introduction to sustainability

Weekly News # 8 / Introduction to Sustainability (online course)

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  This course introduces the academic discipline of sustainability and explores how today’s human societies can endure in the face of global change, ecosystem degradation and resource limitations.
This course introduces the academic approach of Sustainability and explores how today’s human societies can endure in the face of global change, ecosystem degradation and resource limitations. The course focuses on key knowledge areas of sustainability theory and practice, including population, ecosystems, global change, energy, agriculture, water, environmental economics and policy, ethics, and cultural history.
This subject is of vital importance, seeking as it does to uncover the principles of the long-term welfare of all the peoples of the planet. As sustainability is a cross-disciplinary field of study, this foundation requires intellectual breadth: as I describe it in the class text, understanding our motivations requires the humanities, measuring the challenges of sustainability requires knowledge of the sciences (both natural and social), and building solutions requires technical insight into systems (such as provided by engineering, planning, and management).
More information and how to sign up (it’s free): https://www.coursera.org/course/sustain
.
NB We shared insights from this course on numerous posts last year. We feel it’s great that they are repeating the course for all those who missed it.
sustainable dev newsletter

Weekly News # 7 / Sustainable Development in Action (newsletter)

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Sustainable Development in Action – Issue 2, Volume 1
The latest issue is now available on the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform website. The newsletter aims to highlight the work carried out by Member States, the UN, Major Groups and other relevant stakeholders in implementing sustainable development and leading the way to the Future We Want. You can find it at the link HERE.  
youth summit

Weekly News # 6 / The “Open Competition” – First Youth Sustainable Summit in Berlin (may 2013)

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    (shared post)   Dear colleagues,
If you know people (from all over the world!) between 15 and 25 years old, don’t hesitate to share this information with them! It’s a great opportunity for them to make everyone know their ideas about sustainability and to assist to the First Youth Sustainable Summit in may 2013 in Berlin (one week – the stay in Berlin will be paid by youthinkgreen !!). Please note that there are only two more weeks to go for the “Open Competition”. So, please spread the word !   
We are happy to inform you that youthinkgreen – jugend denkt um.welt calls for an “Open Competition”. With this competition we would like to invite young people dedicated to environmental protection and sustainable ways of living from all over the world to the 1st World Youth Sustainability Summit in Berlin (10. – 20.05.2013).   
The Summit will revolve around the evocative theme of “Youth and Sustainability in Everyday Life – Challenge, Reflect on and Develop New Ways of Living” seen as a great, worldwide challenge and collective task. More than 150 young people from industrialised, emerging and developing countries will come to Berlin to participate in the conference, along with top-class speakers from the scientific, cultural, economic, political and media world to analyse, question and develop the topic through speeches, discussions as well as various workshops. The objective is to draft a common position paper in which the young people from the whole world will develop collective suggestions, impulses and demands for a more responsible future by which they will stand.  Sounds interesting? It surely is! Find the attached invitation with all important details for the “Open Competition” and apply till February, the 28th 2013.  Join the call on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/226594710811444/
We would look forward to your submission!    
Further information? Visit our homepage: youthinkgreen.org Questions? Write us an email: info@youthinkgreen.org 
Find us also on Facebook and Twitter under _youthinkgreen!    
What is youthinkgreen? youthinkgreen – jugend denkt um.welt is an international educational youth initiative and trains about 220 teenagers from 10 industrialised, emerging and developing countries to become climate ambassadors. The initiative works with the local youth to develop concepts tackling environmental/sustainable problems in their local area. These concepts then result in the creation of local sustainability projects, which ultimately aim at mobilising a growing sustainability movement. 
Núria Mitjans 
Intern youthinkgreen – jugend denkt um.welt e.V. 
Strausberger Platz 5 10243 Berlin Germany 
sustainability post

Weekly News #5 / Join the E-discussion: 4 February – 1 March Environmental Sustainability for the World We Want: Moving From the MDGs to Post-2015

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(shared post)  
The UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda has proposed that environmental sustainability be one of the four core dimensions in a post-2015 development agenda, along with inclusive social development, inclusive economic development, and peace and security.  Based on this and the outcomes of Rio+20, there is growing consensus that the post-2015 development agenda will need to apply an integrated approach that includes environmental sustainability as a central component if we are to achieve the future we want.You are cordially invited to join us in this e-discussion “Environmental Sustainability for the World We Want: Moving From the MDGs to Post-2015”, and help to define how best to reflect environmental sustainability in the post-2015 agenda. 
This e-discussion is part of the first phase of the global thematic consultation on environmental sustainability which aims to look broadly at what we have learned from the Millennium Development Goals and to bring forward new thinking and experiences related to integrated approaches that link economic, social and environmental sustainability and touch on cross-cutting issues such as gender equality, human rights, young people, inequalities and the partnerships necessary to make progress.  Building upon the 90 discussion notes that have been received, this first e-discussion provides an additional opportunity for people from around the world to help frame the priorities for the dialogue moving forward. The discussion will address the questions outlined below.
We invite you to participate in your preferred language, to share your views, experiences and questions with citizens from all over the world.
We encourage you to review the Framing Paper for background information to help in thinking about the following questions that will be discussed over the next four weeks:
Week 1: Capitalizing on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and MDG7 Achievements and Addressing the Gaps 1.        How and to what extent can we build on lessons learned from MDG7’s achievement in developing our post-2015 development agenda? 2.        How can the post-2015 agenda address any gaps related to environmental sustainability in the overall MDG framework?
Week 2:  Addressing Development Challenges in a Changing World 1.        Which global trends and uncertainties may influence how environmental sustainability is framed in the international development agenda over the next 10-30 years? 2.        What new elements and considerations would need to be incorporated into the post-2015 agenda for it to be environmentally sustainable and adequately capture the essence of the world’s evolving development/financial/social/ economic/ environmental/etc challenges?
Week 3: Framing Environmental Sustainability in the Post-2015 Agenda 1.        In the spirit of the outcomes of Rio+20, what are the barriers and enablers to gradually moving towards environmental sustainability? 2.        Building on the MDGs and the outcomes of Rio+20, how would you envisage a conceptual framework for the post-2015 agenda that can help drive a transition to an environmentally sustainable future? What are the key characteristics?
Week 4: Consensus and Divergence 1.        What are the topic areas where a consensus is evolving and where further dialogue is needed?
Follow us on Twitter at  @Environment2015
google-hangout-for-work-at-home-or-office

