ProSPER.Net E-Bulletin Issue 36 (October 2015)

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Issue 36: October 2015

Message from the ProSPER.Net Secretariat:

Dear colleagues and friends, On behalf of TERI University and UNU-IAS, and the ProSPER.Net Secretariat, we are pleased to invite you to participate in the 2016 ProSPER.Net Young Researchers’ School (YRS), to be held at TERI University in New Delhi, India from 1 to 12 February 2016. The main goal of the YRS is to provide graduate students with an opportunity to better understand the spectrum of challenges that underpin sustainable development. By assembling these young researchers together for an intensive two-week workshop, the school also fosters the growth of a network of sustainability scholars and professionals in the Asia-Pacific region. The theme of the 2016 school will be ‘Sustainable Energy for Transforming Lives: Availability, Accessibility, and Affordability’. A preliminary programme outlines the ways in which students will be exposed to issues related to sustainable energy, and for them to begin developing research responses to several challenges that provide integrative solutions as considering energy efficiency and renewable energy. We ask ProSPER.Net members to invite PhD students who are working with sustainability-related research to apply for the school. A limited number of scholarships are available which will cover the costs of tuition, round-trip economy class ticket to and from Delhi, accommodation and most meals, except for travel insurance. We kindly ask each member to consider internal sources of funds available to support the participation of additional students. Please send applications and advice on your level of support for nominated participants by 13 November 2015 to For a preliminary programme and how to apply, please visit ProSPER.Net. We look forward to receiving applications from prospective participants! Social media guidelines Our facebook page is becoming more popular by the day, with an average post reach of 350 people per week. But this is not enough! We need to reach more people connected to and interested in ProSPER.Net to boost and promote our work in ESD. Tell everyone to check our page and LIKE it. Then they will automatically follow our news and see any information important to ESD and higher education. We have also implemented our social media guidelines, a set of rules that enables us all to communicate in a decent way, respecting each other’s backgrounds and cultures. These guidelines will also help everyone to use the medium, where communication is quite different to traditional media channels such as for example emails and the bulletin. COP21, Paris As mentioned in the last bulletin, we would like to remind you that we are currently preparing our activities in the upcoming climate conference COP21 in Paris. There are several possibilities for ProSPER.Net members to be part of this. If you already have plans with secured funding to participate in COP or are interested in sharing your experiences with the rest of the ProSPER.Net community, please get in touch with us (Philip Vaughter, Zinaida Fadeeva and Hanna Staahlberg). If you wish to be part of the “Our World Our Responsibility” Initiative organised by the RCE Youth Network, and submit a short video, please follow this link. Sincerely, ProSPER.Net Secretariat

Upcoming Events

Education as a driver for SDGs

11-13 January, 2016
Ahmedabad, India
The conference is organised by the Centre for Environment and Education (CEE), India in partnership with UNESCO, UNEP, the Government of India and Nature protects if she is protected. The Decade of Education for Sustainable Development has demonstrated how education can play a vital role leading to sustainable development. As the UN has finalized the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed by Open Working Groups, it is important for ESD communities to look specifically at each goal and determine how education can play an effective role in helping achieve this. The conference aims to recognize education as a key enabler to the broader realization of SDGs. The role of education in its broadest sense including training and capacity building, communication and creating public awareness, scientific research, sharing and access to information and networking, and partnerships become a key strategy for achieving the SDGs. The objective of the conference is to bring together the global experience and expertise of using education as a way of achieving SDGs and showcasing the India experience in doing so. The conference spread over three days will have five plenaries and 17 working groups. The ESDG conference workshop themes will be organized on the lines of the SDGs. More details on the conference can be found here.

