Jobs and Training
1. PSI recruitment for SDRN
The Environment Group at Policy Studies Institute (PSI) is expanding its research team and wishes to appoint two researchers: one a full-time Research Fellow (Ref: 50000135) and the second a part-time (0.6 FTE) early career Research Associate (Ref: 50011088). The roles will involve conducting and disseminating policy-relevant, environment-related research on a range of projects and contributing to the work of the Defra-funded Sustainable Development Research Network (SDRN), which PSI coordinates. Further information about PSI is available here. Candidates should apply via the University of Westminster website (see link below). Closing date: 5 March 2012
1. Call for papers – 2012 Berlin Conference on Evidence for Sustainable Development, 5-6 October
This conference, which is jointly organised by the Environmental Policy Research Centre at FU Berlin and the LIAISE Network of Excellence will examine the knowledge base used in political decisions about sustainable development, the construction of evidence, and the ways evidence is used in decision-making. The conference aims to bring together scientists from different disciplines and strands of research that produce evidence to support decision-making on sustainable development. The conference will also be relevant for researchers who study the use of such evidence by policymakers. Furthermore, policy-makers and practitioners working at the science-policy interface or dealing with evidence use in policy-making are invited to share their experiences. The deadline for the receipt of paper abstracts is 1st April, 2012.
2. Survey – Education for Sustainable Development in the UK
Sustainability and Environmental Education (SEEd), an umbrella membership organisation for NGOs, educational institutions and local authorities interested in environmental education and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is collating responses from the UK on how ESD works in practice for UNESCO’s Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD). The aims of UNESCO’s survey are to engage with key international stakeholders, reflect on global trends and experiences across a range of sectors and explore how the ESD sector is evolving. All formal and non-formal education bodies, Government (local and national) networks and businesses delivering ESD are invited to respond. SEEd will collate a full report in the Spring and contributors will be able to take part in SEEd’s Annual Policy Forum in April. The survey will take a few minutes to complete and the deadline is 29 February.
1. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education – free access until 18 February
The International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education has granted free access to SDRN subscribers for a limited time until 18 February. The journal seeks to address the need for the dissemination of information on sustainability matters at higher education institutions. In order to access the current issue and the archive of 12 years of the journal, go to Emerald’s website and use the following log-in details:
2. The relative greenhouse gas impacts of realistic dietary choices
This paper examines the greenhouse gas implications of different dietary choices, and is written by Mike Berners-Lee (author of How Bad are Bananas? The carbon impact of everything) and colleagues at the Lancaster Environment Centre. The researchers calculated that potential GHG savings of 22 per cent and 26 per cent could be made by changing from the current UK-average diet to a vegetarian or vegan diet, respectively and thus that realistic choices about diet can make substantial differences to embodied GHG emissions.
1. Low Carbon Transitions: Relevant Lessons from the 1970s Crisis?
25 April 2012, CUBE Building, Portland Street, Manchester
This workshop, in the ESRC Sustainability Transitions Seminar Series, will consider the similarities and differences between the economic, ecological and political crises being faced now and those faced in the 1970s. It will look at how ‘experimental’ responses in both periods – new technologies, governance arrangements, patterns of consumption, modes of financing, forms of planning etc. were mobilised as responses to crises and what problems they were seeking to address. The workshop is aimed at practitioners and researchers working on contemporary transitions, with a view to making productive use of some historical perspective and will be highly interactive. Andy Beckett, author of When the Lights went out: Britain in the seventies, will reflect on the contemporary relevance of his book. To book a place, email Vicky Simpson at email@example.com
2. Securing the Future of Our Natural Environment
Thursday 15 March 2012, One Wimpole Street - London, 09:00 - 16:00
The Natural Environment White Paper: ‘The Natural Choice: Securing the Value of Nature’ (June 2011) set out the Government’s environmental priorities for the next 50 years. This event, organised by Inside Government, will consider the development of the White Paper and how its proposals can be taken forward, including the plans for Local Nature Partnerships, which will run schemes at community level. Speakers include David Cooper, Head, Natural Environment Strategic Unit, Defra; Dr Alan Whitehead MP, Member, Environmental Audit Committee; Prof Andrew Watkinson, Director, Living With Environmental Change Programme, NERC; Jim Smyllie, Executive Director, Delivering with Communities, Natural England and Hugh Ellis, Chief Planner, Town and Country Planning Association.
3. Feed-in Tariffs: progress and next steps
Morning, 8th March 2012, Central London
This seminar, organised by Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum, will focus on the development and take-up of microgeneration technologies in the UK; the key features of the Government’s comprehensive review: stakeholder reaction and next steps; the practical and technological challenges facing UK microgeneration; and the long-term strategy for UK microgeneraton following the comprehensive review.
4. International Greening Education Event
10th-12th October, Karlsruhe, Germany
This three-day event, organised by Etech, Germany, will provide a forum to examine how climate change, depleting natural resources, loss of biodiversity and other environmental threats are affecting the education sector. Issues to be discussed include what needs to be done to make sustainability an integral part of teaching and learning and how does one go beyond environmental awareness-raising and begin engaging pupils, students and adult learners in creating a sustainable world?
