible further contributing to sustainable development of rural regions in Latvia that have seen significant reduction in their population and the quality of education, health and other services for the people that remain in regions with declining economic activity. Latvia can offer a model for sustainable use of peatlands that can be adapted to similar regions in other parts of the world.

The session was rescheduled twice to accommodate schedules of speakers due to multiple other commitments without full success. Early planning for SSUNGA78 should boost the engagement of speakers from all relevant points of view.A consensus position was not achieved between the multiple research organizations in Latvia involved in research on peat and biodiversity and wildlife protection as well as environmental protection agencies, representatives of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, and the Ministry of Agriculture and the two trade organizations representing firms involved in peat extraction. However, based on the numerous discussions involved in developing the session it appears that a “Latvia model” of careful management of the extraction and use of peat for use as a substrate in horticulture can have positive results in reducing GHG emissions and strengthening biodiversity in Latvia. Managed use of peatlands can be particularly effective in reducing GHG emissions and strengthening the biodiversity of Latvia when well-managed peat extraction is coupled with restoration and recultivation of degraded peatlands that comprise about 22 000 hectares, a legacy of Soviet agricultural practices before 1990.
A session at SSUNGA78 addressing the topic addressed in the SSUNGA77 Latvia peatlands session could successfully present an approach that would be based on sound research that creates jobs in Latvia through exports of peat as well as horticultural products produced in Latvia using peat substrates while meeting the expectations of biodiversity advocates.

Research is called for in the following areas:
– Impact of use of peat as a horticultural substrate on plant growth and CO2 uptake by plants so grown.
– Potential for GHG emissions reduction through restoration or recultivation of the degraded peatlands legacy of Soviet agricultural practices. Can this be used in carbon-trading schemes to pay for degraded peatland restoration?
– Use of peat with other biomass as a feedstock for decentralized green hydrogen production.
The peat community in Latvia (research, peat extraction businesses, rural area governments, environmental regulators, and biodiversity and nature advocates) should pursue development of a Latvia model of best practices for managed use of peatlands. Managed use of peatlands in Latvia with 11.2% of its sparsely populated territory classified as peatland can be done while reducing GHG emissions, strengthening biodiversity and contributing to vitally important sustainable rural development.


Technologies developed for space exploration have demonstrated major benefits for sustainable development on Earth and are necessary for sustainable human presence in outer space.
 Analog experiments here on Earth prepare and practice for testing technologies, living and working in earth orbit, on the moon, and directly pertinent to SDGs.
 Space agriculture methods applied on Earth can assure food security under conditions anticipated as climate change impacts grow in severity and frequency – heat storms, extreme weather, droughts and advancing deserts, rising seas.
 Circular economy pioneered in space and applied to life on spaceship Earth
 Human-robot partnership pioneered for space exploration has numerous applications on Earth and can accelerate applications of sustainable development in areas such as Sub-Saharan Africa where more than 600 million people – half the population does not have access to electricity at this time.

The Moon for all Mankind concept breaking emerging barriers among space power blocs. Exploring the Moon Treaty as providing a pathway towards internationally accepted rules for use of lunar resources as well as an international Moon-Earth space traffic authority
It is extremely important to engage all people, particularly emerging and isolated countries and communities in space exploration activities to build awareness that humanity has a sustainable, long-term future that is not limited to the Earth. Opportunities need to be created where young people from all countries could participate together in space data analysis, simulations and future exploration projects.

In this two-part Session about the need to achieve global cooperation for more effective use of space systems to meet the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals, an international group of experts discussed threats to Earth represented by violent solar storms, asteroids and comets, orbital space debris and inefficient space traffic management. Expert speakers included: two former Directors of the U.N. Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), the President of the International Space University (ISU), Representative of the European Space Agency (ESA), the President of the International Institute of Space Law, the President of Space Renaissance International (SRI), and the Chair and 2 Directors of the Alliance for Collaboration in the Exploration of Space (ACES Worldwide).

Discussions focused on cosmic hazards and planetary defense concluding that there must be a global fund for installing “blocking capacitors at all the world’s electrical power transformers” to prevent a “Carrington Event” blowing out the world’s electrical grid. It was agreed that a program to heighten global awareness of the reality cosmic hazards to encourage the world space agencies to undertake significantly more collaborative research to protect Earth against asteroids and comets, mitigate space debris, and advance more comprehensive space traffic management regulations and enforcement.
In the second part of the discussion, these experts discussed the use satellite tele-health and tele-education, some linked to terrestrial wireless systems, to provide these services in rural and remote parts of the world. It was agreed that a UNGA-sponsored initiative-“Space Compact Agreements” would improve the commitment of national and inter-regional agencies to use of space technologies and systems to meet U.N. Sustainable Development Goals for Health (Goal 3) and for Education (Goal 4). Experts also explained current and future use of remote sensing satellites, hyperspectral sensors, weather and meteorological satellites, and positioning and navigation satellites: to improve “smart agriculture (Goal 2), to preserve clean water (Goal 6), and to support efforts to safe the environment on land, under water, and the atmosphere (Goals 15, 14, and 13).

1. Global cooperative action to create a fund to install “blocking capacitors” at unprotected electrical power transformers against a “Carrington Event” type Super Solar Storm and particularly violent Coronal Mass Ejections is urgently needed.

2. The Space Agencies of the World need more cooperative and integrated programs to protect Earth against all types of cosmic hazards. Priority needs to be given to Space Agencies working together to protect against orbital space debris, potentially hazardous asteroids and comets, and solar super storms that could do trillions of dollars of damage and wipe out electrical power supplies, vital pipe supply lines, global communications and the Internet, automated supervisory control systems and vital satellites.

