41st UNEP/UNESCO/BMU International Postgraduate Course on Environmental Management – Closing

CIPSEM_MG_7475

On July 12th 2018 another 21 fellows from 21 countries were awarded with the Diploma in Environmental Management after spending 6 months at CIPSEM and now return home and will continue to work towards a more sustainable management of our natural surroundings we all depend on.

Who are those fresh alumni and what do they think about CIPSEM:

During the ceremony four “Best-Final-Paper-Awards” were given to:

Ms. Alexandra Aguiar Pedro (Brazil), for
“Urban community gardening as a strategy for avoiding the expansion of informal settlements over vacant land and making the informal surroundings greener“

Ms. Vika Ekalestari (Indonesia), for
“Optimization of facultative aerated lagoon system: Strategy in complying with the newly enacted wastewater effluent standard in Indonesia“

Mr. Ramoudane Orou Sannou (Benin), for
“Pastoral communities and participatory forest management in Benin: A case study from the Three Rivers Forest, Borgou Region“

Mr. Eduardo Francisco Esteves Vélez (Ecuador), for
“Rehabilitation of mined land by using compost“

CIPSEM_MG_7450
Keep the CIPSEM spirit!
Advertisements

Humans, Economy and Biodiversity Conservation – Sustainability in the Centre

Tales from the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve “Upper Lusatian Heath- and Pond Landscape” – EM-41 excursion, June 6, 2018

As challenging and complex as it might seem, the heath- and pond Landscape of Upper Lusatia has managed to embrace both, biodiversity conservation and human well-being, yet no doubt anyone can be convinced the project is sustainable, the secret being including people in the scheme: “by the people for the people”.

It started about 800 years ago when the Slavic people first arrived in the area which was almost 20% swampy landscape. Due to scarcity of land for cultivation, the monks tried to drain the area to suit cultivation. As a result there was influx of German people in the area. Due to the agricultural activities over the last 8 centuries most of the indigenous plant species were lost. To date only 1% of the plants are endemic in the natural habitat.

The success story begins with zonation to cater for the conservation, residency and economic activity in harmonious manner.  ‘Designation as a UNESCO biosphere reserve means much more than protection of the natural landscape, because it also envisions sustainable development of the region. Economic development should be promoted whilst the cultural value of the landscape should be preserved.’ Walter Hirche, President of the German Commission for UNESCO

(i) Nature/Biodiversity Conservation

Although the heath- and pond landscape of Upper Lusatia has a long history; it was until 1992 when it was formally set aside as a conservation area with 30.102 hectares.  In 1996 the area was recognized and approved as UNESCO biosphere reserve. The aim is the protection of natural ecosystems and their long-term productivity and functional capacity.

Today the area is a home to 1.100 plant and 3.600 animal species. This reserve is important for conservation in Germany; for example it is the only place where Bog Violet (Viola uliginosa) is found, furthermore it hosts more than 50% of Moss Grass (Coleanthus subtilis). Regarding fauna, the site hosts 20% of Saxony’s (about 5% of Germany’s) wolf population (Canis lupus)  and an estimate of 5-10% of European otter (Lutra lutra) just to mention a few. In addition to this, the presence of 350 ponds in the biosphere reserve covering 125 hectares host 1000 breeding pairs of over 90 bird species making the site incredibly important and uniquely beautiful attracting lots of local and international tourists.

(ii) Economic Sustainability

Support should be targeted towards sustainable development options in the various sectors of the economy, e.g. organic farming, ecologically adapted forest management, and environmentally and socially compatible tourism. Fish farming, crop cultivation, cattle keeping and tree plantations are some of the viable economic activities in the Biosphere reserve.

Carp is one of the fish species farmed in 12 of 305 ponds at “Gutter Teiche” fishery ponds. Carp farming goes hand in hand with reeds management giving best scenic views to tourists who visit the area while bringing income to farmers and healthy meal to consumers. The whole view of ponds with associated species, e.g. reeds, ducks and other water birds are breathtaking!

