Sir John Sulston leaves Big Pen Academy in Korogocho slums, Nairobi.

In December 2012, AFIDEP was proud to host, Sir John Sulston FRS, the Nobel Laureate in Physiology/Medicine 2002 and Chair of the Royal Society, People and the planet report.

Sir John’s, visit in Kenya involved visiting the Korogocho slum, a rapidly growing urban informal settlement, as well as giving a Public Lecture on ‘People and the Planet – how can we all live and flourish on a finite Earth?’ held at the 8-4-4 building in the University of Nairobi.

AFIDEP in partnership with the African Population Health and Research Center (APHRC) planned three overall visits within Korogocho. This included stopovers at; Big Pen Academy, an unbelievably small community primary school with over 500 students who pay about Kshs 150 ($2) school fees per month; Tumaini Clinic, a faith based organisation set-up to encourage safe and inexpensive delivery of babies in hospitals; Family Hope Charity, a community based organisation developed to improve the welfare of HIV+ women in the community as well as provide young children with a space to have tuition. The tours provided an on-the-ground look at what living in informal settlement entails and the challenges people there face on a day to day basis.

On Monday 10th December, Sir John gave a Public Lecture at the University of Nairobi. The lecture was as a result of partnership between Royal Society, AFIDEP, the Network or African Science Academies (NASAC) and the University of Nairobi.

His key message was the need for the developed and developing world to find ways to live sustainably and decrease the growing consumption. Sir John said, “the Earth has limits and we are bound to reach them sooner than later if our current levels of consumption continue.”

Earlier in 2011 at the Rio+20, it was agreed that a set of international ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ would be developed. This process is happening at the same time as the review of the current Millennium Development Goals. Sir John had an opportunity to be interviewed on the same on Kenyan local TV, K24.

The People and the Planet report and/or summary and recommendations are available for download.

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