Issue 27: January 2015
Message from the ProSPER.Net Secretariat:
Happy New Year! We hope you had a wonderful holiday season.
Last November, the UNESCO World Conference on ESD (WCESD) concluded the UN Decade of ESD (DESD) with great success and launched the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD. Thanks to your active participation, we made a significant contribution to the success of the WCESD through the International Conference on Higher Education for Sustainable Development held in Nagoya, Japan on 9 November 2014. UNU-IAS is committed to implementing the GAP’s five priority areas in close collaboration with ProSPER.Net, and in this regard, we seek your continued support and cooperation.
It is also our great pleasure to share with you that, as a result of the 8th ProSPER.Net General Assembly in Nagoya, Japan held on 8 November 2014, ProSPER.Net now comprises 33 higher education institutions, including the new addition of Queensland University of Technology, Australia to our network. We encourage you to help promote ProSPER.Net to your networks and to other potential members. We also encourage you to enhance collaboration among members of ProSPER.Net.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to share the new direction of UNU-IAS which is to contribute to international debates and policy processes by focusing on three strategic areas: (i) the SDGs and the post-2015 development agenda, (ii) biodiversity and ecosystem services, and (iii) disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. Under this strategic direction, ProSPER.Net is also expected to shift its focus from its regular gatherings to more programme-oriented and policy-related research activities.
In June this year, the ProSPER.Net General Assembly will meet in Shanghai. This has been made possible by the kind hosting of Tongji University. This meeting, in conjunction with the ProSPER.Net Board Meeting, the Forum on Sustainability in Higher Education, and the Young Scientist Award Symposium, will be an important gathering for us, where we can take stock and reflect on our achievements, challenges, and opportunities. With these strategic areas, and bearing in mind the ProSPER.Net Strategy and Roadmap, we can now look ahead to another interesting year of fruitful research and collaboration.
As we enter 2015, we wish you all a successful year and look forward to our further collaboration.
Director, ProSPER.Net Secretariat
First UN Winter School on SCP held in Asia and the Pacific
The UN Winter School on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in Asia and the Pacific was held successfully on 8-19 December 2014 at the Asian Institute of Technology in Pathumthani, Thailand. It was a joint effort of UNEP and UNU-IAS in collaboration with the Switch Asia Programme and the 10-YFP on SCP. Three Thailand-based members of ProSPER.Net were involved, namely Asian Institute of Technology, Chulalongkorn University and Prince of Songkla University.
There were 33 participants from 15 countries, of whom 21 were women. The objective of the Winter School was to improve the knowledge of future decision makers 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.
The School’s second offering is planned for the later part of 2015 and a call for participation will be made in due course. For more information please visit the event’s website.
ESD in the news: Shaping the future we want
Article in the New Straits Time online by Dzulkifli Abdul Razak:
THE 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), which aimed at a sustainable 21st century for the global community, described the future as follows: “The well-being of humanity is inextricably linked to the living environment that sustains us. Our ocean makes Earth habitable for people, by providing and regulating the climate, weather, oxygen, food, jobs and many ecosystem services. Yet our ocean and its resources are deteriorating and depleting. Today our ocean depends on us, as we depend on the ocean. Read more
ESD in the news: Faith-based Education for Sustainable Development
A DECADE can pass by in the blink of an eye when we are engrossed in turning an idea into reality. Ten years ago, then United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan said just that of “sustainable development”. He said: “Our biggest challenge in this new century is to take an idea that seems abstract
— sustainable development — and turn it into a reality for all the world’s people.” Read more
Pathways to Climate Change Adaptation: The Case of Small Island Developing States
UNEP – Environmental Education and Training Unit
26 January – 28 February 2015
Massive Online Open Course
This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) provides an overview of climate change adaptation in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) with a focus on the environmental perspective. It will present the key concepts regarding the issues of adaptation to climate change and the methodological tools needed to analyse challenges faced by SIDS, in order to propose sustainable solutions.
The course looks at how each country can assess its specific vulnerabilities to climate change, and the tools available for protecting the well-being, economy, and environment of its citizens.
At the end of this course launched by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the University of Geneva (UNIGE) in collaboration with the National Adaptation Planning Global Support Programme (NAP-GSP), participants will be able to:
Explain why countries will have to adapt to climate change and provide examples of what this could look like; explain why Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are particularly vulnerable to climate change; outline how to analyse climate risks and discuss why some countries are more vulnerable than others; and finally discuss how adaptation can contribute to sustainable development goals.
For more information please visit the course’s website.
The 6th International Conference on Environmental and Rural Development
7-8 March 2015
The consortium among the International Society of Environmental and Rural Development (ISERD), the Bohol Island State University (BISU) and the Institute of Environment Rehabilitation and Conservation (ERECON) is pleased to announce the 6th International Conference on Environmental and Rural Development to be held in Bohol Island State University of (BISU), Bohol, Philippines.
The main objective of this conference is to discuss and develop the suitable and effective processes and strategies for sustainable rural development taking into account of agricultural and environmental aspects in developing countries. Scientists and facilitators of all disciplines belonging to international, governmental or non-governmental organizations are invited to participate and submit contributions. The official language of the conference is English. For more information on this event please visit the conference website.
The 8th Asia-Pacific RCE Meeting (AP RCE Meeting) will be organized in Cebu and Bohol, Philippines from 5-8 March 2015 in conjunction with the 6th International Conference on Environmental and Rural Development (ICERD). This AP RCE Meeting will be a joint collaboration of RCE Cebu, RCE Bohol and RCE Greater Phnom Penh with the support of the UNU-IAS.
15th International Conference on “Science and Technology for Culture”
Science Council of Asia
15-16 May 2015
Siemreap City, Cambodia
In a Cambodian ancient town Siem Reap, where the world heritage such as Angkor Wat is located, the Science Council of Asia, an international organization joined by Asian Academies, will hold its 15th annual international conference with the theme of “Science and Technology for Culture” focusing on (1)
Contribution of S & T to Culture Preservation, (2) Resilience of Culture in Changing Global Climate, (3) Application of Anthropology, Humanity and Green Economics towards tourism with sustainable development.”
World Bank Report: Turn Down the Heat: Confronting the New Climate Normal
The Turn Down the Heat report series, prepared for the Word Bank by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics, provides snapshots of the latest climate science. The three reports warn that without concerted action, temperatures are on pace to rise to 4°C above pre-industrial times by the end of this century. The first report (2012), looks at the risks of a world 4°C or even 2°C warmer. The second (2013) examines the impact on Africa, South Asia, and South East Asia. The third (2014), finds that about 1.5°C warming is already locked in and explores the impact on Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
“Today’s report confirms what scientists have been saying – past emissions have set an unavoidable course to warming over the next two decades, which will affect the world’s poorest and most vulnerable
people the most,” said Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group. “We’re already seeing record-breaking temperatures occurring more frequently, rainfall increasing in intensity in some places, and drought-prone regions like the Mediterranean becoming drier. For a full version of the latest report, please click here.
If you wish to contribute to the monthly bulletin or have news, upcoming events, or publications, you would like to share, please let us know. You can e-mail it to ProSPERNET@unu.edu. In addition, we encourage you to visit the ProSPER.NET portal at https://prospernet.ias.unu.edu/.
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