Developing Capacities Of UNESCO Designations For Sustainable Development

Developing Capacities Of UNESCO Designations For Sustainable Development

India Education Diary Bureau Admin in Developing Capacities of UNESCO Designations For Sustainable Development informs that there could be no future without focusing on the nexus between heritage and the creative economy. In a move to help in that direction, UNESCO designated sites to the proclamation of 2021 as the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development.

Developing Capacities Of UNESCO Designations For Sustainable Development

The Fondazione Santagata for the Economics of Culture has just released the report of a survey conducted with the support of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, in order to assess the impact of the first 5 workshops conducted under the initiative “International Academy on UNESCO Designations and Sustainable Development” (2015-2019). During this fruitful experience, the Academy convened approximately 130 professionals working for UNESCO designated sites from about 50 countries across the world and generated evident positive impact on capacities to contribute to local sustainable development, both directly and indirectly.

The International Academy on UNESCO Designations and Sustainable Development is a capacity-building programme conceived and launched in 2015 by the Santagata Foundation for the Economics of Culture and UNESCO through its Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, as part of the interdisciplinary and intersectoral programme of the latter.

The International Academy aims to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda through strengthening the capacities of managing authorities and other local practitioners working with UNESCO designations, with special focus on World Heritage properties, Biosphere Reserves, Global Geoparks, elements inscribed in the Lists for Intangible Cultural Heritage, and Creative Cities. The project was made possible thanks to the annual contribution of Italy to the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe.

So far, 5 yearly international workshops have been organised since 2015, with the exception of 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Held primarily in Turin and the Piedmont region, with an interactive programme combining lectures, group works and meetings with stakeholders in local real-case scenarios, these workshops saw the attendance of a diverse group of participants from the European region and beyond, creating a community of professionals and incrementing their skills and understanding on how to foster sustainable development in UNESCO designated sites through the integrated management of cultural and natural resources.©Fondazione Santagata. Mont-Viso Transboundary Biosphere Reserve

In response to the disruption of the Academy’s regular activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe and the Santagata Foundation launched an in-depth survey to evaluate the impact of the workshops held in previous years, aimed at participants and local partners involved. The outcomes of the survey were analysed and presented in a technical report, which offers evidence of the positive impact of the Academy especially in terms of knowledge advancement, networking and regional cooperation.© UNESCO

The Academy experience helped participants to envisage and pursue new partnership opportunities in their respective local contexts at different levels: within the governance framework of single designated sites; across different policy sectors (e.g. culture, environment, tourism, agriculture, creative economy); between different designations in multi-designated areas or in close territorial proximity; as well as between different designated sites in different countries or territorial contexts.

The responses of participants also attest to the importance of the Academy in improving advancing participants’ knowledge on UNESCO designations and related processes; enhancing their professional capacities; sharing good practices; supporting peer learning, and eventually promoting the introduction of new operational measures or policies in the concerned designated sites.©Fondazione Santagata. Residences of the Royal House of Savoy, Pollenzo – UNESCO World Heritage

One of the key findings of the survey is that none of the selected UNESCO designated areas were immune to the heavy socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the necessity to develop appropriate responses to the crisis in the sense of sustainably leveraging cultural and natural assets for recovery. This was reflected in the capacity-building priorities that the respondents indicated for future workshops of the Academy, focusing especially on: i) how to effectively sustain economic growth while ensuring social and environmental sustainability; ii) increasing the preparedness, resilience, and recovery of the sites in face of emergencies; iii) supporting the construction of a strategic, integrated, and participatory management framework with a view to achieving middle and long-term objectives.

On this basis, the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, together with Fondazione Santagata are working to prepare the 6th workshop of the Academy, which is tentatively scheduled in October 2021 and will focus on the nexus between heritage and the creative economy in UNESCO designated sites, in the wake of the proclamation of 2021 as International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development.

A summary of the survey report is available here: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000376137

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Countries in Asia & MENA are Ready to Step up Climate Action

Countries in Asia & MENA are Ready to Step up Climate Action

UN Climate Change News informs that Countries in Asia & MENA are Ready to Step up Climate Action. Details are per its article.

