Annual Report 2009
The year started, as planned, with the 2nd ICSU Regional Consultation for Latin America and the Caribbean, held in Mexico City in March, with the generous support of CONACYT Mexico. The meeting gathered about fifty participants, national members for Latin America and the Caribbean, scientific unions, international organizations and regional government representatives, to discuss the four Science Plans in Biodiversity, Natural Hazards and disasters, Sustainable Energy and Mathematics Education, and help define the follow up activities for each of them.
The aim of the ICSU Science Plans is to become a reference for the development of scientific
research in these areas in the years to come, and to promote the active involvement of the countries of the region in their implementation. The Regional Consultation was an important step in this direction. The documents were very well received and will be available in published form in early 2010, thanks to the support of CONACYT Mexico.
In 2009 two of the awarded 2008 ICSU Grants were completed. A special mention should be made of the Biodiversity and human well-being in Latin America and the Caribbean: identifying priorities for research, management and policy. A multiple stakeholder consultation, a joint initiative of DIVERSITAS, DiverSus and our Regional Office, with the collaboration of the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) and the Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro, held in Brazil in April. The workshop established an initial network of multiple stakeholders, interested in biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being in Latin America and the Caribbean, upon which future activities can be built; and identified a set of priorities for research and action in the region.
The project Mapping Scientific Disciplinary Networks in Latin America and the Caribbean had the
innovative aspect of using webometric techniques to identify and characterize the external visibility of these networks in the internet environment. The project will help the Regional Office in discussing how it should relate to the Regional Networks and assist in their coordination. The development of new networks and the extinction of some of the original ones brought a new context that should be addressed.
The Regional Office continued to engage in strengthening relations with the large and complex ICSU family in 2009. Two important meeting should be mentioned. The 3rd ICSU Regional Consultation for Asia and the Pacific, held in Penang, Malaysia in October, which allowed the three ICSU Regional Offices to explore opportunities for collaboration and mutual learning. The ICSU Officers Meeting, with the presence of the Chairs of Regional Committees and Directors of Regional Offices, held in Budapest, Hungary, in November, provided a stronger platform to link the global and the regional at ICSU.
The relations with the Scientific Unions continued in 2009, and 12 Unions have now appointed a contact person for Latin America and the Caribbean.