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

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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“

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Keep the CIPSEM spirit!
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Alumni portraits – Mr Ganga Datta Nepal

Recently, 2012 alumnus Ganga Datta Nepal visited the CIPSEM team during a research stay in Germany and shared his story.

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Alumnus Ganga Datta Nepal (right) during a visit to CIPSEM in June 2018

Ganga Datta Nepal is working with Government of Nepal on issues related to Water Supply Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and can draw on more than 20 years of experience in the WASH sector with donors, I/NGOs including bilateral and multilateral programs. The donor-supported project focuses on water quality and includes aspects such as
– water safety plans,
– climate resilient water safety plans and climate-resilient WASH,
– as well as total sanitation.

As a team member, Mr Ganga Datta Nepal was involved in the formulation of a national level guideline, a handbook and training materials. He is active to develop the capacity of operators, engineers and managers and also to support the implementation of water safety plans in rural, peri-urban and small towns of Nepal to ensure water quality and hygienic sanitation.

He summarises his experience:
“I attended the short course in September 2012 on “Integrated water resource management and climate change adaptation” with CIPSEM. It has given me the way up to start different options to implement climate change perspective in Nepal. We have now climate resilient water safety plan and climate resilient WASH intervention. Also, I will soon complete my PhD research on WASH and climate change. I must say, the training played an important role in starting the climate change business in both my professional career and ongoing PhD, too.

During the course, we were 22 persons from 22 different countries of the world. Most of us are still in contact using social media like Facebook and LinkedIn. We also have a sharing mechanism country perspective. I can say our relationship built by CIPSEM is excellent for connection as well as expertise for sharing. Personally, I did Masters Degree under the DAAD fellowship and learnt the German language till DSH. It also made it easier to make connection around Germany to share our problems and to get to some kinds of solution. ”

Mr Ganga Datta Nepal is now doing a small research on wastewater treatment at the level of communities, which can hopefully be replicated later.

He wrote “For me, the CIPSEM course was important as I could use the knowledge in capacity development from a different perspective. It is helpful that problems around the world are similar, so we have to find the solution to every problem based on our perspectives. Personally, as I am a WASH expert, I have challenges on sustainability aspects of constructed water supply projects, maintaining and ensuring the water quality and different solutions for the sanitation, i.e. sustainable sanitation, waste water treatment etc. It is always essential to have capacity development from CIPSEM, and it is good to know who did what course in CIPSEM and how much the training content has been used taking into account the country perspective. ”

Mr Ganga Datta Nepal suggested CIPSEM could recruit the help of alumni experts for the selection of training participants who can implement their new insights, taking local conditions into account. We appreciate this suggestion and always appreciate when CIPSEM alumni recommend qualified colleagues.

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.

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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!

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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.

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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

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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.

Fostering cleaner production in Colombia

 

Have a look at the initiative run by Paola Vasquez Chaux (alumna of the 73rd UNEP/UNESCO/BMUB International Short Course on Resource Efficiency – Cleaner Production and Waste Management):

An all-women leadership alliance is helping transform Colombia’s highly polluting construction industry into a cleaner, greener business. The Fostering Cleaner Production initiative brings together leading women from academia, utility companies, public organizations and large and small industries to create partnerships to foster clean production practices.

Keep it going!

IT ALL CAME BACK TO ME…

By Kebaabetswe Keoagile

It started with the long flights and landing in Montreal reminded me of the time in January, 2017 when arriving in Dresden for the Centre for Postgraduate Studies on Environmental Management for Developing and Emerging countries (CIPSEM). Of course the excitement will always be there but coming in winter time was a different story. The cold, the snow all brought back the memories in Dresden and made me think of the “onion principle” as Joyce Kiruri from Kenya will put it.

The twenty first meeting of the Subsidiary body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 21) and the Tenth meeting of the Ad-hoc open ended working group on article 8j and related provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) met from the 11thto the 16th December, 2017 in Montreal, Canada. The meetings provided the basis for negotiations for the 2018 Conference of Parties.

SBSTTA provides the Conference of the Parties(CoP) with timely advice relating to the implementation of the convention. It comprises government representatives competent in the relevant field of expertise and are mandated to provide assessments of the status of biodiversity (BD), provide assessments of the types of measures taken and responding to the questions that the CoP may put before them.

Items covered during the meeting were:

On the other hand, working group on article 8j is also open to all parties and, indigenous and local communities’ representatives which play a full and active role of its work. Issues of Traditional Knowledge are considered as cross cutting that is said to affect many aspects of BD. The working group has raised the profile of indigenous peoples and local communities’ issues and developed guidelines and tools on TK.

Items covered during the meeting were:

For more information and outcomes of the meetings please visit www.cbd.int

All aimed at implementation of the Convention strategic plan…

Giving a statement on behalf of my country in support of the Africa position on agenda item, “Sustainable wildlife management: Guidance for achieving a more sustainable bushmeat sector” and saying, ‘Thank you madam chair…’ brought back the CIPSEM 40 memories especially the exercises we did at the Island of Vilm on CBD negotiations. Thanks to the facilitators I was able to use the knowledge to prepare for these meetings and impart it to the other stakeholders (delegates) from my country.

Another highlight was the reunion with Marle Patricia Aguilar Ponce from Honduras. It was a moment of craziness and happiness just seeing each other after the course. We met over lunch to catch up!

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