Countries in Asia, Middle East and North Africa Are Ready to Step up Climate Action

Most countries in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa aim to increase ambition to tackle climate change through new targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and are eager to share knowledge about how to best achieve the climate goals of the Paris Agreement.

This was the key finding of a virtual meeting, co-organized by UN Climate Change and NDC-Partnership, to share good practices about how countries can update their climate action plans under the Paris Agreement (NDCs).

Earlier this year, UN Climate Change published the initial NDC Synthesis Report covering NDCs from 75 Parties to the UNFCCC who communicated a new or updated NDC before the end of last year.

The report shows that governments are far from reaching their climate goals and urgently need to accelerate their actions to achieve these goals.

However, a survey carried out by Regional Collaboration Center Bangkok and Regional Collaboration Dubai last year, as well as the initial NDC Synthesis Report, show there is significant potential and willingness of countries to make use of lessons learned from regional neighbors.

Bangkok meeting highlights need for urgent action

The recent virtual meeting in Bangkok to address the situation was attended by over 125 participants from 32 countries in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), in addition to twelve development partners and development finance institutions.

UN Climate Change Director James Grabert warned that: “While it is encouraging to hear growing commitments to net-zero emissions by 2050 around the world, such long-term goals must be translated into immediate actions and NDCs”.

UK Ambassador Ken O’Flaherty highlighted the achievements of the Maldives in setting targets for net-zero emissions. In addition, he highlighted exemplary government consultations to enhance climate ambitions in the NDC in Pakistan, announcements on moratoriums to prevent the building of new coal power stations in the Philippines, and the planned increase of renewable energy share to 80% by 2030 in Sri Lanka, despite the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, he urged governments to submit more ambitious NDCs.

Romeo Bertolini, Head of the Bonn Office, Support Unit, NDC Partnership stated that: “The Partnership is currently working with a number of countries in preparing their NDC action plans. These plans will shape the scale and reach of climate action in the global south in the years to come”.

Participants in the meeting heard that new and updated NDCs indicate that more governments have integrated strategies to build resilience to the unavoidable impacts of climate change into their climate action plans. This is significant, as adaptation to climate change is a central goal of the Paris Agreement.

Overcoming obstacles to climate action

Delegates described common and unique technical, financial, legal, political and cultural barriers that the countries face in their NDC implementation process. These can be overcome by learning from one another’s experience, where there are similar socio-economic national circumstances.

For example, introducing carbon pricing in developing countries and in countries whose economy is dependent on fossil fuels, requires reflection on the pros and consequences of such a tool and provide means of implementation to countries that will be impacted by it. Similarly, peer-to-peer learning can be part of the exercise on mapping availability of climate finance and building capacity to access climate finance.

The need to act swiftly to deliver climate commitments requires inclusive stakeholder engagement. This means incentivizing the private sector, mainstreaming gender inclusiveness in NDC planning and implementation, and empowering marginalized groups in societies.

Finance is key to climate action

Collaborating with development partners and development finance institutions can support the implementation of enhanced climate action plans. Twelve development partners and development financial institutions from Asia and MENA elaborated their support programs for NDC implementation, as well as stakeholder engagement and coordination.

For example, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) is supporting NDC implementation through the development of NDC Roadmaps and financial planning – both carbon and climate finance. Green Finance is still at the margins, but needs to be mainstreamed into development programs. Further examples of how development partners have supported capacity building of different countries include the Climate Investment Platform, Green Investment Facility for Lebanon, and Global Environment Facility (GEF)- and Green Climate Fund (GCF)-approved projects for different sectors for countries in the region.

Country representatives agreed that climate finance is still a key factor in all regions to implement climate plans and policies. Innovative financing such as credit enhancement measures can be catalytic in removing barriers and stimulating investments. These funds must be channeled to build carbon-neutral and resilient societies, especially in developing countries, and planning processes such as the Regional Climate Weeks can provide the necessary momentum.

Taking sustainable living to heart . . .

Taking sustainable living to heart . . .

INQUIRER.net Brand Room holds that taking sustainable living to heart is all about not only ignoring any Insanity of Sustainability but facing the future reality with serious consideration of sustainable habitability as envisaged by a Philippines based SM Development Corporation (SMDC).

