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SAEON plans second Summit to map the way forward

Mr Derek Hanekom, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology opened the first SAEON Summit, highlighting the national need for an environmental observation system that delivers reliable data.

Renee le Roux, Manager: Conservation and Management of Ecosystems and Biodiversity at the NRF, was one of the judges in the research poster competition offered as part of the SAEON Summit. Posters are again invited for display at the Summit. (Picture: Mitzi du Plessis)

The first SAEON Summit secured coverage across a wide range of media (Picture: Mitzi du Plessis)

SAEON would like to notify all its stakeholders that the second SAEON Summit will be held at the Kirstenbosch Conference Centre  on 5 and 6 October 2010.

Following the success of the first SAEON Summit held in Gauteng in March 2006, SAEON resolved to hold a similar forum every four years.

The aim of the Summit is to provide a forum for sharing of experiences of successful design and implementation of environmental change regimes, in different biogeographical regions and Earth Systems. Read the full announcement

To register for the Summit, please download, complete, and e-mail the registration form to Monako Dibetle at SAEON.

Accommodation suggestions are available. However, please note that SAEON is not responsible for the correctness of the information provided or the validity of the accommodation rates.

Groundbreaking first SAEON Summit

SAEON’S first highly successful Summit presented an ideal opportunity for the then fledgling organisation to evaluate its progress and to assess the best way forward for the organisation.

Mr Derek Hanekom, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology opened the Summit, highlighting the national need for an environmental observation system that delivers reliable data, and the need to integrate those observations across fields and observation systems.

These points were supported throughout the Summit and were finally captured as follows in a Declaration:

We, the delegates at the First SAEON Summit, representing the organisations and researchers involved in Environmental Observation:

  • Recognise that long-term environmental observation is essential for achieving sustainable growth and development strategies in South Africa;
  • Agree that environmental data visibility, availability, and sharing are critical issues that will form a key component of their joint participation in SAEON;
  • Agree that substantial growth in human resources through outreach, education, capacity development and transformation is essential for the successful implementation of long-term environmental observation;
  • Recommend that a substantial investment in observational, experimental, and analytical infrastructure be made to implement the integrated approach required for identifying, understanding and predicting environmental problems that threaten sustainable growth and development, and for informing policy interventions to address them.

The Summit obtained resounding support for the SAEON concept. Lively, meaningful, yet interrogative participation by the 131 delegates set a trend of constructive engagement.

The Summit emphasised the need for the further development of the Education and Information Integration functions of SAEON. It was suggested that, after an initial period of securing the foundations for the institutional sustainability of SAEON, the focus should shift towards establishing a sustainable science plan in collaboration with the science community.

The SAEON Summit, as a scientific conference to be organised by the SAEON National Office, is prescribed in the Standing Rules of SAEON.

 

Related content:

Summary of the proceedings of the first SAEON Summit 

 

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