Statement for the ‘United Nations 6th Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals’

10 May 2021

Clarissa Rios Rojas was invited to write a statement for the ‘United Nations 6th Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals’ about how CSER's work can help support their discussions and future work.

I am Clarissa Rios Rojas, a member of the Global Young Academy and a researcher at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge. In our centre, we study events that could lead to human extinction or civilization collapse. Some of these events include the misuse of emerging technologies. Today I would like to share four outcomes of our research that can support your discussions and future work:

  • First, the economic benefits of biodiversity and the costs and risks of biodiversity loss have been globally assessed in the Dasgupta Review and the IPBES report. Therefore, we recommend governments develop formal and global mechanisms to constantly monitor and
    thoroughly evaluate the impact and unintended catastrophic consequences of emerging technologies in protecting and uplifting biodiversity.
  • Second, Foresight approaches have played an increasing role in our efforts to understand and develop ways of addressing global risks. If we want to avoid undesirable futures, we encourage all nations to develop offices for understanding and managing future risks coming from technological development. The report ‘Foresight: Science for navigating critical transitions’, which was jointly done with national academies worldwide, can give you a set of policy solutions on how to institutionalize foresight worldwide.
  • Third, global injustice and inequality are drivers of extreme risk: they are both exacerbating factors for specific hazards like climate change and global conflict, and systemic factors driving societal vulnerability and hampering efforts to address risks. We stress the need to include the social sciences when assessing technological threats.
  • Finally, I would like to emphasize that we, the scientific community, are your allies. We are ready to collaborate and co-create policies that can bring us to truly sustainable futures where technologies enable all human beings to flourish on planet Earth and beyond. We demonstrate this in our report ‘Pathways to Linking Science and Policy in the Field of Global Risk’. Thank you

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