South Africa’s premier science and technology dialogue event, Science Forum South Africa 2016 will take place between 8-9 December at the CSIR in Pretoria.

 

Key science, technology and innovation actors, including senior government leaders, academics, scientists, industry, civil society, and students are expected to attend the event.

 

The two-day event is packed with interesting speakers, engaging exhibitions and stimulating topics that will make for vibrant debates.

 

Among the diverse topics to be tackled is the impact of climate change and migration patterns.

 

Between 2008 and 2013, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre estimated that more than 1.5 million people were displaced by sudden-onset disasters in Southern Africa. Due to impacts of climate change, the situation is likely to worsen, affecting communities and causing displacements at different scales with dramatic socio-economic implications. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report (IPCC 2014) sets a medium to high risk of increase in climate change induced migration and displacements across Southern Africa. In this regard, both South Africa and Europe are vulnerable recipients of these migration fluxes which create challenges of social cohesion and stability.

 

Both continents operate in a policy vacuum, causing societal vulnerability on both ends. The phenomenon is mostly geared towards the urban environment calling for robust policies with matching scientific and technological solutions to manage the increasing pressure put on urban settings. This implies that new capacities must be enhanced and developed in urban planning, housing, waste management, energy as well as water supply and sanitation, also taking the psycho-social context into account.

 

This matter will be discussed at length during a parallel session at the Science Forum on 9 December. For more information on the full program click here. http://www.sfsa.co.za/programme/