South Africa’s CEO for South African National Parks (SANParks), Fundisile Mketeni, has been elected to serve as a bureau member on the Inter-governmental Platform for Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services (IPBES), representing African countries.
This was announced at the IPBES session held from 22 to 28 February 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Mketeni’s election, together with the African representative from Ghana, was unanimously supported by delegates from African countries present at the conference, and together they will be serving with other esteemed members from Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin American and Western Europe.
This is the second term Mketeni will serve on the United National conservation body.
Mketeni says the involvement of Africa in this vital global network “will assist South African conservation scientists within the continent to interact with globally acclaimed scientists from other areas, while ensuring the full use of national, sub-regional and regional scientific knowledge and expertise in our respective protected areas.”
He said through this platform key collaborations will be established on biodiversity and ecosystems. “This will ensure credibility, relevance and legitimacy through peer review of scientific work, while also avoiding duplication in various research programs embarked upon – collaboration is the key to excellence in our work in this regard.”
There are over a thousand scientists from all over the world who are currently contributing to the work of IPBES on a voluntary basis.
IPBES is placed under the auspices of four United Nations entities: UNEP, UNESCO, FAO and UNDP and administered by UNEP. It strives to strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being and sustainable development.