In the run-up to the Rio Summit in early June 2012, the Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs asked the Academy to survey what science has contributed to sustainable development and what it might contribute in the next twenty years.
The contribution of Dutch scientists to sustainable development is considerable, notes the Academy in its report Beyond RIO+20. The Netherlands is prominent in a wide variety of disciplines, including water management, agriculture, nutrition, environmental science and earth sciences. But the real strength of the Netherlands lies in its ability to make connections. Dutch researchers are skilled at international and multidisciplinary collaboration.
Dutch researchers are also skilled at organising scientific research and in building bridges between science, government, business and civil society.
The Academy believes that the Netherlands should continue to expand its already considerable role in integrated assessments, i.e. cross-disciplinary reports such as the IPCC’s, which are intended for policymakers. Dutch researchers are ready to make a contribution to international science in these areas.
The report, Beyond the horizon of RIO+20 – science for sustainable development, was presented by Academy President Robbert Dijkgraaf to HRH The Prince of Orange on 30 May 2012 during the “RIO on the Meuse” conference.