 

(iii) Heritage Crop and Variety Project

With increasing healthy eating and lifestyle, the village Kreba-Neudorf has been keen and ventured to engage in crop cultivation. The project only grows old and seriously threatened grains of rye, wheat, oats and spelt. The cultivation follows the organic farming standards with no external agricultural inputs, the yield are said to be a rich source of vitamins, minerals and taste better. Rye bread is particularly good for people allergic to gluten.  Furthermore products diversification and value addition chain has been in place by installing grinding mills, bakeries and specialty local brew brand.

(iv) Research and Sustainable Development

For sure this projects would not be successful without investing and collaboration between researchers with an interdisciplinary outlook aiming at hands-on sustainable development through constructive participation.

Acknowledgement

IPicture7t is said seeing is believing. We would like to thank CIPSEM team, especially Tamara Karp, Susanne Barisch and Dirk Weis from the Biosphere Reserve, and the Ladusch family for facilitating this field training to EM41 participants on 6 June 2018 which convinced us that it is possible to embrace conservation also at the same time it is possible to practice other economic activities in a compatible manner while restoring the degraded area. At the end of the day environment is conserved, better income, healthy and happy living.

 

by Francisca J. Malembeka (Tanzania) & Dr. Liu Zhao (China)

Solving a forest belt problem in Ukraine – a Role Play @CIPSEM

The “Role Play” plays a significant role in problem-solving activities. Its concept follows the “power-free dialogue.” The German sociologist Jürgen Habermas designed this concept. The EM41 CIPSEM participants used this technique (29/05/2018) to find the solution to the following problem:

A forest belt system was planted in the former USSR to combat erosion, droughts and increasing yields. Depending on the planted species, it could increase yields by 20-100 . After the collapse of the USSR the department responsible for forest belt management was terminated. The follow-up legislation was not created accurately in Ukraine. Communities in cooperation with an NGO who have registered a forest strip cutting outside the settlement have applied to the local government body. In the public cadastral map, there is no cadastral number for the forest belt, therefore it is not possible to legally install an owner. On the other hand the State Administration stated, that their powers do not apply to agricultural forest bands. The State Geo Cadaster declared that these bands were transferred to the collective ownership of the collective farms, and therefore belong to the successor who did not correctly draw up his right, so they are subject to transfer to the Rural Council as a “waste of property”.

The following stakeholder groups were represented in the role play:

  • Ministry of Agriculture and Land Use
  • Ministry of Environment
  • Regional Government and land use planning
  • Council of villagers, composed of small-scale farmers
  • EcoLtava (regional NGO, doing consultancy services)
  • Large-scale agro-holdings
  • Timber and fuel producer

The fellows had an excellent discussion about the forest belt, land use change, legislation, environmental management, stakeholder collaboration and made their recommendations and solutions for the forest belt issue in Ukraine.

by Mkhitar Avetisyan (Republic of Armenia)

Nature calls EM-41 !!! Arrival on Isle of Vilm

Within the module of Conservation and Restoration Ecology, the flagship excursion of CIPSEM EM-41 to the International Academy for Nature Conservation (INA) at the Insel Vilm started on May 13, 2018. The moment CIPSEM fellows stepped onto the island, the joyous faces were apparent and the excitement was at its zenith.

DSC_3452

Ms. Kathrin Bockmühl, Scientific Officer at the INA, welcomed the fellows, provided an overview of INA’s work in nature protection at the national and international level since 1990, and briefed on sessions planned on biodiversity conservation and governance for the cohort. It started with an introductory talk by Ms. Gisela Stolpe and Dr. Horst Korn on biodiversity conservation and ecosystems services, and the UN-Convention on Biodiversity (CBD). With an objective of giving hands-on experience of CBD conferences, a simulation exercise on decision-making was conducted. The fellows represented CBD State Parties including regional unions, small island countries and NGOs, and deliberated on drafting decisions regarding the use of biofuel. Also, a session on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS), with an Ethiopian case study provided important insights into the importance of sharing the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources. The exercise provided interesting impressions on importance and challenges of global treaties concerning biodiversity conservation.