Weekly News # 4 / Upcoming Event – Google + Hangout on Sustainable Development

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Key outcomes of Rio+20 and the way forward will be discussed on 12 February in the first of a series of Google+ Hangouts The Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June last year resulted in a focused political outcome document, which launched clear and ambitious processes for the UN System, Member States and the Major Groups to collectively achieve the Future We Want. As part of the ongoing follow-up of the conference, DESA’s Division for Sustainable Development will host a Google+ Hangout on Tuesday, 12 February at 12 PM EST, featuring key experts on Rio+20 and sustainable development from the UN system and civil society. The first in a series of Google+ Hangouts will highlight the major outcomes of Rio+20 and the key follow-up processes launched at the conference. Panellists for the first “Sustainable Development in Action” Google+ Hangout include Nikhil Seth, Director of DESA’s Division for Sustainable Development; Elizabeth Thompson, Executive Coordinator for the Rio+20 conference; Kimo Goree, Vice-President of the International Institute for Sustainable Development Reporting Services (IISD); and Jacob Scherr, Director of global strategy and advocacy for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The Google+ Hangout will also feature a 20-minute live Q&A session with the panellists. Tweet your questions for panellists to @SustDev using #SDinAction or post them on the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform Facebook page or register for one of our Sustainable Development Action Networks to join the conversation there. The Hangout will be hosted at the UN Google+ account at gplus.to/unitednations For more information: http://bit.ly/RioHangout
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Weekly News # 3 / UN’s Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform

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Posted by Yula Pannadopoulos   This week we are introducing the UN’s Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform. They have a very coherent and useful content on Sustainable Development and you can browse through the list of topics HERE.  I found particularly interesting their Publications in Focus page. You can read more about UN’s Division for Sustainable Development here, and on the Sustainable Development in 21st Century (SD21) here. === Heads up on the upcoming event:

Google+ Hangout on sustainable development

Key outcomes of Rio+20 and the way forward will be discussed on 12 February in the first of a series of Google+ Hangouts The Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June last year resulted in a focused political outcome document, which launched clear and ambitious processes for the UN System, Member States and the Major Groups to collectively achieve the Future We Want. As part of the ongoing follow-up of the conference, DESA’s Division for Sustainable Development will host a Google+ Hangout on Tuesday, 12 February at 12 PM EST, featuring key experts on Rio+20 and sustainable development from the UN system and civil society. The first in a series of Google+ Hangouts will highlight the major outcomes of Rio+20 and the key follow-up processes launched at the conference. Panellists for the first “Sustainable Development in Action” Google+ Hangout include Nikhil Seth, Director of DESA’s Division for Sustainable Development; Elizabeth Thompson, Executive Coordinator for the Rio+20 conference; Kimo Goree, Vice-President of the International Institute for Sustainable Development Reporting Services (IISD); and Jacob Scherr, Director of global strategy and advocacy for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The Google+ Hangout will also feature a 20-minute live Q&A session with the panellists. Tweet your questions for panellists to @SustDev using #SDinAction or post them on the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform Facebook page or register for one of our Sustainable Development Action Networks to join the conversation there. The Hangout will be hosted at the UN Google+ account at gplus.to/unitednations For more information: http://bit.ly/RioHangout  
IMG-20121010-01340

Weekly news # 2 / UNEP’s Resource Efficiency Programme

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Posted by Yula Pannadopoulos

Continuing on last week’s post, today I’ll be sharing more links on UNEP resources.

In the past couple of days I explored their Resource Efficiency Programme, and I found it absolutely great – the content they shared and the way they have presented it.

Here is what they say about the programme on UNEP’s website:

UNEP works to promote resource efficiency and sustainable consumption and production (SCP) in both developed and developing countries. The focus is on achieving increased understanding and implementation by public and private decision makers, as well as civil society, of policies and actions for resource efficiency and sustainable consumption and production. This includes the promotion of sustainable resource management in a life cycle perspective for goods and services.

A key approach to UNEP’s work on resource efficiency is the life cycle perspective. By reducing the environmental impact of goods and services at every stage, from raw material extraction and transportation to manufacturing, distribution, use and disposal, we can achieve more wellbeing with less material consumption. This enhances our potential to meet human needs while respecting the ecological carrying capacity of the Earth. This is closely related to the decoupling concept used in UNEP: decoupling economic growth from resource use and environmental degradation – or doing more and better with less. Reforms in government policies, changes in private sector management practices and decisions, and increased consumer awareness are needed to achieve decoupling. It is very worth while going through their Multimedia and Publications pages as well. ==== PS : Interested in our blog post from the past week? Check it out : The World Economic Forum and Sustainability – any connection?