Scientists from Ghana and Kenya are among 19 members from a host of nations who are launching the new “Earth Commission,” a project that draws from both the natural and social sciences to combat climate change.
The group will begin immediately, with plans to complete by 2021 what they describe as “a high-level synthesis of scientific knowledge on the biophysical processes that regulate Earth’s stability and targets to ensure this stability,” along with studies of the social change needed to deliver on sustainable development.
From Kenya is David Obura, right, the founding director of CORDIO East Africa and an expert on coral reefs and marine systems of the West Indian Ocean. “At the boundary between science and action, David works to integrate conservation and development through inclusive blue economy principles and links provided by global sustainability goals and targets,” his organization said.
Christopher Gordon comes from the University of Ghana, where he is an assistant professor in the Institute for Environmental and Sanitation Studies. His areas of expertise include coastal systems and wetlands, aquaculture, and biodiversity and ecosystems management.
The two will work with the Earth Commission and its three co-chairs, who come from China and Europe and warn there is no time to lose.
“This year’s fires in the Amazon, the rapidly warming Arctic, dying coral reefs, and unprecedented heat waves and floods across the world, are the clearest signals yet that human activities are pushing the planet further and further from the stable state we have enjoyed for 10,000 years,” says Prof. Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and one of the co-chairs.