City life is often compared to an urban jungle where people merely exist in a given space, in a given time.

But what if space and time are rediscovered with fulfilment felt by the dwellers in a community that thrives in sustainability of living? What if time and space are elements that give birth to economic advancement, environmental preservation and community progress?

The one thousand and one “what-ifs” are a thousand and one realities SMDC offers to people who deserve a thousand and one more chances of a life of quality. Not only today but also in the years – many, many years – to come. 

“Making cities sustainable means creating career and business opportunities, safe and affordable housing, and building resilient societies and economies,” the United Nations has said. 

Because today and tomorrow are important to SMDC, its communities are designed and run based on three sustainability pillars: economic, environmental, and social. 

More than a roof over one’s head

Community building, for SMDC, is more than just providing a roof over one’s head. It is about creating a place that allows people to thrive, where all the living essentials are within striking distance – from one’s daily necessities to opportunities for commerce, for jobs and for livelihood. 

Building a nation of homeowners, as envisioned by Chairman Henry Sy Jr., means providing homes that are practical – efficient in size, generous in amenities, luxurious in services and facilities.SMDC

South 2 Residences in Las Piñas City is built on the concept of 15-minute cities, where economic opportunities, everyday essentials and public services are reachable in 15 minutes or less.

Sustainability, after all, is about sharing spaces and resources, so that they become inclusive and affordable, while providing enough space for others to thrive. For people to continue to thrive, they need to be close to where the economic opportunities are, in major CBDs whose property prices are constantly skyrocketing. An SMDC home, therefore, does not just take care of today’s dwellers; it is a place where homeowners can reap good financial rewards, as a legacy that can be passed on to their children and their children’s children.

It is this idea of shared spaces that opens SMDC communities to the everyday home seeker. To be able to live in a safe community with hotel-like lobbies, resort-style amenities, 24/7 security, located in a major CBD, was a luxury available only to the rich. Now everyone can have a piece of that luxury. And by everyone, it also means individuals who may be challenged to live in vertical spaces. SMDC homes are built with accessibility provisions for seniors, children and PWDs.

More than just a breathing space

City living spaces are often viewed as concrete jungles devoid of breathing spaces. Community building by way of SMDC means creating homes where residents and guests not only enjoy vast, open spaces with lots of greenery, but also with energy efficiency as part and parcel of every design. Units are built to bring in natural light and ventilation, LED fixtures are used and a waste management system is in place.SMDC

Sands Residences brings to Manila a premium-quality waterfront home in a complete community that provides a lot of breathing space and magnificent views

Every development is built with disaster-resiliency and future-readiness in mind – from site selection to construction and beyond. SMDC’s property management personnel are trained to respond quickly to emergencies of all kinds. These trainings are made available to residents through regular workshops.

Being situated where all of life’s daily essentials are within walkable distances, not only encourages residents to walk, jog or bike, but also allows them to become stewards of the Earth by reducing their carbon footprint. SMDC’s sprawling amenities and activity areas encourage residents to spend more time outdoors, savor Nature and reduce energy consumption.

More than just existing

Sustainability is built around the concept of continued existence for people. But to continue to exist, i.e., to extend today’s lives and to continue life for the future, means being in a place where health and happiness are given primary importance. SMDC’s properties allow residents to take care of their physical, mental and emotional health through spaces designed for these activities, spaces that encourage the creation of social connections, the very concept of community building.SMDC

The Good Guys Weekend Market provides a venue for residents to continue generating income during this pandemic.

But mere spaces are not enough. There has to be a catalyst to make these connections, and community spirit, come to life. SMDC’s The Good Guys program, enables SMDC communities to come together in the spirit of conviviality, to provide for both economic and social progress for residents, and to extend this altruism beyond its communities.

Building happy, healthy, secure and thriving communities is the heart of sustainable living, as exemplified in SMDC HappyNings, 2-time Quill awardee for community relations.

There is no life in mere existing. To live is to exist sustainably.

In a given space and a given time, SMDC creates the space for people to live today and to continue to survive the challenges of time.

