Science for sustainable development

The work of scientists leads to understanding increasingly deeper some phenomena such as climate change, accelerating the rhythm of resources consumption, demographic trends, environmental degradation, etc. In elaborating strategies for long-term development it is absolutely necessary considering the phenomena mentioned above. 
Science should have a more and more important role in ensuring sustainable development by increasing efficiency of the resource consumption, by developing new technologies that be ecological, of high productivity and having low energy and materials consumption through identification of new resources etc.
In the face of threats of irreversible environmental degradation, lack of full scientific understanding of phenomena that occur can not be an excuse for postponing actions to be taken. It is therefore necessary a sustained growth of productivity in the scientific activity.
In accordance with the conclusions and recommendations of the International Conference on Science for Environment and Development Agenda (ASCEND 21) the main directions of action are the followings:
– Developing the scientific basis of sustainable development;
– Increasing the level of scientific knowledge;
– Improving quality of the long-term scientific assessments;
– Scientific capacity and capability development;

Developing the scientific basis of sustainable development

Sustainable development requires the elaboration of long-term forecasts that integrate in the development process the local and regional effects of the global change. The development process should be periodically reassessed according to the results of the scientific research, making sure that the use of resources to have a minimal impact on the environment.

Scientific capacity and capability development in areas relevant to environment and development;
Elaborating policies for development and environment based on the latest achievements of science and technology
Improving cooperation between scientists for promoting interdisciplinary research programs and activities;
Citizen participation in setting priorities and making decisions on sustainable development.

Elaborating an inventory of natural and social sciences relevant results to promote the sustainable development;
Identifying research directions and setting priorities in the context of international efforts in the field;
Elaborating and use of relevant tools for sustainable development:
– Indicators on life quality, health, education, the state of the environment, economy etc.;
– New structures for a superior management of resources;
– Creating a policy of long-term environmental protection
Collecting, analyzing and integrating data on the linkages between different ecosystems status and health of human communities to improve knowledge on the costs and benefits of different policies and development strategies which are under elaboration;
Scientific studies at national and regional level on how to implement sustainable development, using comparable and complementary methodologies.

Means of implementation:
Assessing the costs and identification of the funding sources;
Developing the required scientific and technological means:
– New programs of scientific research including human and socio-economic aspects to strengthen the interdisciplinary research on environmental degradation and the rehabilitation of its technologies;
– The development of demonstration models of different types (socio-economic, environmental conditions, etc.) to study and assess the proposed methodologies;
– Developing methods for assessing relative risk to assist policy makers in setting priorities for scientific research

Improving quality of the long-term scientific assessments

The gained scientific knowledge can be used to carry out scientific evaluation of the current status and to forecast the future trends. On this basis the actions to be taken or to be avoided can be previewed, so that to maintain the biosphere in the best possible state of health and to reduce the biodiversity loss.
The main objective is to provide assessments of the current status as well as of future trends at the local, regional and global levels based on the best scientific knowledge needed to develop alternative strategies to substantiate the medium and long term policies.

– Coordination of the data and statistics relevant to environment and development issues as a support for elaborating long-term scientific assessments (for example data on resource depletion, demographic trends, etc.);
– Developing methodologies for carrying out national, regional and global audits that allow examination of the regional and global systems capacity to meet the needs of human beings and of non-human forms and identifying areas and resources that are vulnerable to a future degradation.

Means of implementation:
– Assessing the costs and identification of the funding sources;
– Development of relevant databases and systems for environmental monitoring, data collection, transmission and processing .


Scientific capacity and capability development

Due to the increasing role that the scientific knowledge has had for the elaboration of the environmental and development policies, it is necessary to develop and strengthen the scientific and technological capacities for an active participation in the research and use of the scientific results. Among the most important ways of developing scientific and technological capacities the following ones are to be mentioned:
Education and practical training in science and technology;
International assistance for the development of research and development infrastructure;
Implementing tools to encourage the scientific research and use its results in the productive sectors of the economy;
Increasing numbers of experts in relevant disciplines to deal with the complexity and dimensions of environmental issues

Developing systems for education, training and research – development facilities;
Quantitative and qualitative development of scientific research infrastructure;
Increasing numbers of specialists in fundamental scientific disciplines;
Increasing numbers of experts in scientific disciplines related to environmental issues;
Improving access of the scientists and decision makers to the information relevant to environmental issues;
Increasing internal and international cooperation in scientific research programs on environment and development

Educating and training scientists to increase their ability to identify, manage and integrate the environmental issues in research projects;
Training specialists to work in interdisciplinary research programs related to environment and development
Development of scientific infrastructure in schools, universities and research institutes;
Promote submission of scientific and technological information and of own databases to national and regional data centers and networks;
Developing partnerships between institutes and universities to facilitate the exchange of scientific and technological data and provide technical assistance for sustainable development and environmental protection;
Compilation, analysis and publication of scientific technological and environmental knowledge.

Means of implementation:
– Assessing the costs and identification of the funding sources;
Enlarging and streamlining programs and research networks that lead to scientific knowledge relevant to creating sustainable development policies;
Developing systems for monitoring, evaluation, information and databases