Leading NWU expert represents SA at COP 12
A leading expert and scientist of the North-West University is representing South Africa at the twelfth Conference of the Parties in Ankara, Turkey.
Prof Klaus Kellner of the School of Biological Sciences at the Potchefstroom Campus is at COP 12, which is part of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
Altogether 195 countries are members of the UNCCD and Kellner is once again South Africa’s chief negotiator in the Committee for Science and Technology (CST). COP 12 is attended by a delegation of each of these 195 countries, as well as non-governmental organisations.
Kellner has been part of the South African delegation in the Convention for the past ten years. He is also the only Science and Technology Correspondent (STC) for South Africa on land degradation and desertification and regularly partakes of science conferences on land degradation and desertification around the world.
Kellner is also the only member from Africa who is part of the SPI (Science-Policy Interface) committee that provides information pertaining to aspects of land degradation and desertification to the Convention and promotes a two-way dialogue between science and the policy makers in the world. The SPI consists of only twenty members and includes selected scientists from across the world. He says the SPI committee must also ensure that the correct information, knowledge and advice, based on sound scientific results, are conveyed to policy makers who are involved in land degradation, desertification and drought across the world. The SPI will exist until 2017, whereafter the role of the committee will again be reviewed.
Kellner has also been elected by the South African government and the United Nations as an independent expert to serve on three committees of IPBES (Intergovernmental Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) and will be the principal or contributing author of three chapters of the three IPBES outcomes.
This contribution by Kellner and discussions on land degradation, desertification, biodiversity and ecosystem services with world leaders place the North-West University in South Africa at the forefront in Africa and across the whole world.
PHOTO: Prof Klaus Kellner at the twelfth Conference of the Parties in Ankara, Turkey.