Read more Business stories:

Read more: https://business.inquirer.net/320617/smdc-taking-sustainable-living-to-heart#ixzz6r9DKzdl9

Are Renewables a True Threat to Oil’s Long-Standing Reign?

Are Renewables a True Threat to Oil’s Long-Standing Reign?

A particular world elite seems to take pride in their commitment to sustainability and the well-being of their peoples. Simultaneously, their respective government/businesses invest in those industries leading to the present climate change.
It is undeniable that this is changing, with impacts such as extreme weather fluctuations and increased intensity of natural disasters. The hydrocarbon industries are directly involved, if not now, causing climate change.
How can concerned citizens hold these elites and other civil societies to their sustainability standards?
Divesting is the act of removing any financing of the fossil fuel industry, increasingly found to be an unethical industrial human activity. The fossil fuel divestment movement started gaining traction in 2010. Over 1,200 institutions worldwide have joined forces and proceeded into divesting. This movement could not have started if no palliative industry can procure all that necessary energy. And despite that, questions such as ‘Are Renewables a True Threat to Oil’s Long-Standing Reign?’ are still being posed.

Our question would be whether all this questioning affects these contemporary world trends of renewables combined with divestment from fossil fuels.

Meanwhile, let us see what The Maritime Executive‘s article by Riley Cooper says about it.

Are Renewables a True Threat to Oil’s Long-Standing Reign?

The pandemic has possibly provided the catalyst needed to accelerate a global shift toward renewable sources of energy by bringing this topic to the top of the agenda of discussions held by political leaders and lawmakers as the world witnessed how the atmosphere quickly reacted to a few months of lower carbon emissions.

As a result, the stock price of multiple companies in the clean energy space has taken a quantum leap, while oil prices have also managed to recover most – if not all – of their lost territory during the first quarter of this year.

How is it that the crude oil price keeps booming alongside the valuation of these green energy firms? Will fossil fuels continue to be a part of the future or is this perhaps the last bull run for oil as the world keeps heading to a greener future?

The following article aims to take a closer look at how threatening can these alternative sources of energy can really be for oil’s long-standing reign based on the rate at which these technologies are being adopted in the United States.

How does the United States generate the power it needs?

A study from Washington-based think tank Pew Research Center published before the pandemic struck indicated that petroleum continues to be the leading source of energy in the United States according to data from the country’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

In the past 18 years, the market share of oil has only retreated 2.3%, sitting at 36.4% by the end of 2018.

Meanwhile, natural gas seems to be advancing as an important source, with its share jumping 6.5% during the same period while currently accounting for 30.7% of the country’s energy consumption.

So, what about biofuels and other alternative sources? According to the EIA, these sources of energy, including nuclear and hydroelectric, covered only 20% of the country’s needs, with coal being the source that has lost the biggest share dropping from 22.9% to 13.1% by the end of 2018.

That said, the rate at which solar power has grown is quite remarkable, jumping nearly five-fold in less than 5 years.

Realistically, it seems that although renewable sources are gaining more and more ground as time passes, it will take decades before fossil fuels, including oil, can be fully replaced by solar, wind, or nuclear energy.

This view is reinforced by a recent report from the Shell Oil Corporation. Although the company has already acknowledged that the world is heading to a future in which fossil fuels will become a smaller contributor to its energy needs, this future is still fairly distant as the required infrastructure that needs to be in place to fully power homes, industries, and other facilities is still in the earliest stages of their development.

In regards to the possibility of a fossil-fuel-free world in short notice the company stated the following: “despite more than a century of progress, electricity makes up only 20% of the final energy that society uses today and the rate of increase has been the same since the earliest days, about two percentage points of final energy share per decade”. 

Shell added: “To achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement that pace of growth would need to rapidly increase”.

Therefore, if renewable sources of energy keep advancing at the current pace, chances are that crude oil prices will not be severely affected by the threat of a full-blown substitution of fossil fuels – or at least not in the next five to ten years.

Has the pandemic changed something about this outlook?

The pandemic has affected the public’s view about what has been for a while a seemingly inevitable shift towards environmentally-friendly sources of energy by bringing more attention to a topic that was not necessarily a top priority for lawmakers and political leaders prior to the health emergency.

