For the 40th time – another journey of multidisciplinary learning and exchange

With speeches by Mrs. Königsberg (Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety – BMUB) and Prof. Dr. Krauthäuser (Vice Rector for Academic and International Affairs of TU Dresden) the 40th UNEP/UNESCO/BMUB International Postgraduate Course on Environmental Management for Developing and Emerging Countries commenced – another 6-months journey of multidisciplinary learning and exchange started in this anniversary year for CIPSEM.

photos by Angela Francke

Goodbye SC68

Three and a half weeks went by in a flash and today we officially said goodbye to the scholarship holders of the 68th International Short Course – Integrated Water Management and Health. 22 Nations in festive dresses gathered in the ceremonial hall of the TU Dresden rectorate, listening to thoughtful speeches and ceremonious music and celebrating the successful completion of the first Short Course of the 2016/2017 CIPSEM course year. It was a pleasure to have you here SC68, we wish you success with your challenge to find solutions and methods to secure the world’s water supply!

Farewell EM39!

It appears as it has been only yesterday when we welcomed the participants of the 39th UNEP/UNESCO/BMUB International Postgraduate Course on Environmental Management in Dresden. However, scrolling backwards through the CIPSEM blog brings to mind, how much has happened since the opening ceremony in the TU Dresden rectorate on the 12th of January 2016. 184 days later, the EM39 group gathered at the Gewandhaus to celebrate their successful completion of the course with a festive award ceremony. Dr. Anna Görner opened the ceremony with her speech, followed by the dean of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Feger and the representative of the Umweltbundesamt, Ralph Wollmann. Accompanied by string music from a quartet of the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, the certificates were handed over, and the best final papers were honored. Ms. Hiba Mohammad from Syria, Ms. Mehri Alavinasab Ashgezari from Iran, Ms. Rocio Grommeck Pereira from Paraguay, Mr. Gabriel Amona from Nigeria and Mr. Vitus Tankpa from Ghana were distinguished for their excellent work. Finally Ms. Elon McCurdy and Mr. Gabriel Amona put the finishing touches to the ceremony with their joint speech as representatives of the course fellows.

In the evening the celebrations continued in a less formal but not less festive way in the CIPSEM club room. The table bend filled with delicious international dishes from 22 countries (Germany was also represented by … potato salad!) and rumor has it that there was dance and laughter deep into the night. EM39, it was a pleasure to meet you, we wish you all the best for your personal lives, your professional careers and for your efforts to push sustainable development forward in your home countries and in the world.

(Photos: H. Schluttig)

Welcome EM39!

In the last days the participants of the 39th UNEP/UNESCO/BMUB International Postgraduate Course on Environmental Management have arrived in Dresden and settled down in the CIPSEM headquarters. We extend a warm welcome to our guests from Egypt, Nigeria, Vietnam, Cameroon, Paraguay, Nepal, Jamaica, Zimbabwe, Armenia, Madagascar, Guyana, Syria, Zambia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Colombia, Bolivia, Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Senegal and China!

(Photos: T. Karp; A. Lindner)

We leave our soils in capable hands – Farewell and continued success!

The 66th UNEP/UNESCO/BMUB International Short Course on Soil and Land Resources finished on Friday, October 30th with a ceremony in the rectorate of the TU Dresden. In this short course 21 participants from 17 developing and emerging countries learned about existing efforts, innovative solutions and political action towards sustainable soil and land management. Examples included reducing sealing of soils due to urban sprawl by employing mechanisms such as green belts, soil protection strategies and policies of urban densification among other manifold topics like land management practices, farm forestry and soil ecology.

SC66_award_ceremony__HaraldSchluttig_MG_1530webThe American writer, environmental activist and farmer Wendell Berry once said: »What we do to the land, we do to ourselves«.

In September of this “UN Year of Soils” the world leaders came together in New York to make sustainable development with its many interlinked aspects a top priority for all countries. The 17 goals are designed as one indivisible package. Two of the 17 targets specifically address the responsible governance of soil and land-use rights, highlighting that soil and land degradation is a global issue and its consequences currently affect 1.5 billion people: “End hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture” (Goal Nr. 2), and “Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss” (Goal Nr. 15).

Let’s take our governments by their words!

(Photo: H. Schluttig)

Some hopeful news for biodiversity and sustainable development?

Today is a day of farewell but also of new and hopeful beginnings. We are concluding the 65th UNEP/UNESCO/BMUB International Short Course on Ecosystem Management – Biodiversity and Restoration Ecology.

Here you see the participants and CIPSEM staff after the award ceremony.

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It is clear we face many challenges regarding

  •  species extinction and loss of diversity
  • drastic changes in biogeochemical cycles such as that of nitrogen
  • land use changes and the loss of ecosystems, fragmentation of habitats, the pollution of water, air and soil.
In the course we have discussed the overarching concepts of biodiversity as such, of restoration approaches, of putting a value on ecosystem services and many other approaches. The course has benefitted greatly from the experience and kind sharing of this group of highly motivated, diverse participants.
In their wonderful short speech on behalf of the group, Ms. Yetunda McLean from Jamaica and Mr. Mindaye Teshome Legese from Ethiopia have highlighted some of the characteristics which everybody contributed to help this group to grow and explore together. This gives good reason for hope, because there are a lot of issues to tackle.
Overall, this is a year of hope. On this very day the world leaders come together in New York to make sustainable development with its many interlinked aspects a top priority for all countries.
The 17 sustainable development goals are designed as one indivisible package. That two of the 17 targets address terrestrial and marine biodiversity directly, highlights the importance of this topic:
  • Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss (Goal Nr. 15)
  • Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development (Goal Nr. 14).

Let’s take our governments by their words. And also: let’s assume the responsibility we all have for how our circumstances develop, and let’s celebrate the small victories along the way.

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2015 Environmental Management course has started!

World map (EM38)

The 38th UNEP/UNESCO/BMUB International Postgraduate Course on Environmental Management for Developing and Emerging Countries (aka EM38) has started today with a festive opening ceremony. Prof. Strahringer (vice rector for academic and international affairs at TU Dresden), a representative from the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Protection, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) as well as many of our course facilitators and advisors joined us in welcoming the 21 new course participants and one guest student.

We are excited to get to know all the participants and to start classes based on the updated curriculum.