Ambassador for the Year of Science
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The Leibniz Association
The Leibniz Association is an association formed by 86 independent research institutions. It has the greatest interdisciplinary breadth of the major research organisations in Germany as a result of its broad orientation, which ranges from the natural sciences, engineering and environmental sciences through to economics, social sciences and the humanities. Leibniz Institutes conduct strategic, topic-based research on socially, economically and environmentally relevant issues. In addition to traditional research institutes, the Leibniz Association is also home to academic infrastructure facilities (collections, central libraries, specialised information centres) and eight large research museums. The Leibniz Institutes employ around 16,800 people of which approx. 7,800 are researchers including 3,300 young researchers and scientists. The total budget of the Institutes is more than EUR 1.4 billion; third-party funding amounts to around EUR 330 million per year.
Many of the issues explored by the Institutes of the Leibniz Association are challenges of global proportions such as global change, biodiversity or issues relating to health and nutrition.
Several examples for South Africa:
Marine research plays a central role in understanding global climate change. As a result, the Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology in Bremen is planning a workshop together with other Leibniz Institutes in the German-South African Year of Science together with the Applied Center for Climate & Earth Systems Science (ACCESS) in Cape Town that aims to develop bilateral and multilateral cooperation for marine research in South Africa.
The Senckenberg Nature Research Society is also actively working together with South African partners in South Africa on numerous projects. The joint Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F) of Senckenberg and the Goethe University in Frankfurt conducts research together with partners of the University of Stellenbosch, the South African National Biodiversity Institute, the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife on the correlations of climate, vegetation and fauna of South Africa, in relation to, among other things, birds and large mammals but also to possible sources of viral diseases potentially transferable to humans by bats (zoonosis).
The Institute of African Affairs of the Hamburg-based German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA) regularly addresses the political, economic and social developments of (South) Africa, for example, the impact of Global Health Governance on the HIV/AIDS policy of South Africa.