Now, with clean energy companies becoming interesting targets for investors around the world as possibly the best next-generation bet, chances are that capital will start flowing to these ventures to help them to further accelerate their efforts.

If that continues to happen, these larger investments made in the technology and infrastructure required to accelerate the adoption of greener sources should perhaps put the world on the right track to achieve its net-zero carbon emission goal even before 2050 – the date set by the Paris Agreement as the milestone for a green world.

Riley Cooper is a UK-born writer and who lives in USA. Her work explores issues related to finance, business psychology, environment, and language.

Longest 3D printed concrete pedestrian bridge

Longest 3D printed concrete pedestrian bridge

The Bridge Project is underway in Nijmegen, built by BAM and Weber Beamix is debated by Davide Sher. It could have well been a proper infrastructural operation for any country of the MENA region, were it not for all socio-economical factors. In effect, this Longest 3D printed concrete pedestrian bridge could be the answer to a multitude of requirements.

Longest 3D printed concrete pedestrian bridge begins to take form

March 30, 2021

The world’s longest 3D printed concrete pedestrian bridge, co-commissioned by Rijkswaterstaat (Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management), is being built in Dukenburg in the city of Nijmegen, Netherlands, and printed in Eindhoven, where the 3D printing facility of BAM and Weber Beamix is located. Summum Engineering was responsible for the parametric modeling, in order to elaborate and rationalize the freeform geometry, designed by Michiel van der Kley.

This project, also dubbed “The Bridge Project”, is an initiative of Rijkswaterstaat, Michiel van der Kley in collaboration with Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), and an effort to innovate, apply new techniques in the building environment, specifically the 3D printing of concrete, and to find new ways to collaborate.

While looking for a location, Nijmegen seemed an ideal place, following the city’s position as Green Capital of Europe in 2018, and their wish to have an eye-catching and iconic memento of that year. Rijkswaterstaat believes it is not only building a bridge but building the future as well, turning 3D concrete printing from innovation to proven technology.

Longest 3D printed concrete pedestrian bridge
Longest 3D printed concrete pedestrian bridge
Longest 3D printed concrete pedestrian bridge

The longest 3D printed bridge in the world, soon be installed in Nijmegen, is now in full swing and four more bridges for North Holland are in the pipeline at Weber Beamix. Sometimes it may seem that 3D printing is used only mainly for aesthetic display projects but the truth that is increasingly emerging is that printed objects have been finding their way to more practical applications, and a very large market is rapidly developing, all over the world, with huge projects now underway all over Europe, in the US, in Africa, in the Middle East, in China and in Australia.

Digital design and construction are expected to lead to new concepts for building, with lower risks and better conditions. 3D printing technology has the potential for more affordable, faster, durable and freeform methods of construction. Rijkswaterstaat and Michiel van der Kley were intent on exploring designs that are almost impossible to make with traditional techniques involving formworks, to find out whether or not 3D printing allows for much greater design freedom, and other benefits as well. A first test bridge was produced by TU/e, and the final bridge will be printed and assembled by BAM, using the joint printing facility set up with Weber Beamix.

Longest 3D printed concrete pedestrian bridge
Longest 3D printed concrete pedestrian bridge

The possibilities of freeform construction with 3D printing also lead to new challenges, such as the approach to structural safety, the method of analysis for such shapes, and determining the input for the 3D printer. In order to elaborate and rationalize the freeform design, Summum Engineering was commissioned by the structural engineers, Witteveen+Bos, to create a parametric model.

This model took the initial shape, conformed it to structural constraints set by the engineers, segmented it based on printing specifications from TU/e, and then generated the bridge’s internal geometry. Three types of outputs were determined: first, exterior surfaces of the segmented bridge as input to the Revit-model and 2D drawings by Witteveen+Bos; second, meshes, including of the internal geometry, as input to their finite element calculations in DIANA; and, third, printing paths for the 3D printers of TU/e, and later BAM and Weber Beamix, based on their printing specifications.

Photo of Davide Sher

Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based 3dpbm. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore, as well as 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.