Long-term environmental planning got a boost when 130 high-level delegates met to develop a strategy that will help guide how scientists observe changes in the natural environment in South Africa in future.
"We, like most nations, face major environmental challenges and unless we have the necessary environmental observation systems that allow us to monitor and fix these, we are in deep trouble," announced Bob Scholes, researcher from the CSIR, at the first summit of the South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON).
The summit was held on March 27 and 28, 2006 in Pretoria and had a focus on observation science. Delegates came from the fields of marine, atmospheric, fresh water, terrestrial ecology and socio-economic research.
Together, they drew up a declaration recognising the importance of long-term environmental observation. The need for data sharing amongst scientists and more research in populated environments as opposed to untouched settings, was also discussed at the summit.