3. Space Compact Agreements to incentivize the use of space systems to meet as many of the 17 SDGs as possible was strongly endorsed in these discussions.


1. That United Nations General Assembly establish a global fund to protect the world’s electrical power supply against a super solar storm (i.e., a CME) and especially to install blocking capacitors and heavy duty circuit breakers and a referral of this problem to the world’s space agencies and the U.N. Office of Outer Space Affairs.

2. That the United Nations General Assembly discussion of problem of possible dangers of comets and asteroids and orbital space debris. This would involve an invitation to the world’s space agencies to come together and to propose a strengthen cooperative effort to address these concerns and to refer such an initiative to the U.N. Office of Outer Space Affairs to organize such a process to prioritize global planetary defense.

3. That the United Nations General Assembly encourage the process to create a “Space Compact Agreement” initiative to strengthen the use of space applications to increase the global effort to achieve the Space 2030 Goals and specifically the U.N. 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 where space systems can help accelerate progress.

Women scientists

Although the percentage of women among research and teaching staff at Polish universities increases, and the percentage of female professors in Poland is one of the highest in the European Union, this phenomenon can hardly be considered as evidence of the equal treatment of men and women. It is a result of the situation when men move to sectors of the economy that provide more favorable conditions for employment and remuneration. The tendency to feminize science, which is specific to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, including Poland, confirms the underfunding of the scientific sector: more women work in the research and development sector in countries where science is at a lower level. The academic community is not fully aware of the obstacles women come across in academia. Various studies on inequalities between women and men raise the problem of limited cooperation between women, due to their family responsibilities, poor social and business contacts that could result in support and assistance in professional matters. The Foundation Women Scientists wants to develop a network that will facilitate the implementation of various projects, and will inspire women to fulfill their scientific passions and dreams.

Our area of activity needs more visibility to make the society and the academic community aware of the obstacles women come across in academia. One of these obstacles still is the attitude of the major part of the society, which does not consider gender inequalities as the “real” problem. People, when asked about it, usually reply that our society has more “serious”, everyday life problems to deal with, instead of focusing on “feminist” issues.
UN bodies could initiate or support social campaigns aimed at raising awareness of this issue, or promoting a professional female role model, not only in the science and research area. We believe the best inspiration are success stories of female researchers and experts of the field, who can show the young girls bright and dark sides of their career path. Our Foundation has gained experience in this field due to cooperation with various organizations and institutions, but our projects have had a local impact so far. Work at the root might not be sufficient if we consider reaching consensus at the level of legislation or central administration resulting in real change.
The planned summit of 2024 could be a platform of discussion on the situation of women in research and development worldwide. The participants might get the opportunity to talk about positive trends and the obstacles that still exist, and networking could result in the ideas of further international cooperation and projects that could be organizationally and financially supported by international organizations.

Decolonizing knowledge

Discourses in the humanities on decolonizing knowledge – i.e. liberating research and education from colonial biases – have matured over the past years and many scholars undertake anti-colonial efforts. International conferences and networks are being established, and indigenous epistemologies and methods are being increasingly re-focused as subjects of study rather than objects. Yet the idea of decolonized science education and research seems to lag in terms of international presence and recognition.

Fortunately, there is a wealth of scholars, scientists, and activists working to change this. Initiatives, informed by their local histories, focus on different aspects of what decolonized science could look like and which results it should deliver. The aim of this session is to center, summarize, and compare different approaches and goals of initiatives around the globe and if possible, derive ideas for local and global educational and research policies to decolonize science.

By bringing together scientists working on different aspects of decolonization from across the globe, the session sketches what a “global” decolonial paradigm in the sciences could look like. With a better understanding of differences and similarities in approach and practice, various local initiatives can learn from one another, identify crucial potential for collaboration, and explore a common jumping-off point for future conversations around globally coordinated action.

In the first part, the panelists gave short talks to introduce themselves and their work, illustrating the diversity of approaches and challenges scientific communities face around the world. Some of the aspects included the following:

– Recognition of indigenous knowledge and expertise
– Curricula and methodologies
– Land use
– Conceptions of modernity
– Scientific education in schools
– Socioeconomic marginalization, mental health, access to science
– Historical narratives
– Languages
– Funding
– Nature-based solutions.

The session’s second part was a moderated discussion on the following topics:

– Important similarities and common goals
– Relationship between local histories and the resulting differences in decolonizing work
– Changes in culture and how to affect them
– Necessary policy changes in regards to, for instance, funding, open science, and curricula.

During the session, panelists, moderators, and the audience had a fruitful conversation sketching out decolonizing the sciences that led to the synthesis of concrete actionable points.

These were structured into three distinct levels of influence within society to aid implementation:
– Individual & Universities
– National
– International

Common takeaways on all three levels of action were:

– making science approachable and inclusive
Promoting citizen science on national and international levels, adding science communication to curricula, or e.g. creating safer pathways and spaces for indigenous researchers in academia. All of these points are central to getting more people and importantly a more diverse set of people interested and actively involved in science.

– challenging the institutions and structure of science
This includes recommendations like refreshing curricula, interrogating the roles we play as individual researchers and lecturers, as well as analyzing who does science and to whose benefit. This allows us to grapple with colonial legacies by identifying where the means of research and funding are and ideating reparations.
Ultimately, is science about the pursuit of knowledge that truly benefits ALL of humanity or about bringing about new technologies and fame that end up in the hands of few?


Promoting citizen’s participation in science on national and international levels
(science communication events, citizen science best practices).

Linking science decolonization efforts around the world would be a significant step towards implementing change and connecting and exchanging approaches.

Encouraging international dialogue on grappling with the legacies of scientific colonialism ( – exchanges on reparations, respectful North-South collaborations in the future (indigenous land use, intellectual property rights).