Conference Updates

Welcome to the beautiful city of Medellín!

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

We hope your travels were smooth and stress free and you've had a chance to explore a little. Apologies if you were booked on one of the excursions that was cancelled, we are trying to ensure that Friday’s trips will go ahead and that there will be enough notice to attendees so you have details well in advance.  

Some of you will have enjoyed a workshop today and reconnected with old friends, made some new ones, and learned about some of the science in the area. 

Science Journalism in Latin America and the Caribbean workshop

As well as the two workshops organised for Monday, we also hosted a session on Science Journalism in Latin America and the Caribbean. This gave the perspective of science journalists on ethics, based on a survey which garenerd 179 responses from 18 countries in the region.

The meeting was organised by Kavli Foundation and the World Federation of Science Journalists, and discussions ranged from funding, rediscovery and recolonisation of Latin America, the role of associations and more. Moderated by Nicholas Bustamante Hernandez and Luisa Massarini, the session was insightful and provided food for thought, particularly ahead of Wednesday’s 10.00 panel on the relevance of science journalism as an editorial line in the media. Some of you will have enjoyed a workshop today and reconnected with old friends, made some new ones, and learned about some of the science in the area. We look forward to seeing you tomorrow as the conference begins in earnest.

Tuesday, day one

Our first keynote, at 08.30, will be about biodiversity. Brigitte Baptiste is a Colombian biologist, rector of Ean University which focuses on sustainable entrepreneurship and expert in biodiversity issues. She was elected as one of the 25 global experts of the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) from 2016 to 2019. 

According to WWF, Colombia is the most biodiverse country per square kilometre. It is also the country with the largest number of bird species in the world — over 1,900 — and the largest number of butterflies in the world —over 3,600—which means that 20% of species of butterflies on the planet live in Colombia. 

Did you know that in Colombia, precisely because of its natural biodiversity, you can eat a different type of fruit or seed by day, without repeating, for more than a year.

The Amazon, a movie, the opening ceremony and a welcome social

At 16.00 our plenary will focus on the Earth’s largest remaining rainforest. The Amazon provides one-fifth of the world’s fresh water, is home to the planet’s most diverse collection of wildlife, and provides life-giving resources to local people and Indigenous communities. And importantly, the region plays a vital role in mitigating climate change. Although the last decade has seen progress in the sustainable management of Indigenous lands and protected areas of the region, significant threats remain. Our panellists will discuss key threats and share how local and national governments, Indigenous communities, NGOs and the private sector are working to conserve the Amazon basin to benefit local and global communities.

Moderator: Avecita Chicchón

Speakers: Rodrigo BoteroAne AlencarSandra ValenzuelaManuel Pulgar Vidal

From 17.30 we have an exciting short movie premiere, starring Wolfgang Goede and directed by Nejc Levstik. The movie is called Might be Anything and is a documentary of Wolfgang's journey in science journalism and the community around it. 

And at 18.00 our opening ceremony will begin with a speech by Maria Neira, the Director of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health at the World Health Organization followed by an opening reception. 


The venue

The conference centre at the Orquideorama at the Jardin Botanico is easy to find. When you enter the gardens registration is on the left and clearly signposted. Orquideorama is the large structure on the right and very easy to spot. 

The conference itself starts tomorrow, Tuesday. We will be tweeting from @WCSJ23 and @WFSJ using #WCSJ23 so please follow for updates and join in online conversations as the conference continues.