The afternoon of the second day started with the theme of marine nature conservation and a role-playing game called Fish Banks Ltd. was simulated. The aim was to realize the challenges of managing resources sustainably in a common pool resource setting. Dr. Chrtistian Pusch talked about the importance and challenges in fisheries and marine national parks management in today’s global scenario with case studies on German exclusive economic zones.

As expected, we could not leave the island without a guided walking tour on local biodiversity including the famous last remnants of beech forest in Germany, untouched for about 500 years. With a cloudy sky and pleasant temperature (with mosquitoe clouds as well unfortunately), we walked through the circular trail learning about the beech forest and ecology of several associated species. Thanks to our excellent facilitators Ms. Kathrin Bockmühl, Dr. Katharina Stein and Dr. André Lindner.

DSC_3736

The fellows also visited the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Southeast-Rügen to learn about the ongoing conservation programs in the biosphere reserve. Later, we arrived at Jasmund National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site inhabited by beech forest. All the fellows were delighted with the beautiful views of Baltic Sea and had the pleasure to see the largest chalk cliffs in Germany called the Königsstuhl or King’s chair.

Words are missing to describe the extraordinary week we had. Special thanks to Ms. Kathrin Bockmühl who opened the doors of this beautiful place for the CIPSEM EM-41 fellows. The excursion at the Insel Vilm was a unique experience, which we will remember for its extraordinary landscapes, beech forest and the knowledge acquired to manage ecosystems and biodiversity. The experience will be engraved forever in the memory of all the fellows.

by Mariela Yapu Alcazar (Bolivia) and Dhruv Verma (India)

CIPSEM alumnus appointed as Minister of Nature Protection

Upon the proposal of the Prime Minister, under Article 150 of the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, Mr. Erik Grigoryan was appointed as the Minister of Nature Protection on May 12th, 2018. Congratulations!

Mr. Erik Grigoryan was participant of the 30th UNEP/UNESCO/BMU International Postgraduate Course on Environmental Management in 2007 and finished the course with a final paper on “Development of Economical Mechanisms for Environmental Management in Armenia and Experience and Practice of Germany”

My story …

by Yuniey Quiala Armenteros, PhD, Cuba (participant of the 67th International Short Course on Resource Efficiency – Cleaner Production and Waste Management)

My name is Yuniey Quiala Armenteros, I am 36 years old, I am Cuban and I work in the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment of Cuba (CITMA), specifically in the Territorial Delegation of the CITMA in Villa Clara, as Principal Specialist of the Environmental Impact Evaluation Team. I am an industrial engineer graduated in 2005, trained at the Central University of Las Villas in Villa Clara Cuba. I always showed interest in professional improvement, as the only way to contribute more to society with concrete and effective solutions to problems. In 2008 I graduated as Master of Science and Innovation Management and in 2012 I started a curricular doctorate in environmental sciences as a result of the collaboration of the Polytechnic University of Valencia of Spain and the Technological University of Havana José Antonio Echeverría. As part of my doctoral training I had to publish several articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals as well as participating in significant international events, and in 2013 I was in Malaysia in a course on clean production and efficient use of resources under the SIRIM institution.

SL381692
Dr. Yuniey Quiala Armenteros during his time in Dresden on excursion with the SC67 course

In 2015 I was at CIPSEM at Technische Universität Dresden, participating in the “67th International Short Course on Resource Efficiency – Cleaner Production and Waste Management” (SC67) from November 9 to December 11. I had some references of what it means to study in Germany, great engineers of my country were trained in former eastern Germany in the 1970s and 80s. During my stay at CIPSEM, I was surprised above all, how easy teachers explain complex topics, teachers turned difficult into easy, they are wonderful. On the other hand, the practical examples of good environmental performance (landfills, solid and hazardous waste management, liquid waste treatment, wastewater reuse) taught me that it does not require so much capital to achieve
sustainable and sustainable development , it is only about wanting to change the mind of the decision makers. I never thought that the certificate obtained at the end of the course, constituted an endorsement of great relevance for my further career. In short, the contribution of CIPSEM was extraordinary. All the doors opened to me after CIPSEM!

