Online Learning » sustainable development Just another WordPress weblog Tue, 03 Mar 2009 20:42:51 +0000 EN hourly 1 The Satoyama Initiative Thu, 28 Jan 2010 01:40:39 +0000 brendan Satoyama landscape is a traditional Japanese multi-functional land use system in which agricultural practices and natural resource management techniques are used to optimize the benefits derived from local ecosystems. The products obtained (including food and fuel) help safeguard the community against poverty, but without degrading the land, water or other resources.

Similar landscapes have sustained millions of people around the globe for thousands of years. Yet, with the various forces of modernization and urbanization, these ways have been increasingly undermined or abandoned, and many ecosystems have been harmed and the corresponding communities weakened.

The Satoyama Initiative, a global effort led by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan and the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies, aims to help evaluate such landscapes and promote the revival and amelioration of the mechanisms for their sustainable management.  The Initiative can help achieve the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), being officially proposed at the CBD’s Tenth Conference of the Parties and incorporated into Convention-related activities.

Authors / Target audience

The Initiative’s portal serves as a mechanism for networking, communication and information-sharing among the Satoyama International Partnership, which is to be comprised of participating national governments, local governments, civil societies, local communities, private sector entities, NPOs/NGOs, educational and research institutes and international organizations — all of whom have stakes and interests in advancing such landscapes where human-nature relationships are more sustainable.

The educational materials produced by these partners — such as videos conveying information about the Initiative, case studies and lessons learnt — serve not just in achieving the goals of the Initiative, but as an important reference for academics and students in related fields. Additionally, the video content acts as awareness-raising material for the general public at a time when such knowledge needs to be more widely disseminated and considered.

Design and technology

The portal has been developed using Wordpress. The video content showcased is produced by the Media Studio and hosted in Vimeo. Compatibility has been tested with Explorer, Firefox and Safari.

Copyright License

Except where otherwise specified, the contents (text, video, graphics, photography) of the Satoyama Initiative portal are licensed by the United Nations University under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license.

Project Title

Satoyama Initiative

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Sustaining our Forests Thu, 24 May 2007 10:53:47 +0000 butuzov Importance of Forests
Forests cover 30% of the global land area or about 4 billion hectares. This equates to around 0.6 hectare per person. However, forests are not evenly distributed and five countries (the Russian Federation, Brazil, Canada, the United States and China) account for more than half the total forest area.

Throughout history, the competition between forested and agricultural land has been intense. Deforestation is a major problem today as we lose around 13 million hectares of forested land each year. This includes the loss of just over 8 million hectares per year in South America and Africa collectively.

Conserving our Forests
Over the past three decades, we have witnessed the emergence of sustainable forest management promoting stewardship of forest lands in order to maintain their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential, now and in the future.

This interactive and open educational resource explores the multiple uses of forests for wood production, as hunting grounds, as recreational areas and as the protection of biodiversity.

We can understand how the forest scientist views forests as a natural resource to be managed. How the forest economist understands the forest as an economic resource or a property. Forests are part of the natural capital of nations.

A policy-maker, on the other hand, emphasizes the relationship between society and forests, and seeks to manage the conflicting interests between different stakeholders (private industry, public agencies, non-governmental bodies and the general population.

This open educational resource has been designed as to improve your understanding of forestry, market economics and forest economics including concepts related to forest policy. On completion, you should be able to better understand the interconnections between forest economics and policies (past and present).

Using this Open Educational Resource
This learning resource has been designed for students enrolled in an MSc Course on Forestry Policy through a network of universities in the Western Balkans.

It is available for use in similar programmes across the globe and provides an overview of some of the key theoretical concepts and practice in the area of forestry, economics and policy-making.

Designed for students in the tertiary education (graduate and post-graduate) and for professionals and practitioners.

Design and Technology
Developed using Wordpress with a customized plug-in support for the creation of multi-choice quizzes, footnotes as well as image captions. Contains narrated animations using Flash Video. Compatibility tested with Explorer, Firefox and Safari.

Olli Saastamoinen and Jukka Matero from the University of Joensuu.

Copyright License
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0

Project Title
Contribution to the Forest Policy and Economics Education and Research (FOPER) project

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Sustainability in Asia Pacific Wed, 23 May 2007 10:55:33 +0000 butuzov Background
Asia and the Pacific is the home to 65% of the world’s population. It is also one of the fastest growing regions in the world in terms of industrial production and economic development. Yet, we find that 670 million people in the region live on less that US$1 per day. Nearly 2 billion people have no access to improved sanitation and over 650 million are without access to drinking water.

In the Pacific, the island communities face a unique set of problems in terms of energy security, waste management and the conservation of natural resources and marine ecosystems.

Countries on mainland Asia need to deal with dramatic population growth and rapid urbanization.

How the Asia Pacific region responds to the sustainability challenge will affect the future of the global environment.

This semester-based Advanced Seminar on International Environmental Studies is implemented by a network of universities in the Asia Pacific region. The topics covered include:

Coral Reef Management and Marine Biodiversity
Small Island Ecosystems and Sustainable Development
Forest Resource Management
Coastal Zone Management
Air Pollution Control in Asia
Land, Air and Marine Based Chemical Pollution
Solid Waste Management
Sustainable Agriculture
International Environmental Policies
Kyoto Protocol and Climate Change
Innovative Environmental Policy Tools
Earth Observing Technologies

Each partner university integrates the course into their existing teaching programmes and in many instances offers credits to the students taking the course. A certificate is awarded to students who complete all of the course assignments.

The course offers advanced professionals and students interested in environmental studies, planning, and resource conservation and management an opportunity to learn from a diverse faculty from each of the participating institutions as well as distinguished guest lecturers from regional and international organizations.

Design and Technology
The course is implemented real-time over video-conferencing with 15 sessions, each lasting 2.5 hours. Hosted on the Moodle Learning Management System maintained by the University of Hawai’i.

Course Coordinator
Keio University

Copyright License
Copyright is owned the individual lecturers. Some Rights Reserved.

Project Title
Asia Pacific Initiative

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Voices of the Chichinautzin Tue, 22 May 2007 10:40:59 +0000 butuzov Background
The Chichinautzin Biological Corridor, created in 1988, connects the Lagunas de Zempoala and El Tepozteco National Parks in the Sierra Norte of Mexico. Covering 37,000 hectares the corridor forms a natural green lung between two major cities: Mexico City and Cuernavaca. The rich biodiversity and endemism in the corridor includes a number of endangered species.

The biological corridor currently faces a number of threats from forest fires, illegal logging and development projects.

This documentary tells the story of the on-going struggles in different parts of the corridor to balance the needs for development with the conservation of the natural environment and traditional culture. This story is told by local people who have been involved with contests around the need for development projects like golf courses, railways and highways, as well as with the very recent challenge posed by illegal logging.

As the site of the 1910 Zapata revolutionary movement, this region of Mexico has a rich tradition of local activism and a very strong sense of community identity.

Can this sense of identity and tradition be preserved in the face of development pressures and modernization?

The documentary is designed to serve the needs of a diverse audience from the general public to graduate students.

Design and Technology
Filmed in high definition.

Copyright License
Copyright United Nations University. Some Rights Reserved.

Project Title
Library of e-Case Studies and Documentaries

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