You might be aware that the International Council for Science is the international organization that unites scientists from all disciplines, to help them work together towards being significant to society at large. In that sense, it was good to have IUFoST become a member. (IUFoST was elected to ICSU in 1998). Now it is one of 31 unions that forms this international organization, together with 141 countries.
All these people getting together and producing results, either through research or exchange or capacity building can improve the way science is relevant not only in a few places in the world but all over the planet. Such a Congress as this is widely significant because this is the way the International Council for Science (ICSU) comes alive. We see that the meeting together of established scientists with younger generations and students inspire those on how to go about providing more safe food for the whole planet, and this is one of the main drivers of sustainability. We are entering a world that will soon have 9 billion inhabitants. We must define a way to spread our resources more evenly in order to provide livelihood for all of those human beings in a more stable way, dealing with the only planet we have.
This is another problem, we are overusing the planet, we are not realizing this now, but this will cost future generations. We have the duty as Scientists to alert other contingencies of the urgency to get in a more stable relationship with the planet that sustains us. I think this is an extraordinary opportunity, a congress of 2800 participants and young people from Brazil, from all over Latin America and even outside Latin America and Delegations from over 40 nations. This really is the way in which the scientific community can get together in one specialty and start to work and find better solutions for the problems of the earth. This is the spirit of what ICSU is, to have these types of meetings available, to discuss how it should be.
– Professor Sergio Jorge Pastrana
(International Council for Science: Vice-President for External Relations)