UN Winter School on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in Asia and the Pacific

17-30 January, 2016
Bangkok, Thailand
Under the SWITCH-Asia Regional Policy Support Component programme and the Asia-Pacific Roadmap of the 10 YFP on SCP, the Second "UN Winter School on Sustainable Consumption and Production in Asia and the Pacific", will be held 17-30 January 2016 at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) Campus, Bangkok, Thailand. This event is organised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and its partners, UNU-IAS, and the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT). The strategic objective of the Winter School is to improve the knowledge of future decision makers in Asia and the Pacific in the area of SCP and thus contribute to the design and implementation of policies, business models and practices that can promote sustainable resource management in a life cycle perspective for goods and services produced and used by governments, business and civil society. This is an exclusive learning opportunity for young professionals, including post-graduate students, to be equipped with skills that can support their professional and research activities.Over two weeks participants will have the opportunity to interact with distinguished professors, researchers, practitioners and experts on SCP, follow master classes, participate in interactive scenario based exercises and simulation games, learn from each other, and build a network of young SCP professionals in the Asia and the Pacific region. Deadline for this event is 8 November, 2015. Scholarships are available for participants from developing countries in Asia and the Pacific. Full information and details about the application process is available here.

UNESCO Conference on Education Policies for 2030

18-20 January, 2016
Paris, France
The 2030 education agenda places great emphasis on quality, inclusiveness and equity. While access to education remains high up in the national agenda of many countries, these suggested goals for education in 2030 will require governments to maximize the use of existing policy levers for change. Over the past two years, UNESCO has been closely monitoring three of these levers: governance, school leadership, and monitoring and evaluation. The variables and factors that optimize learning cannot be simply derived from results. Promoting quality necessitates a full system-wide approach to monitoring and evaluation that goes beyond the mere qualification of student learning outcomes. The conference on “Education Policies for 2030: Governance, School Leadership and Monitoring and Evaluation as Levers for Change” takes as its broad theme a discussion on which public policies can best help governments to reach higher levels of education quality through the use of these themes. Presentations, panels and debates will be informed by three UNESCO reports, featuring the main findings and lessons of the comparative analysis of public policies in these domains, carried out over the past biennium and due to be launched at the conference. This is a conference by invitation only with mainly policy makers and high-level administrators in the education sector, researchers and policy analysts from international organizations, research institutions and universities, and think tanks, as well as representatives from organizations of stakeholders in education, including teachers, families, students, and the civil society at large, attending. For more information on this event, click here.

Open Calls

RCE Greater Western Sydney (GWS) calls for university case studies in sustainability assessments

RCE GWS is seeking university case studies in the global RCE community that engage with ‘powerful assessment’ tasks. Powerful assessment means assessment tasks which are integrated, real-world based and tap in combination the personal, interpersonal and cognitive capabilities we know characterise successful early career graduates. Specific areas of interest are: Assessment of social, cultural, economic and environmental sustainability in combination – including any use and assessment of Blue Economy projects/ cradle to cradle design and use of apps, assessment of students' capability for invention and ethical social/economic entrepreneurialism, and finally dilemma-based assessment. Please click here for further information on the Graduate Capability Framework endorsed by Global L&T leaders that have been involved in the OLT National Teaching Fellowship that will give an operational picture of the personal, interpersonal and cognitive capabilities to be assessed. If you are interested, please contact Professor Geoff Scott by 6 November 2015.

Global Online Course: Environmental Education: A transdisciplinary approach to addressing wicked problems

The goal of this course is to create an environmental education “trading zone”—an online space where scholars and students gather to learn about multiple disciplines that shed light on how to improve environmental quality and change environmental behaviors. Each of the lectures, readings, discussions, and case studies will focus on the implications of a particular discipline for environmental education, as well as what environmental education has to contribute to related disciplines and sectors. Learn about how environmental education, environmental governance, environmental psychology, environmental sociology and other disciplines can work together to address ‘wicked problems,’ not readily addressed by working in disciplinary silos. The course is offered by Cornell University and other partner universities and will take place 1 February – 24 April, 2016. For more information please visit the course’s website.

Mobilizing Local Knowledge to Improve Competitiveness Strategies Grant (USD 41,500)

The programme “Mobilizing Knowledge to Improve Competitiveness Strategies” intends to mobilize developing country researchers to produce contextualized knowledge on the issue of industrial policies. This evidence-based research conducted by developing country researchers, can make a unique contribution to the understanding of the processes through which government and companies interact to improve – or conversely penalize – industrial productivity, as well as the measurement of these impacts in developing countries. Deadline is 18 November 2015. For more information and how to apply, click here.

