Letters to the editor: April 5- 11

CSIR committed to enviro research

The article “Job losses threaten the CSIR’s reputation” (March 22) contains some inaccurate information that, if not corrected, has the potential to mislead the general public about the intention of the restructuring processes at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

First and foremost, the CSIR is not retreating from its environmental and climate change research as alluded to by Professor Bob Scholes and other unnamed sources in the article.

The organisation acknowledges the importance and value of research into environmental sciences and climate change, especially the application of knowledge from this research and development to support industry preparedness for extreme weather events and the reduction of the environmental impact of its operations.

Just last month we launched a state-of-the-art online climate risk-profiling and adaptation tool called the Green Book to assist municipalities across South Africa to address climate change impacts and vulnerabilities in human settlements.

Any claim that the CSIR is retreating from environmental research or climate change is devoid of any truth.

As the CSIR we want to reiterate that the work of researchers at the natural resources and environment unit will not cease to exist. This work will grow in a new cluster called Smart Places which will explore the synergy between issues of sustainability, the natural resources and environment, smart infrastructure and energy provision.

The climate change impact area will continue its research under this cluster.In fact, the content of work in the former natural resources and environment unit has not been lost, but is rather repositioned in the reconfigured CSIR.

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