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Welcome to the March 2016 edition of our newsletter, bringing you highlights from our activities since our last edition in February.

What's in this e-mail?
  1. A new logo for the International Council for Science
  2. The latest news from the International Council for Science
  3. Jobs at ICSU and in the network
  4. News from ICSU's Regional Offices
  5. Upcoming events

Our new logo

Following a decision by the Executive Board in March 2015, we have been working with an external design agency to update our logo and visual identity. The Board felt that it was important to give stronger emphasis to the full name of the organization. We are excited to share with you the result of this project (make sure your e-mail client downloads images to be able to see it). The new logo sharpens up the previous design by optimizing it for digital publishing and social media. The additional colour increases legibility, emphasizes the distinctive arches and allows the central globe to emerge more prominently. We will be gradually rolling out the new logo throughout this year, starting with the publication of the new Annual Report in May.


A call for endorsements of the international accord "Open Data in a Big Data World." We are seeking endorsements from science, education and policy institutions, universities and libraries as well as commercial and non-commercial publishers of scientific literature for the principles laid out in the document. The deadline for endorsements is 1 May 2016.

Heide Hackmann was elected co-chair of the 10-member group supporting the Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM) on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The ICSU Executive Director was selected for the role at the first meeting of the group on 3-4 March in New York. The group comprises representatives of civil society, the private sector and the scientific community and was appointed by the UN Secretary-General. A short video introducing the group was published by UN DESA.

ICSU was represented at the Habitat III Regional Meeting in Prague. The meeting is part of the preparatory process for the UN Habitat III conference on sustainable urbanization, which will take place in Quito, Ecuador from 17-20 October 2016. Susan Parnell of the University of Cape Town delivered ICSU’s official statement to the meeting.

A Nature Outlook on Urban Health & Well-being. The special feature quotes Franz Gatzweiler, Executive Director of the Urban Health and Well-being programme, and also includes a feature authored by Gatzweiler and Yong-Guan Zhu of the Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

ICSU responds to the 2014 External Review. The ICSU Executive Board has published its response, which provides an analysis of the full set of recommendations, concerns and suggestions as well as the broader narrative of the review, and identifies a set of key challenges that ICSU must confront as it moves into the future.

A call for nominations for experts to participate in the IPBES Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and the scoping of the thematic assessment of the Sustainable Use of Biodiversity. Should you wish ICSU to support your or your candidate’s nomination, please fill in the application form and in the section “B. Details of Government/Organization supporting your nomination” indicate the International Council for Science as the nominating organization, Anne-Sophie STEVANCE, position: Science Officer, as the ICSU contact person, e-mail: ICSU will then receive the application form for approval.

And a call for applications from our network: CODATA is accepting applications for two events this summer, the CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science, to be held at ICTP, Trieste, Italy from 1-12 August 2016 and the CODATA International Training Workshop in Big Data for Science, Beijing, 4-17 July 2016. The deadline to apply for both of these is 18 April.

Jobs at ICSU and in the network

News from ICSU's Regional Offices


Asia & Pacific

The Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) launched the SIMSEA Research Group on 11 March 2016. By doing so UMS joins other institutional partners in Japan, New Zealand and the Philippines in undertaking research to generate policy and community-relevant knowledge towards sustainable development in the region. SIMSEA, which stands for The Sustainability Initiative in the Marginal Seas of South and East Asia, is an international programme initiated by the International Council for Science Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ICSU ROAP) through an alliance of natural and social scientists working with development planners, managers, local communities and other sectors of society to conduct solutions oriented transdisciplinary research for global sustainability.

ICSU ROAP and its partners cordially invite participants to the SIMSEA Regional Symposium 2016 to be held on 26-28 September 2016 at Microtel by Wyndham, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines. The deadline for submission of Session Proposals is May 31, 2016.

More news from ICSU's Regional Office for Asia & the Pacific

Latin America and the Caribbean

On March 1st the secretariat celebrated its 5th and last anniversary in Mexico City with an intimate gathering at the Mexican Academy of Science (MAS), our host in the country. Manuel Limonta gave a speech thanking MAS and CONACYT for their support and direction through the five-year period. Renata Villalba-Cohen, Executive Secretary of The Mexican Academy, spoke about the achievements and contribution of ICSU in Mexico and the future challenges in the next host country. Negotiations with El Salvador are ongoing for the ICSU ROLAC Secretariat to move to that country around mid-year. 

More news from ICSU's Regional Office for Latin America & the Caribbean


After nearly three years of inactivity, a newly constituted Regional Committee for Africa (RCA) met in Pretoria from 17th to 18th March, 2016. The meeting which was attended by five appointed and four ex-officio members reviewed the activities of the Regional Office for Africa since the last RCA meeting in August 2013 and made strategic input to the scientific and related activities of the Office as proposed in the Annual Performance Plan (APP) and Budget presented by the Office for the 2016/17 and 2017/18 financial years. Heide Hackmann, Executive Director of ICSU made a presentation among others, on “Rethinking ICSU’s Regional Strategy” for moving towards a results-based approach emphasizing on more comprehensive regional science systems development, focusing on mobilizing regional scientific excellence and leadership, securing regional access to and voice in the international arena. This new strategy envisages regional scientific engagements to start with the end in mind, identifying measurable outcomes, setting targets and indicators of success.

At the end of the meeting, participants visited the premises of the Regional Office and the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), the host of the Office.

More news from ICSU's Regional Office for Africa


23rd ISPRS Congress. Prague, 12-19 July 2016.
41st COSPAR Scientific Assembly. Istanbul, 30 July - 7 August 2016.
IUFoST 18th World Congress of Food Science and Technology (World Food Congress). Dublin, 21-25 August 2016.
SciDataCon 2016. Denver, Colorado, 11-13 September 2016.
3rd Global Land Project Open Science Meeting. Beiji
ng, 24-27 October 2016.
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