SA on UN committee

Pertunia Thulo -- Wed, 06/04/2014 - 00:00

Klaus Kellner chosen to represent South Africa and African continent on UN committee

An expert on land degradation and the combating of desertification from the North-West University was invited to represent South Africa and the African continent on a committee of the United Nations.

Prof Klaus Kellner from the School of Biological Sciences at the Potchefstroom Campus has just received an invitation to be one of only twenty experts in the world to serve on the SPI (Science and Policy Interface) committee of the UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification).

On the committee, Kellner will be part of a selected group who will promote the interaction between environmental and social scientists and decision makers regarding land degradation and the combating of desertification at a global level in the UNCCD.

Kellner says that this is a great honour for him, since he was nominated to represent the continent by among others the director-general of biodiversity and conservation in South Africa, Mr Fundisile Mketeni; the director of the department of environmental affairs, Mr. Muleso Kharika; and the African group of scientists for the UNCCD.

For two years (2012 to 2013), Kellner was also the deputy chairperson of an ad hoc committee for analysing scientific advice on combating desertification and drought issues and to make recommendations to the UNCCD at a global level. Only twelve selected scientists from all over the world served on this committee.

Kellner has just been nominated by Prof. Nico Smit of the NWU and a director of the department of environmental affairs, Dr Kiruben Naiker, to serve on an intergovernmental panel for biodiversity and ecosystem services of the UN as well. On the panel he will represent South Africa in terms of land degradation and restoration.