ProSPER.Net E-Bulletin Issue 86 (March 2020)


Message from the ProSPER.Net Secretariat

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Greetings from the ProSPER.Net Secretariat! We hope everyone across the network is staying healthy and well during this difficult time the world is currently facing. To all of our members and their communities, including faculty, staff, and students – we would like to wish you all continued strength for the coming weeks and months ahead, as we get through this unprecedented challenge together.

Regarding applications for membership to ProSPER.Net for 2020, please be reminded these close at the end of next month. Membership is limited to higher education institutions located in the Asia-Pacific region that offer postgraduate education and research in sustainable development (SD) and in fields related to education for sustainable development (ESD). Read more about the application process and how to apply here. The deadline for applications is 30 April, 2020 (11:59pm JST).

If you have any news, open calls, upcoming events, or publications you would like to share via this bulletin, please complete this form and email your submission to the ProSPER.Net Secretariat at (submissions close on the 15th of each month).

From all of us at the ProSPER.Net Secretariat, please stay safe and healthy! 

ProSPER.Net Secretariat

ProSPER.Net Member Profiles


Has your institution updated its profile information for inclusion on the ProSPER.Net website? Having a complete profile is a great opportunity for member institutions to display information about their university’s courses and programmes, in addition to enabling greater collaboration and communication within the network.

Take a look at recently updated profiles from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMIT)Prince of Songkla UniversityMahidol UniversityHokkaido University, Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM)and the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS).

Members wishing to update their profile are requested to complete the ProSPER.Net Member Profile form and submit it to the ProSPER.Net Secretariat at

Open Calls

Call for Expressions of Interest: World Sustainable Development Teach-In Day 2020 

The 1st World Sustainable Development Teach-In Day, a concept pioneered by the Research and Transfer Centre 'Sustainable Development and Climate Change Management' of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, was held on 3 December, 2010 and was attended by over 500 universities and nearly 20,000 students. It was repeated in 2013 (view a summary here).

Now, 10 years after the first event was organised, the 'World Sustainable Development Teach-In Day 2020' (WSD-TD 2020) will be held on Friday, 4 December, 2020. WSD-TD 2020 is a major online event, which provides lecturers & learners with the latest information, the latest trends and insights on sustainable development, and in particular, the SDGs, and will showcase strategies and practical examples of projects from all over the world.

The open access action nature of the event aims to facilitate networking and knowledge transfer within a truly international digital learning environment. Academic staff from universities all over the world are encouraged to hold a Teach-In-Day lecture on 4 December, 2020, becoming a part of a global sustainability movement. They will provide a vast amount of tailored presentations including helpful teaching notes to be used by lecturers worldwide. This will make the WSD-TD 2020 not only instructive, but also very interesting to learners.

Colleagues who may wish to become involved and prepare a presentation to be used as part of WSD-TD 2020 can obtain further details here.

WSD-TD 2020 is organised by the European School of Sustainability Science and Research (ESSSR) and the Inter-University Sustainable Development Research Programme (IUSDRP) and led by the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany) and Manchester Metropolitan University (UK).

Latest News

ProSPER.Net Joint Research Project - Safe Havens: Relocating SIDS Communities Threatened By Climate Change

Migration and displacement around the world are on the rise, and one of the engines of this mobility is climate change, which contributes to rapid-onset natural disasters as well as slow-onset impacts such as chronic drought and desertification. Nowhere is climate change impacting households and communities more than in small island developing states (SIDS), where a rise in the frequency and magnitude of ocean storms, rising sea levels, soil salinity, erosion and other impacts are increasingly jeopardising the physical and economic security of coastal communities.

The ProSPER.Net joint research project, 'Safe Havens: Relocating SIDS Communities Threatened by Climate Change', will investigate relocation of vulnerable communities in Fiji, a country that is widely recognised as a leader in climate change adaptation in the South Pacific. Fiji has attracted broad interest for its efforts to identify vulnerable communities, particularly those along the coasts or in flood-prone river basins, and to offer assistance in resettling these communities on safer land, in conformance with recently issued planned relocation guidelines. However, relocation is regarded as an option of last resort, a complex and protracted endeavour necessitating an initial request to move by the community, negotiation on land acquisition, financing, livelihood assistance, coordination by relevant stakeholders and human rights safeguards.

This research will seek to identify challenges and considerations for successful relocation by both government and NGO programs, and will be led by Dr. Jane Singer of the Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies at Kyoto University, with the collaboration of two noted researchers on climate-linked mobility and adaptation, Dr. Eberhard Weber of the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji, and Dr. Ryo Fujikura of Hosei University in Tokyo. Read more 


Enhancing the Role of Higher Education Institutions in the Local Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals

The ProSPER.Net Joint Research Project, 'Development Of A Framework For The Local Implementation Of The SDGs' (led by Keio University, with project members from TERI School of Advanced Studies, University of the Philippines Diliman, and Chulalongkorn University) has recently published a policy brief, 'Enhancing the Role of Higher Education Institutions in the Local Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals'.

The policy brief illustrates outcomes from the project, which was launched to examine the local implementation of the SDGs and to develop guiding principles for HEIs, and covers findings from four case studies undertaken in India, Japan, Philippines, and Thailand. Read the policy brief here.

Video: Global Trends in Sustainable Lifestyles and Education

This video, from the One Planet network 10YFP Sustainable Lifestyles and Education Programme, summarises the global trends of 2020 within sustainable lifestyles and education, such as the increased inclusion of sustainability in education, the Whole Schools approach, and more. The content of the video was supplied by the Multistakeholder Advisory Committee members of the Sustainable Lifestyles and Education Programme. Watch the video here. 

Building Resilience against Biological Hazards and Pandemics: Covid-19 and Its Implications for the Sendai Framework 

2020 has become the year of coping with COVID-19. This year was to be the 'super year' for sustainability, a year of strengthening global actions to accelerate the transformations required for achieving the 2030 agenda. Authored by Dr. Riyanti Djalante, Prof. Rajib Shaw, and Prof. Andrew DeWit and published in the journal Progress in Disaster Science, the authors of this paper, ‘Building Resilience against Biological Hazards and Pandemics: Covid-19 and Its Implications for the Sendai Framework’, argue that 2020 can and must be a year of both. 

Thus they call for more utilisation of the health-emergency disaster risk management (Health-EDRM) framework to complement current responses to COVID-19 and the patent risk of similar phenomena in the future. To make their case, they examine current responses to COVID-19 and their implications for the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), and argue that current mechanisms and strategies for disaster resilience, as outlined in the SFDRR, can enhance responses to epidemics or global pandemics such as COVID-19.

In this regard, several general and DRR-specific recommendations are made in this contribution from UNU to the SFDRR. These recommendations concern knowledge and science provision in understanding disaster and health-related emergency risks, the extension of disaster risk governance to manage both disaster risks and potential health-emergencies, particularly for humanitarian coordination aspects; and the strengthening of community-level preparedness and response, all of which have implications for policy. Access the paper here. 

This is a publication of UNU-IAS ProSPER.Net Secretariat. The bulletin is a great way to share your activities, events and news as a ProSPER.Net member with the rest of the network. Feel free to send us any information you may deem relevant for the rest of the community by completing this form and emailing it to We look forward to your inputs! Visit ProSPER.Net regularly for up-to-date news and event information.

ProSPER.Net Secretariat 

United Nations University 
Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability 
5-53-70 Jingumae, 
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925