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Welcome to the Science Summit at UNGA76, a major contribution to advancing Science for the UN SDGs. Online from 14- September - 5 October 2021.
ISC will organise the second edition of the UNGA76 Science Summit around the 76th United Nations General Assembly (SSUNGA76) in September 2021. The objective of the virtual meeting will be to raise awareness of the role and contribution of science to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It will demonstrate initiatives that provide models for global science mechanisms and activities in support of the SDGs, particularly in science infrastructure and capacity building. Science is and will enable sustainable economic, environmental, and societal development. Science is more than a funding prioritisation exercise: science is impacting all areas of policy-making and is playing a more critical role in how policy objectives are achieved and the consequent benefit to people everywhere, including responses to global challenges.
Engagement with policy leadership is more important than ever: UNGA76 is a unique forum for science to demonstrate how policy and political leadership can benefit from innovation. Central to this is the role of nonstate actors and the multilateral fora, which increasingly determine how priorities are set. Science needs to be part of this dialogue and inform outputs through thought leadership, evidence, insights, analysis, and innovation.

Registration is available here.
Thursday, September 23 • 3:00pm - 5:00pm
(REF FO23) Nature based solutions: the mythbuster session. Convened by ICRAF

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Nature based solutions: the mythbuster session.

The overwhelming evidence that climate change requires drastic action and that the decarbonisation of transport, industry, energy systems, construction and the rest of our economy, is unlikely to proceed at a pace sufficient to avoid serious catastrophe has led many to focus on nature-based solutions - sometimes as a stopgap while the rest of the economy is decarbonised, sometimes as a major contributor to solving the problem, as with BECCS, BioEnergy with Carbon Capture and Storage.

However, much of the resulting discussion fails to take into account the complex interactions between the biosphere, the atmosphere, the lithosphere, the cryopsphere, the oceans and more.

The good news is that properly implemented nature-based solutions, especially those affecting agriculture and forestry, could draw down a large part of the excess carbon in the atmosphere. But what does "properly implemented" mean? Is the solution really as simple as avoiding beef and planting trees? In this session, we'll explore some tenacious myths about nature-based solutions involving agriculture, forestry and livestock rearing, and discuss what the science tells us.

Are massive tree planting campaigns really the right way of getting the climate and other benefits of forestry?

Is moving to a vegan diet really the best way of diminishing the emissions of agriculture?

Is helping smallholders adopt agroecology really the best way of enhancing the efficiency of agriculture?

What are the most promising ways of protecting and boosting biodiversity in agricultural and forestry landscapes?

What role do forests play in the global water cycle? What does this imply for forestry?

How should the planet assuage its growing hunger for timber and fibre?

In short, what are the most promising kinds of nature based solutions, and how should they be harnessed?

Our speakers will explore the state of the science on these questions, and help us coalesce around some basic rules to guide investors and policymakers as they seek to navigate this extraordinarily complex space.

avatar for declan kirrane

declan kirrane

Chairman, Science Summit UNGA78
Declan Kirrane is the Founder and Managing Director of ISC Intelligence in Science, the chairman and managing director of the science Summit at the United Nations General assembly, and co-founder of Medicines for Future (MAF). He has over 25 years of experience as a global senior... Read More →
avatar for Worms, Patrick

Worms, Patrick

Senior Science Policy Advisor, ICRAF
Patrick Worms, a Cambridge-educated molecular geneticist, represents CIFOR-ICRAF, the Centre for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry, to policy makers, donors and corporate partners in Europe and beyond.Patrick’s interests sit at the nexus of land restoration... Read More →
avatar for Nicolette Hahn Niman

Nicolette Hahn Niman

Author, Niman Family Farm
Nicolette Hahn Niman is the author of Defending Beef (Chelsea Green, 2014). She previously served as senior attorney for the Waterkeeper Alliance, running their campaign to reform the concentrated production of livestock and poultry. In recent years she has gained a national and... Read More →
avatar for Meine Van Noordwijk

Meine Van Noordwijk

Distinguished Research Fellow, World Agroforestry
Meine van Noordwijk is a Distinguished Research Fellow at World Agroforestry. He joined the organization in 1993. For many years Dr van Noordwijk guided the global integration of the Centre’s science and (co-)led ICRAF's global research program on environmental services. He has... Read More →
avatar for Fred Pearce

Fred Pearce

Fred Pearce is a freelance author and journalist based in London. A former news editor and environment consultant at the UK-based New Scientist magazine, he has reported from 89 countries. He also writes regularly for the Yale e360 web site, as well as irregularly for many other outlets... Read More →
avatar for Fergus Sinclair

Fergus Sinclair

Chief Scientist, CIFOR-ICRAF (Centre for International Forest Research - World Agroforestry

Thursday September 23, 2021 3:00pm - 5:00pm CEST