Jointly organized by the Governance, Environment, and Markets (GEM) Initiative at Yale University, and the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Rio+20 to 2015: A New Architecture for a Sustainable New World Conference at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies concluded on November 2nd, 2013. The conference, spanning two days, brought tight focus to the sustainability agenda as put forward by the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development as it moves forward towards important deadlines in 2015. GEG Project Director Maria Ivanova was the moderator for the panel “The New Development Agenda Architecture.”
Representing the GEG Project, the Center for Governance and Sustainability, and UMass Boston, Research Associate Michael Denney gave a presentation on HoA-REC/N’s work in the Gambella region of Ethiopia.
On Wednesday, April 24th, at UMass Boston, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres gave a lecture on the future of climate change. Ms. Figueres spoke of the challenges she encounters in her day-to-day work, and she put those challenges in the context of the global efforts to combat climate change. In her words, climate change is “the greatest challenge that humanity will ever face.” And if the international community cannot come together to address climate change, “5 billion people will be catapulted into poverty.”
During her time at UMass, Ms. Figueres also met with members of the Center for Governance and Sustainability and the GEG Project for a private discussion on the future of environmental governance in the Post-2015 agenda.
The Center for Governance and Sustainability organized a faculty-student delegation to participate in the 2013 Governing Council and Global Ministerial Environmental Forum of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in Nairobi (Kenya). The delegation included Prof. Maria Ivanova, Center’s Co-DIrector and two students/research associates: Natalia Escobar-Pemberthy, PhD candidate in the department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance, and Daniel Zaleznik, Masters Student of International Relations.
The trip to Nairobi also served as an opportunity to discuss the Center’s different projects with the participants, in order to obtain their feedback and suggestions in the analysis of issues such as the science-policy interface and the implementation of global environmental conventions. Additionally, the trip was one of the first steps in the formalization of UMass Boston and the Center’s partnership with Addis Ababa University and the Horn of Africa Regional Environment Center & Network (HoAREC&N).
Between the 17th and the 26th of November, UMass Boston and the GEG Project co-hosted a conference, Mainstreaming Environment and Sustainability in African/Ethiopian Universities (MESA/MESE), with its esteemed collaborators, the Horn of Africa Regional Environment Center and Network (HoAREC/N), UNEP, and Rhodes University at Addis Ababa University. The conference, which began on Monday, November 19th, was designed to guide University Presidents in Ethiopia and Africa towards a unified sustainability curriculum for Africa, and designed by Africans.
The UMass delegation, comprised of Provost Winston Langley, Prof. Maria Ivanova, and Michael Denney, engaged with a number of African universities with the aim of establishing meaningful collaborations on environmental and sustainability issues. Provost Langley addressed the conference on Wednesday, the 21st, and Prof. Ivanova led a workshop with students from Addis Ababa University.
For existing MESA educational toolkit documents, click here.
On September 21st, 2012, the Center for Governance and Sustainability at UMass Boston celebrated its flagship event, “Designing Global Governance for Sustainability: UMass Boston Brings Research to Policy.” The event brought together more than 70 representatives of academia, international organizations, national and local governments, civil society, and students, and included relevant presentations from experts in the field of global governance.
The event served to launch the new PhD program in Global Governance and Human Security. Prof. Maria Ivanova and Prof. Craig Murphy, Co-directors of the Center, welcomed the first cohort of 12 students from 7 countries and several new faculty members whose scholarship and policy impacts span the globe.
The Center for Governance and Sustainability also hosted the launch in the United States of UNEP’sreport, “Global Environmental Outlook GEO-5.” Prof. Ivanova was one of the coordinating lead authors for Chapter 17, “Global Responses.” The Global Environmental Outlook provides an integrated assessment of the state, trends and outlook for the global environment and is a consultative, participatory process that builds capacity for conducting research and analysis. Matt Billot, Head of the Global Environmental Outlook (GEO) Unit within UNEP’s Division of Early Warning and Assessment, joined five of the leading and contributing authors in a discussion about the report’s central foci.
Finally, the event served to highlight another core initiative of the Center: the Readers’ Guide to the World Economic Forum’s Global Redesign Initiative. Based on the report, “The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Everybody’s Business: Strengthening International Cooperation in a More Interdependent World,” Dr. Harris Gleckman, Senior Fellow at the Center for Governance and Sustainability developed a guide to analyze the WEF’s numerous recommendations on security, health, environment, education, business ethics, and over 30 other spheres of international activities. The Readers’ Guide seeks to stimulate a broad-based discussion in the classroom and beyond and it is available at the Center’s website.
On June 19, 2012, undergraduate and graduate students from thirteen teams from nine different countries presented their projects to the Global Climate Coalition Student Workshop, that took place as a side event to the celebration of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Rio + 20. This event was organized by Yale University, Fundaçaõ Getulio Vargas and UMass Boston.
Events on Global Environmental Governance Reform
11-15 July in Singapore. Organized by ECO Singapore and supported by the GEG Project.
26-28 June in Berne, Switzerland. Joint initiative with the Federal Office for the Environment of Switzerland and the World Trade Institute at the University of Berne.
24-25 May in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Co-organized with the Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre/Network at Addis Ababa University, the Environmental Protection Authority of Ethiopia, Forum for Environment, and Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society.
Events at the Center for Governance and Sustainability at UMass Boston
When GEG Project Director Professor Maria Ivanova joined the faculty of the University of Massachusetts Boston, one of her first initiatives was to create a new Center for Governance and Sustainability in the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance (CRHSGG), together with her colleague Professor Craig Murphy. The GEG Project is one of the flagship initiatives to be integrated into the Center along with a range of other research projects on development governance and sustainability.
The Global Environmental Governance Project team has organized the following events at the Center for Governance and Sustainability in 2011:
3 November 2011: Trajectories to Sustainability: People, Planet and Prosperity
29 April 2011: Round Table Discussion with Environmental Protection Directors from Yunnan, China
28 March 2011: Inauguration of Center for Governance and Sustainability with Ambassador Lumumba Di-Aping
Regional GEG Consultation Workshop in Uganda[/caption]In August and September 2010, the Global Environmental Governance Project initiated and sponsored five regional events on governance in China, Argentina, Uganda, Nepal, and Ethiopia. Led by young environmental leaders in those countries who attended the 2009 GEG Forum in Glion, these consultations aimed to generate genuine engagement in thought and action on global environmental governance in all the regions. Involving stakeholders in different parts of the world in the governance debate is important for successful solutions, since different models are functional in different contexts and all perspectives are needed for designing flexible environmental governance systems for the future.
Read more about each of the regional events here:
Global Environmental Governance Forum: Reflecting on the Past, Moving into the Future
The Global Environmental Governance Forum: Reflecting on the Past, Moving into the Future took place from June 28th to July 2nd, 2009 in Glion, Switzerland and brought together several generations of environmental leaders, including all five successive UNEP Executive Directors (Maurice Strong, Mostafa Tolba, Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Klaus Töpfer, and Achim Steiner).
Participants from 26 countries gathered in order to rediscover the past, analyze the present and imagine the future of global environmental governance. Through intensive dialogue and deliberation the Forum fostered and inspired renewed environmental leadership. Further objectives of the Forum were:
- Inject new vigor and thinking into the contemporary negotiations on international environmental governance
- Generate possible options for environmental governance reform and for an institutional architecture for climate change drawing on the collective knowledge of environmental leaders from several generations