E-learning series on SDGs by Professor Jeffrey Sachs from SDSN

In September 2015, the world’s leaders signed on to a new global sustainable development agenda, an ambitious series of goals known collectively as the “Sustainable Development Goals” or “SDGs”. The SDGs are the result of an unprecedented three-year, multi-stakeholder international consultation with the ambition of setting an integrated social, economic, and environmental vision for the planet. The SDGs respond to the recognition of our shared responsibility to current and future generations to be thoughtful stewards of our world, a responsibility that lies with developed countries and developing countries alike. This mini-series presents and explains the 17 newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals.“Transforming Our World: Achieving the SDGs” is a call to action that extends beyond policy makers to civil society, business, and universities, and is led by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, the Director of the Earth Institute and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Because this is offered as a mini-series, there are no quizzes or assessments, and no certificates will be offered upon completion. Our objective with this mini-series is to encourage dialogue about the path forward in light of the recent adoption of the SDGs. We encourage you to use the discussion forum to share your thoughts and ideas with other students from around the world.

Mainstreaming biodiversity conservation and sustainable management in priority socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes, the GEF Satoyama Project

The GEF-Satoyama Project is calling for proposals in Mainstreaming biodiversity conservation and sustainable management in priority socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes, Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot. These projects shall enhance livelihood, conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services. This will take into account the protection and use of traditional knowledge in conservation measures, as well as the equity among various population groups in the project sites including indigenous peoples, women and other vulnerable groups. Deadline is 18 November 2015. To apply, and for more information, please visit the GEF Satoyama website.

2016 Fellowship applications of the Asia Foundation

Asia Foundation Development Fellows can now apply for the 2016 Fellowship year. Eligibility criteria and application procedure have are now online.You need to be a resident, national or citizen of the following countries where The Asia Foundation has programmes: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam. For more information on how to apply and the programme, please follow this link.

SEAMEO’s call for Cultural Week Video Discussions

In celebration of SEAMEO's Golden 50th Anniversary, the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization is inviting students, teachers and schools in Southeast Asian countries to learn the cultural heritage practices of Southeast Asian countries during 2-6 November 2015 by visiting their YouTube channel. View the videos and stand the chance to win US$200 and more prizes. The videos show the hard work that students and teachers of registered primary and secondary schools from across Southeast Asia have put in documenting their local intangible cultural heritage practices such as dance, songs, crafts and dishes. Following the video, there will be a mini-essay question about the videos (max. 300 words). Timetable: Videos will be launched on YouTube. Day 1 (Nov 2, Mon): Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia and Lao PDR Day 2 (Nov 3, Tues): Malaysia (Part 1/2) Day 3 (Nov 4, Wed): Malaysia (Part 2/2) Day 4 (Nov 5, Thurs): Myanmar and Philippines Day 5 (Nov 6, Fri): Thailand, Vietnam It is recommended that videos are shown at a school assembly or in school classrooms across SEAMEO member countries. Following the video viewings, teachers can initiate a discussion on the 'mini-essay' question posted as a comment from SEAMEO SPAFA. More information can be found in the SEAMEO viewing guidelines.

Latest News

Highlights from the Community to Community Exchange and Capacity Development Workshop for Traditional Knowledge Holders

The Community-to-Community Exchange and Capacity Development Workshop for Traditional Knowledge Holders was held on 28th September to 4th October 2015, in Bengaluru, India and 100 delegates from Africa, South East Asia and the Central Asia gathered to highlight the importance of fostering the linkages between biodiversity and health and the relevance of Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS). UNU-IAS and UNDP among others were co-organizers of this important event. Nine major highlights emerged from this event: (1) Common sense on the potential of Access and Benefit Sharing as a tool for conservation of ecosystems, protection of traditional knowledge and creating sustainable livelihoods. (2) International knowledge exchange and sharing ideas on how to tap into the potential of Access and Benefit Sharing. (3) Innovative documentation and assessment approaches of traditional knowledge and practices. (4) Innovative approaches to conserve biodiversity ex-situ and in-situ. (5) Enterprise development based on sustainable resource management and protection of traditional knowledge. (6) Biocultural Community Protocols (BCPs) as a useful tool to protect the customary values, rights and rules about bio-cultural heritage. (7) Sharing Access and Benefit Sharing experiences and Capacity Development approaches from African countries. (8) Implementation is key! (9) Looking beyond 2015 – building alliances to take further steps for South-South Cooperation. For a more detailed report of the event, please click here.

