Regional Workshop on Sustainability Science in the Asia-Pacific Region

At the Rio+20 United Nations Conference in June 2012, the worlds’ governments agreed to produce a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs). The Rio+20 outcome document proposes that the SDGs must be action-oriented, concise and easy to communicate, limited in number, aspirational, global in nature and universally applicable to all countries while taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities. Knowledge from across the natural and social sciences is needed to develop a thorough understanding of global challenges, to identify, validate and monitor new approaches and technologies and to introduce new green economic models. As consumption accelerates and the world population rises, global sustainability becomes an urgent challenge that needs to be dealt with now. Sustainability Science is a vital part of the solutions to the sustainability challenges we face. Sustainability science is emerging as a new academic discipline, as outlined by the Sustainability Science Program at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.

This project aims to develop a common understanding of the concrete concept of “Sustainability Science”. The project also aims to raise awareness about sustainability science among policymakers in the Asia and Pacific region, with a view to position this as part of the national and regional science and technology policy. This will be achieved by:

  • Facilitating a regional workshop that will bridge the knowledge gap on sustainability science, and link the research with policy development,

  • Elaborating a conceptual paper on sustainability science, and contributing to promotion and integration of sustainability science in UNESCO’s programme strategy.

A group of international influential experts from diverse backgrounds will be invited to develop further the conceptual paper on sustainability science, discuss case studies from Asia-Pacific region, and propose answers to the following general question: how can sustainability science address economy-environment interactions and contribute to the achievement of sustainable society in the Asia-Pacific Region?