C. ASSAf Policymakers' Booklets

About this Collection

Policymakers' Booklets are summaries of Consensus Study Reports aiming at making scientific information accessible to policymakers and the general public.

Peer-Review Status: Peer-Reviewed

Enquiries: Susan Veldsman


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Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
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    Code of Best Practice in Scholarly Journal Publishing, Editing and Peer Review
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2015-03) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
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    Neonicotinoid Insecticides: Use and Effects in African Agriculture - A Review and Recommendations to Policymakers
    (Network of African Science Academies (NASAC), 2019) Network of African Science Academies (NASAC)
    Agriculture is critically important for African societies and economies, but ensuring food security for Africa’s growing population is a major challenge due to climate change, structural changes in land use and management, and intensification of agriculture, including the use of pesticides. A synergistic relationship between agriculture and the beneficial services offered by nature (such as pollination and natural pest control) is a foundation of sustainable agriculture on which future food security depends. Such ‘ecosystem services’ are provided mainly (although not exclusively) by invertebrates, and the rapid decline in biodiversity in general and insects in particular globally has implications for productivity and future food security. Beneficial insects increase agricultural productivity and the quality of crops and are as (if not more) important in the African context than the rest of the world. One factor that has been shown to contribute to loss of ecosystem services in Europe and elsewhere is the increased use of a class of systemic insecticides called neonicotinoids, which act as insect neurotoxins. They are taken up by all parts of the plant, are water soluble and can thus spread in the environment, exposing not only the target pests but also beneficial insects ranging from honey bees and other pollinating insects to natural predators of the targeted pests. As a result, the use of some of these insecticides has been restricted in the European Union (EU) and some other countries. The debate preceding the EU restrictions was informed by a study on the impact of neonicotinoids on agriculture and ecosystem services by the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (EASAC). Building on this foundation, the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) and the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) collaborated in a study to examine the implications of neonicotinoid insecticide use for ecosystem services and sustainable agriculture in Africa. The study was conducted between October 2018 and October 2019 and involved two workshops with scientists from 17 African countries as well as an extensive review of relevant African research. This project has collated an unprecedented amount of information, allowing the current situation relating to neonicotinoids in Africa to be assessed for the first time. The findings have been subjected to peer review and endorsed by NASAC member academies.
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    Regulation of Agricultural GM Technology in Africa
    (Academy of Science of South Africa, 2012) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
    This policymakers’ booklet is produced by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) as part of the project “GMOs for African Agriculture: Opportunities and Challenges”. The project was implemented through ASSAf’s Committee on Science for Poverty Alleviation. The project is in its second year of implementation with funding from the Global Network of Science Academies (IAP).
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    Science, Water and Sanitation: Supporting Equitable and Sustainable Development in southern Africa
    (Academy of Science of South Africa, 2012) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
    The Southern African Development Community (SADC) region faces a number of challenges in ensuring water for equitable and sustainable development. In most of these countries water resources infrastructure is underdeveloped, and significant climate variability means economic sustainability and development is hostage to rainfall. The aim of this policy-makers’ booklet is to outline the role that science academies can play in assisting policy-makers and managers to address some of the key water challenges in the southern African region. This is part of a process of building a strong partnership between the science community and government actors. It is intended to be useful to policy-makers in the water sector, and to policy-makers in those sectors that are major water users, such as the agricultural, industrial and mining sectors, as well as those with a mandate to protect the natural environment and whose policies and decisions impact directly or indirectly on water quantity, quality and accessibility. The booklet is focused on six countries, namely Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa and Namibia, each of which has an established science academy, or one that is in the process of being established. However, the messages in this booklet are relevant to the broader southern African region as a whole. This booklet should resonate with policy-makers in the southern Africa region, and together with other similar studies from East, West and North Africa, present an overview of water issues in the continent. The main aim will be to inform the African Ministers’ Committee on Water (AMCOW) and other political and technical leadership in the continent.
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    Turning Science On: Improving Access to Energy in sub-Saharan Africa
    (Academy of Science of South Africa, 2010) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
    Access to modern energy services, defined as electricity and clean cooking fuels, is central to a country’s development. Poor access retards the pace of national development and poverty reduction and delays the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The availability and use of energy will greatly influence how rapidly African countries are able to increase their agricultural productivity, provide safe water, achieve economic development, and use information and communications technologies to become increasingly integrated into the global economy.
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    Inquiry-Based Science Education: Increasing Participation of Girls in Science in sub-Saharan Africa Policy-makers’ Booklet
    (Academy of Science of South Africa, 2011) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
    This policy-makers’ booklet is a joint project of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC), the Organisation of Women Scientists for the Developing World (OWSDW) and the Gender Advisory Board of the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD).
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    20 Years of Excellence 1996 - 2016
    (Academy of Science of South Africa, 2016) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
    20 Years of Excellence 1996 – 2016 recounts the 20 years of ASSAf’s existence since the early 1990s when trailblazers in academia gave of their time and energy to realise a dream of establishing a fully representative, national academy of science to guide the democratic South Africa into a promising new era. From drafting a constitution for the Academy; putting in place the mechanisms, statutes and machinery needed to run a working national academy of science, ASSAf’s remarkable journey testifies to perceptive vision to ensure a legacy of knowledge. Since its inception, ASSAf has grown from a small, emergent organisation to a well-established academy. It has pursued its mandate of providing evidence-based science advice in support of policy development on issues of national significance to government and beyond. The book describes the early beginnings to define and form a unique crucible, through to creating a unitary academy of sciences, encompassing all science disciplines.
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    Legends of South African Science
    (Academy of Science of South Africa, 2017) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
    Legends of South African Science introduces Academy Members who rank among the top achievers in the country. Legends profiles ASSAf Members who have received some of South Africa’s top awards, viz. the ASSAf Science-for-Society Gold Medal, National Orders of Mapungubwe and Baobab bestowed by the President, or the Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship. Among the Members featured in the book are a biologist and Nobel Laureate who helped decode DNA; an epidemiologist recognised for groundbreaking research on HIV prevention in women; a social scientist who nudged and cajoled into place the campaign to understand and contain HIV/AIDS in South Africa; a leading mathematics education proponent; a human geneticist whose work helped to clarify the origins of indigenous groups in Africa; one of the world's leading theorists in cosmology; and a leading immunologist and physician who pioneered higher education transformation in South Africa, in sometimes controversial ways.
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    Social Protection in Africa: Overview for Policymakers
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2016-08) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
    What is social protection? - What are cash transfers? - What are social protection floors? - Why is social protection in Africa important? - Socio-economic context - The development of social protection in Africa - Non-contributory social protection programmes in Africa: Overview of programmes - Which types of social protection intervention are most common? - What is the size of cash transfers? - What is the institutional location and who funds social protection programmes? - How much do social protection programmes cost? - Social protection in Africa: Reviewing the evidence - Poverty and inequality reduction - Nutrition and food security - Health - Education - Gender - Productive outcomes - Community empowerment and citizen accountability - Social protection in Africa: Key issues - Rights-based approaches to social protection - Universalism and targeting - Gender - Conditional vs unconditional cash transfers - Cash or food - Institutionalisation - Affordability - Labour market linkages and informal workers - Technology - Informal social protection
©The Author/Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)