Report on Unlocking the Potential of Urban Communities Case Studies of Twelve Learning Cities and outcomes of the International Conference on Learning Cities

Outcomes from the 2nd International Conference on Learning Citieswhich took place in Mexico City from 28-30 September are now available on the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC) website. You can also find 12 case studies on Unlocking the Potential of Urban Communities summarised in a UNESCO report. RCE Espoo is featured in this report.

Health promotion must be a focus for postsecondary institutions: Outcomes of the International Congress on Health Promoting Universities and Colleges

The Okanagan Charter commits postsecondary institutions to lead by example in health promotion and to embed health and sustainability into their programs, operations and campus culture. The congress drew attention to the key role of postsecondary institutions in creating healthier communities. Universities and colleges have a unique capacity and responsibility to promote health and well-being, far beyond our research mandate and the training of practitioners in the health disciplines, and we must rise to the challenge. The complex global health challenges we face today demand highly innovative thinking and collaboration which require engagement of all sectors of society. To read the full article by University Affairs click here.

Media and Other Articles

According to UNFCCC, the first draft of the new universal climate change agreement was released and presented to governments - an important step ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December. UN Radio interview with Dan Thomas (spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly) on what was achieved during the intensive talks in NY during the Sustainable Development Summit. UN Radio Extreme poverty rate set to fall below 10% by end of 2015. Ban Ki-moon addresses the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Least Developed Countries (LDCs): Unlocking potential of LDCs must be litmus test for SDGs. Youtube Video: Jeffrey Sachs & Kevin Watkins on financing for sustainable development. UNFCCC: Overview of announced climate finance pledges ahead of Paris. Want to know more about how we can use Big Data to monitor progress in development? Check out the video by UN DESA on Big Data to find out more! Sustainable Development Goals were formally adopted at the UN -- the world has a new plan for tackling poverty, inequality and climate change. Campaigners welcomed the adoption of the SDG's, but there were also warnings that this new agenda could not be fulfilled if countries failed to monitor progress. Read the Guardian article here. These and many more articles can be found on ProSPER.Net. For instantaneous news like us on facebook!

Hot Off the Press: ESD Books, Publications and Other

Free access to NAEE’s Environmental Education Database

In honour of the North American Association for Environmental Education’s annual conference, please enjoy FREE access to a selection of key articles in the Environmental Education article database (until December 31, 2015.)

EEASA 33rd Conference Declaration

Environmental Education Association of Southern Africa EEASA’s membership is comprised of educators in all levels, researchers, environmentalists, NGOs, learners and professional environmental organisations. The full declaration of the conference can be downloaded here.

Handbook Communities in Action: Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development

This handbook describes the principles and policy mechanisms to advance community-based learning for sustainable development, based on the commitments endorsed by participants in the Kominkan-CLC International Conference on ESD. The presentation can be found here.The full publication can be downloaded here.

70 Years 70 Documents

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the UN, the Dag Hammarskjöld Library is presenting an exploration of the 70 key documents that have shaped the UN and the world. Each month new documents will be added, honouring the historic breadth of the organization's work.

Inclusive Growth and Development Report 2015

Around the world, no bigger policy challenge preoccupies leaders than expanding social participation in the process and benefits of economic growth. The report, which covers 112 economies, seeks to improve our understanding of how countries can use a diverse spectrum of policy incentives and institutional mechanisms to make economic growth more socially inclusive without dampening incentives to work, save and invest. South Korea is the nation with the most equitable education system, closely followed by Singapore and Japan according to the Inclusive Growth and Development Report 2015.

Global Sustainable Development Report, 2015

The 2015 Global Sustainable Development Report was launched in June and contributed to the 2015 session of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. The general approach to the 2015 edition of the GSDR report is that of an assessment of assessments, documenting and describing the landscape of information on specific issues. The report is global in coverage while taking into account the perspectives of the five UN regions. Extensive inputs were sought from the UN system, government officials and stakeholders at all levels, including representatives of academies of sciences, of key international assessments, and relevant UN expert groups. You will also find briefs of each chapter and side event information on the website.
This is a publication of UNU-IAS ProSPER.Net Secretariat. Please send your comments, suggestions and materials to Visit ProSPER.Net regularly for up-to-date news and event information