1. Building Research & Information – ‘Regenerative Design and Development’
Regenerative design and development are considered the most comprehensive basis for rethinking the role of building as a catalyst that can positively support the co-evolution of human and natural systems. Regenerative design challenges the orthodoxy of current green building practice and the tools that support it (LEED, BREEAM, etc). It is not the building that is ‘regenerated’, but the ways that the act of building can be a catalyst for positive change within the unique ‘place’ where it is situated. Regenerative design combines systems thinking, community engagement and a respect for the specificities of place (particularly the eco-system services). The special issue explores the theoretical implications of what regenerative design means for the built environment, how the discourse on the built environment can be re-framed, as well as significant emerging lessons gained from the practice of ‘regenerative’ development.
2. i-Tree Eco Project in Torbay
Torbay has conducted the UK’s first pilot i-Tree Eco Project, to measure the value of the ecosystem services that its trees provide. By measuring the structure of the urban forest (and this covers 11.8% in Torbay), the benefits of ecosystem services, such as air quality improvement, carbon sequestration and temperature reduction, can be calculated. The UK pilot was delivered as a partnership between Hi-line (project management and field work), Davey Group (i-Tree Eco developers) Forest Research (UK data handling), Torbay Council (host area) with assistance from Natural England and a report on its findings – Torbay’s Urban Forest Assessing Urban Forest Effects and Values – has now been produced.
1. Sustainable Development in the European Union – 2011 monitoring report of the EU sustainable development strategy
This is the fourth report charting progress in the implementation of the 2006 EU Sustainable Development Strategy (EU SDS) which describes how the EU will more effectively meet the challenge of sustainable development. It assesses progress towards SD by comparing an evaluation of 11 headline indicators with that of the previous, 2009 report. The indicators are real GDP per capita, resource productivity, risk of poverty or social exclusion, employment rate of older workers, life expectancy and healthy life years, greenhouse gas emissions, consumption of renewables, energy consumption of transport relative to GDP, abundance of common birds, conservation of fish stock and official development assistance. The report points out that a direct comparison with the last report is difficult because of the disruptive effect of the economic and financial crisis since 2007 and in order to compensate for the differences, the evaluations of the previous report were revised in line with the datasets and methodologies used in the current report. A comparison of these shows that the situation has become less favourable for real GDP per capita and employment of older workers but more favourable for greenhouse gas emissions and official development assistance.
2. Second State of Scotland’s Greenspace Report
The report sets out, for the first time, data on the amount and type of greenspace for all of urban Scotland, with private gardens accounting for 39 per cent, natural spaces 22 per cent, amenity greenspace 22 per cent, sports 10 per cent, public parks and gardens eight per cent and the remainder as play spaces, allotments and burial grounds. Case studies show how local authorities are using the data to inform the strategic planning and management of greenspace and the report is intended to provide a baseline for analysing future trends and examining the impacts of greenspace policy and investment. It also reveals that work is ongoing in local authorities to undertake quality audits of greenspace, since this is often the most important factor in determining their use and benefit to local communities.
3. UN Global Report on Higher Education for Sustainability
A new UN commissioned Sustainability report has been released this month. Higher Education’s Commitment to Sustainability: From Understanding to Action is the fourth volume in a series published by the Global Universities Network for Innovation (GUNI) in collaboration with the United Nations University. The report is focused on the transformation of HE towards sustainability and the role of the sector in building sustainable communities. An initial overview chapter, written by Prof Daniella Tilbury from the University of Gloucestershire, addresses questions about global commitment and progress in the sector. It draws on key research evidence from the literature and reflects on the trends evidenced in the regional reports which were commissioned by GUNI for this publication. The chapter reviews teaching and learning, campus and community engagement, leadership as well as research activities. It identifies pathways for the future action.
4. Pro-poor benefit distribution in REDD+
This report by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) looks at some of the issues related to benefit distribution at village and household level from REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) as opposed to the more commonly evaluated benefits at international level. It considers factors that are likely to affect benefit distribution at a village such as whether payments are made directly to households or to communities as a whole and whether payments are made in cash or in-kind. In relation to those questions, it also looks at what the provision of benefits should be based on (e.g. land size, emissions reductions), how to ensure that vulnerable groups do not miss out and what impact the type of benefit transferred would have on the wellbeing of the communities and local economy.
5. UK Climate Change Risk Assessment
This report, published by Defra, builds on the 2009 UK Climate Projections to develop an understanding of climate risk and provide detailed analysis of the practical implications of climate change across all sections of the economy and society. The CCRA is intended to help the Government, businesses and other groups to assess the priority areas for action, by enabling comparison of different risks based on the scale of their financial, social and environmental impacts, their likelihood, and how soon the risk is likely to occur. The CCRA is the first assessment of its kind for the UK and will be reviewed every five years.
1. SDRN Website: Jobs and Training
Jobs and Training opportunities around the Sustainable Development Research network are updated frequently on the ‘Jobs and Training’ page of the SDRN website.
The SDRN Mailing is a moderated information resource and dissemination service for SDRN members. You can make use of this service by sending any information for inclusion in the mailing to Ben Watson.
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SDRN Mailing, 15th February 2012