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Over the last few decades, the world we live in has experienced deep and fast transformations which have led Humanity to a difficult crossroads: either to continue processing and consuming in a suicidal and increasing manner the irreplaceable resources of our planet for the sake of achieving a deceptive progress, or to adopt sustainable development strategies to prevent the catastrophes which threaten us for the sake of securing reasonable well-being for all.

Aware of this challenge, the United Nations implemented in 2015 the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to continue with the already expired Millennium Goals. Such process has taken place together with the implementation of national and regional networks to promote those goals, such as the Spanish Sustainable Development Solutions Network (REDS in Spanish) created in January 2015, in which the Canary Islands Foundation for the Control of Tropical Diseases (FUNCCET) and the University of La Laguna take part.

New times call for a new design of social and economic policies in order to help us overcome the different crises in which we are immersed. Climate change; desertification, deforestation and dieback of cultivated areas; rapid extinction of animal and plant species; the decrease in water resources; land, air and sea pollution; the undermining of marine habitats; exhaustion of fossil fuel resources; pandemics and persistence of tropical diseases; asymmetrical national and international control of resources; precarious conditions for peace and security; and all aspects of extreme poverty and increasing social inequality, constitute a group of interrelated threats which, beyond religious, ideological or political differences, require a common response from Humanity. Such response has been materialized in the new Sustainable Development Goals.

All these issues were analysed in the ambitious report drafted by the UNESCO and titled The World Ahead: Our Future in the Making (2000), written by former UNESCO Director General Federico Mayor. In such document, the UNESCO, aware of the fact that “anticipation and prevention, prospective reflection and action constitute absolute imperatives”, proposed the international community to create “intellectual and ethical future-oriented forums with the participation of scientists, creators, authorities, experts, and of the society as a whole”; because “scientific progress, knowledge and the opening of the spirit are part of the common heritage” of Humanity and they are therefore included among the main concerns of the UNESCO, an organization that is convinced that “protecting is not enough, but that it is also necessary to prepare the future ahead”.

In line with the recommendations of the UNESCO, and taking into account the new Sustainable Development Goals, since its fruitful first edition in 2014, the project CampusÁFRICA represents a forum for reflection, scientific development and proactive action with regard to the African continent and the tri-continental Atlantic character of the Canary Islands.

campusafrica 2016

The main objectives of CampusÁFRICA are the following:

  1. To create a forum for specialized reflection on health, environmental, socio-economic, political, ethical, educative and cultural challenges of the African continent within the framework of the current globalization process.
  2. To create a meeting point for researchers, entrepreneurs and professionals in order to establish synergies oriented towards strategic development and cooperation with Africa.
  3. To offer advanced training applied to the analysis and solving of problems currently affecting the African continent.
  4. To promote scientific-technical and socio-cultural leadership among younger generations.
  5. To boost the importance of the Macaronesian archipelagos as unique geo-historic and geo-strategic regions regarding tri-continental Atlantic relations.

Scientific development plays an essential role in the solving of problems currently being faced by our planet. Therefore, the project CampusÁFRICA pays special attention to promoting science and scientific development, especially regarding health in the African continent. In addition to promoting the presence of international experts, CampusÁFRICA includes a fellowship programme that will offer post-graduate African students the possibility to participate. Besides, in this second edition we have included the CampusÁFRICA Awards as a way to promote the development of scientific and technical innovation projects for sustainable development by young African scientists and technicians.

In line with the goals of the United Nations and the recommendations of the UNESCO, the Spanish Sustainable Development Solutions Network (REDS), the Canary Islands Foundation for the Control of Tropical Diseases (FUNCCET), the Foundation Women for Africa and the Centre of African Studies of the University of La Laguna (CEAULL), in collaboration with the Regional Government of the Canary Islands, the Tenerife Island Council, the Town Hall of La Laguna, the CaixaBank Foundation and the CajaCanarias Foundation will host a new edition of CampusÁFRICA from July 18th to August 5th 2016 in the historic town of San Cristóbal de La Laguna (Tenerife, Canary Islands) with the objective of promoting not only reflection but also a proactive attitude towards sustainable development from an Atlantic and African point of view.

In conclusion, just as the fruitful first edition which took place in 2014, this second edition of the CampusÁFRICA project is aimed at creating a positive atmosphere in this time of crisis within the attractive urban framework of the city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna named World Heritage Site by the UNESCO; and within a social context in which all participants have much to gain because, in the words of the UNESCO, we cannot predict the future, but we can prepare it.

 

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38203 La Laguna