SC67_Photo 04-12-15 15 22 49_CIPSEM
The complete SC67 course during an excursion on November 2015.

So here is my message for you, whoever you are, please apply to CIPSEM, do not waste your time. I just defended my doctoral thesis on December 21, 2017. Today I am a Doctor of Technical Sciences and I owe it in large part to CIPSEM, please APPLY NOW.

Pioneering step forward for access rights

On March 4th this year, in Costa Rica, 24 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean gather to adopt “The Escazu Agrement”. Our region, during the last years, has being characterized by the increasing numbers of people (especially activists) that have been killed for taking action or denouncing the destruction of nature and their habitat, this Agreement is an important step to guarantee people without any kind of discrimination their access rights; the right to information, public participation and justice on environmental matters. Access to information is very important for people in our region in order to understand, evaluate and recognize the important problems that are taking place in their different context, there are many cases that we can sadly remark of people that are trying to fight for justice but have been discredited because the information that’s been published in some cases is not correct and some others the information is not accessible to the public.

Last week “Reaccion Climatica” (Climate Reaction), a collective of volunteers that has being actively participating in the drafting of the Agreement and on its adoption in Costa Rica as representatives of the public, along with the collation TAI-Bolivia (The Access Initiative) and CEDIB (Center of Documentation and information Bolivia) among other organizations, made the Presentation of this Agreement in the University of San Francisco de Asís in the city of La Paz in Bolivia, in an open call to all members of civil society. The presentation did not only had the participation of NGO’s that work in environmental matters but also had the participation of young people and especially of  people from indigenous communities who were able to show their concern and fights for nature conservation and show how this Agreement could help them raise awareness of the destruction of not only their homes, but also one the most important protected areas in Bolivia: Madidi National Park that currently is being treat by the constructions of two hydroelectric dams that according to last studies are not economically, socially or sustainably viable. During my participation at CIPSEM in the 73rd International Short Course on Resource Efficiency – Cleaner Production and Waste Management (SC73) my fellow colleagues always asked about the dangers and importance of being an activist in my country, I always answered that it is hard work to make people understand the importance of environment in our country, to show people that protecting our natural parks are not only important for the indigenous people that live there but also for everybody as our natural heritage and also that prevention and mitigation of pollution as well as sustainability policies are key and must be addressed in all projects in order to achieve the sustainable development we are trying to reach.

Analia_5

We are aware that there’s a long road ahead for the implementation and accomplishment of the main goal of this Agreement l that is:

 “guarantee the full and effective implementation in Latin America and the Caribbean of the rights of access to environmental information, public participation in environmental decision-making processes and access to justice in environmental matters, as well as the creation and strengthening of capacities and cooperation, contributing to the protection of the right of each person, of present and future generations, to live in a healthy environment and to sustainable development”

Nevertheless, we believe this is a big step to protect the protectors of nature and hopefully it will reduce drastically the killing of nature defenders while achieving environmental justice.

by Ms. Analia Mayte Ricaldez Hurtado

Analia

Analia Mayte Ricaldez Hurtado is working as a Project Engineer developing Energy Efficiency programs, Environmental Impact Assessments, Environmental Sheets and Environmental Monitoring and inspections in TECAP Global Solutions S.R.L in La Paz Bolivia. She is also involved in occupational health and safety for the company’s laboratory and designing the process and procedures to prevent its environmental impact. Analia assists and analyzes services of environmental risk and other services which could give easy solutions to their clients in the private and public sector and in all production activities (mining, oil and gas, industrial, etc.). She also completed a training of sustainability in the supply chain in Brazil in 2013 and received a Diploma in Energy Efficiency in Pontifical Catholic University of Chile in Santiago. She applied for UNEP/UNESCO/BMU course program to add and change her perspective in sustainability and resource efficiency and to be able to develop and apply this important topic in her country. Analia participated in volunteering as a teacher for children in small schools in environmental education with The Coca Cola Company and currently in a volunteering collective “Reaccion Climatica” for the diffusion and promoting participation of the population in climate change problems in Bolivia.