The years 2020-2021 have been turbulent ones, as the COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented disruptions to personal and professional lives around the world including here in Mauritius. Debates about scientific uncertainty, responsibility and reliability have been thrust into the public domain like never before. Has the scientific community risen to the challenge to provide knowledge from across all disciplines and across the world to deal with this crisis? We are in a unique situation of having to deal with on-going and incomplete research, with thousands of papers and communications every month, including fake and approximate ones galore, leading to often sharp conflict between purely science-based decision-making and action taken by government based on other considerations, political and economic, which often do not work and are regularly changing.
2022 will also be the first year of the new implementation of COP 26 weakened resolution, the main one being full implementation of the PARIS AGREEMENT to combat climate change and reporting on action and progress. We as an Academy of Science can help, even indirectly, in this major endeavour of the United Nations for PLANET EARTH, by keeping abreast of the developments, making known the results.
But specially in encouraging academies, research institutions and universities in their role to provide credible science-informed advice to their nations for science-based decision-making, in the home front and for the Indian Ocean, Africa and world-wide.
Not forgetting the broad issues such as securing institutional framework for sustainable development, renewed political commitment to peace on Planet Earth, as well as developing green economy and attaining self-sufficiency, in this ISLAND-STATE, for food and renewable energy.
We are most grateful for our international links: we will re-enforce and continue to work with the Network of Science Academies of Africa (NASAC) of which we are a full member, bilaterally with several science academies such as those of South Africa, Kenya, France, England, Germany, India, USA and with our valued partners IAP and ISC.
I call upon science Academies in 2022 to work for overcoming COVID under all its forms and RE-BUILDING post-Covid structures, institutions as well as practices on more scientific, rational and service oriented bases. Science and technology must be in the service of man. We must be prepared for a possible next catastrophe, local, regional or even world-wide, be it another viral pandemic, increased intensity cyclones, floods, tsunamis, over 50°C temperatures, radiation accidents or other. The key is preparedness.
NOTE : Les points de vue exprimés dans cette rubrique ne reflètent pas nécessairement ceux de la rédaction et n’engagent que les auteurs eux-mêmes.