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Dean, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of Pretoria
Professor Barend Erasmus is an expert in climate change adaptation and the associated sustainability transformations. He is the Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Pretoria, and this position provides a powerful platform to explore partnerships for sustainability transitions. Previously, he was the Director of the Global Change Institute (GCI) at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), where he also held an industry-sponsored research chair in Global Change and Sustainability. Under his leadership, the Global Change Institute at Wits grew in impact, stature and funding, and its members remain involved in key decision-support structures in local, provincial and national government.
He contributed to several strategic documents on climate change, space science and global change for the national Department of Science and Innovation and Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries. He supports decision-making in civil society by serving on advisory bodies for the Endangered Wildlife Trust, the National Business Initiative (NBI) and the African Climate Leadership Programme. As one of the only higher education members of the NBI, he gains unique insights into effective higher education – industry partnerships. Together with a consortium of international authors, he recently co-authored an international report, commissioned by the United Nations, on the state of global land degradation and restoration.