only Jeju …

What comes to your mind when you think of places with exceptional beauty, outstanding natural and cultural heritage values? Wonders of the World! Or maybe a UNESCO World Heritage Site! There is a place (the one & only) which has multiple recognition under international designations of UNESCO and Ramsar Convention for Wetlands, and also a Wonder of World.

This outstanding place is Jeji Island, a part of South Korea with an area of 1,849 km2. The island achieved the triple crown of UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserve (2002), World Natural Heritage (2007) and Global Geopark (2010), and dotted with various Ramsar wetlands. Also, the island has numerous volcanic formations representing unique biogeography and its history.

Fortunately, I got an opportunity to visit the island and participate in a workshop ‘Fostering Global Citizenship for Sustainable Heritage Conservation’ jointly organised by UNITAR CIFAL Jeju and UNESCO APCEIU in October, 2018. The workshop apprised the participants with the importance of engaging local communities as well as global citizens in conservation of heritage sites, concepts of sustainable tourism at World Heritage Sites, and UNITAR-Developed City-Share Methodology. The USP of the workshop was individual presentation of participants from Asia-Pacific countries including Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as Cook Islands, Timor-Leste and Philippines. I presented on ‘Landscape Governance Approach and UNESCO World Heritage to address multi-functionality and diversity of Kailash Sacred Landscape’. Also as a cherry on the cake, the organizers planned a day trip to Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak, Geomun Oreum and Seogwipo Olle Market, besides class-room sessions. I will always be grateful to the organizers J for this fun-filled trip and excellent workshop.

Sharing experiences, chit-chat on dining table and visiting the magnificent landscapes of Jeju island are definitely the moments to cherish and learning to share.

by Mr. Dhruv Verma (EM-41 alumnus, India)

Mapping and planning carbon reduction – an exercise on life cycle assessment

In a world under the growing effects of climate change, the importance of knowing the sources of emissions is key for finding solutions the mitigate them and find the ways to adapt. This generally applies for businesses and organisations, but it is also very useful to map the carbon footprint for every citizen.

In early March, the CIPSEM EM40 class had a workshop on life cycle assessment (LCA) with Helena Ponstein MSc, where we learned about the context for the rise of carbon emissions, the unpredictable consequences of climate change and the significant sustainability constraints we face nowadays. As an example and reminder of these constraints, there is an Earth Overshoot Day, which indicates the exhaustion of replenishable Earth resources that arrives, year after year, in an earlier date than the previous one (last year the date was 8 August 2016).

When the classroom discussed about the effects of climate change in the home countries, some of the consequences mentioned were the increase of floods and coastal erosion, shortages of water or having unpredictable weather trends. Another concern in class was how to make understand with figures the consequences of climate change to decision makers to avoid misconceptions and wrong budget allocations.

After the discussions and the showing of a video on sustainability, we proceeded to learn the details about LCA. In a short explanation, LCA is a methodology that helps understand the effects and impact of product and services from its originated source to its final outcome and post treatment within a boundary, with the aim of mapping the overall impacts and projecting how to manage environmental issues.  Amongst its benefits are the possibility for an improved environmental performance and, ideally, life cycle thinking.

Then, why do companies apply LCA? Some companies do it for internal sustainability goals, green marketing or brand enhancement, but the number of industries that are required by regulation authorities to report carbon footprint is increasing.

For the afternoon, we got involved into the practical part of the day: make our own LCA for an industry and suggesting possible measures to reduce the impact, calculating the equivalent CO2 emissions that fall under the global warming potential. Grouped into teams of four people, we explored with precise figures the amount of emissions and the different costs depending on the country chosen. The exercise was successful as all groups where able to arrive to similar results, and later we discussed the possible mitigation actions.


Text: Adrián Lauer with the support of Augusto Mosqueda, EM40 participants

Photos: Adrián Lauer