Wednesday, June 21, 2006

World Scientists Address Disease Surveillance and Energy

The national science academies of 12 nations [G8 nations, Brazil, China, India, and South Africa] issued two joint statements to the leaders of the G8 countries who meet at their annual summit in Russia next month. One endorses reinvention of the world's disease surveillance system; the other urges major expansion of energy research to address the global crisis in energy supplies.


The academies argue that global efforts in both infectious diseases and energy sourcing are tremendously inadequate given the scale of the problems. Current systems of national and international disease surveillance are fragmented and uncoordinated.  The world needs a tightly coordinated global system with animal and human health experts working closely together, in light of the bird flu and other pandemic threats that we are likely to face.  Similarly, the academies argue that G8 must address serious inadequacies in funding and incentives for energy research.

    In particular, the academies recommend:

Reinventing disease surveillance

Efforts to coordinate disease surveillance across national and international agencies and research bodies

Independent audit to recommend how to develop global surveillance

Research into more rapid vaccine production methods

Greater cooperation between human- and animal-health communities

Better collection and sharing of clinical and epidemiological data Investing in energy R&D

Investing in energy R&D

Highlight 'reality and urgency' of global energy supply

Big, long-term infrastructure investments in cheap, clean, sustainable energies

Boost developing countries' capacity in innovative energy technologies

Incentives to develop clean fossil, nuclear and renewable technologies

Focus public research and technology efforts on energy efficiency, non-conventional hydrocarbons and clean coal, innovative nuclear power, distributed power systems, renewable energy sources, and biomass production.

The academies' statements seek to build on the seeming influence that their statements had last year on G8 commitments for African aid.

The joint statements are described in more detail and linked below.
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Joint science academies’ statement: Avian influenza and infectious diseases


14 Jun 2006
                   Ref: 13/06


The national science academies of the G8 nations and Brazil,     China, India and South Africa have signed a statement on avian     influenza and infectious diseases.


The statement stresses that the world faces the possibility     of a new human influenza pandemic caused by the spread of avian     influenza. All countries of the world should cooperate to     address the present issues surrounding avian influenza, as well     as continuing with long term global strategies to address other     major and emerging infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS,     tuberculosis and malaria. The statement calls on world leaders,     particularly those meeting at the G8 Summit in St Petersburg in     July 2006, to implement the following recommendations.

  • Provide support to developing nations in the       implementation of their own national strategies to address       avian influenza and other infectious diseases.
  • Improve the coordination of global surveillance for the       control of emerging and zoonotic diseases.
  • Mobilise global scientific and medical communities in       order to develop new vaccines and drugs and new more rapid       methods for the production of vaccines. Governments and the       scientific community should also promote international       cooperation between human health and veterinary experts to       elaborate new methods for detection, diagnosis, prevention       and treatment of infectious diseases.
  • Encourage Governments to collaborate in the collection of       clinical and epidemiological data implement strategies that       allow clinical data to be accessed and shared, particularly       in the early stages of a pandemic.
  • The world community must ensure that the focus on avian       influenza does not compete with, but rather motivates the       development of broad-based and sustainable infrastructure       with the capacity to address an array of infectious disease       threats globally.

The Royal Society issued a press release highlighting this statement on 14     June 2006.


Joint science academies’ statement: Energy Sustainability and Security


G8 countries bear a special responsibility for the current     high level of energy consumption, and should play a leading     role in assuring global energy sustainability and security. The     national science academies of the G8 nations and Brazil, China,     India and South Africa, have signed a statement on this     issue.


The statement calls on all countries of the world,     especially those meeting at the G8 summit in July 2006, to     cooperate in identifying common strategic priorities for     sustainable and secure energy systems, in implementing actions     towards those strategic priorities, and to:

  • Articulate the reality and urgency of global energy       security concerns
  • Plan for the massive infrastructure investments, and lead       times required for a transition to clean, affordable and       sustainable energy systems
  • Intensify cooperation with developing countries to build       their domestic capacities to use existing and innovative       energy systems and technologies, including transfer of       technologies
  • Promote by appropriate policies and economic instruments       the development and implementation of cost-competitive,       environmentally beneficial, and market acceptable clean       fossil, nuclear, and renewable technologies
  • Ensure, in cooperation with industry, that technologies       are developed and implemented and actions taken to protect       energy infrastructures from natural disasters, technological       failures, and human actions
  • Address the serious inadequacy of R&D funding and       provide incentives to accelerate advanced energy-related       R&D, also in partnership with private companies
  • Implement education programs to increase public       understanding of energy challenges, and to provide for       energy-related expertise and engineering capabilities
  • Focus governmental research and technology efforts on       energy efficiency, non-conventional hydrocarbons and clean       coal with CO2 sequestration, innovative nuclear power,       distributed power systems, renewable energy sources, biomass       production, biomass and gas conversion for fuels.

The Royal Society issued a press release highlighting this statement on 14     June 2006.


     This statement follows on from the statement on climate change released by the G8     academies in the lead up to the 2005 G8 summit in     Gleneagles.

Africa, Asia, Climate Change, Energy, EU, Governance/Management, International, North America, Physical Science, South America, Sustainability, US | Permalink

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