Elle Young, MA student in International Development & Education, Newcastle University
Newcastle University hosted the fourth annual Global Challenges Summit in Newcastle. The Global Challenges Academy at Newcastle University works in close partnership with Northumbria and Durham Universities, in supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to seek peace and prosperity for all people and the planet by 2030.
Fostering research and international partnerships to realise the SDGs, are the core values of the Global Challenges Academy, which encourages challenge-based and regional focused research networks to find evidence-based solutions for the world’s most pressing development challenges. The integrated ‘web’ of challenges that impact society and environment, inevitably require global partnerships to achieve these goals together.
The Summit aimed to explore the collaboration opportunities that are involved with international development and global challenges research within the North East and beyond, whilst reinforcing the overarching theme of ‘innovation and creativity for international development’. Continue reading
Philip McGowan, Newcastle University; Friederike Bolam, Newcastle University, and Louise Mair, Newcastle University
“Transformative change” is needed to prevent over a million species going extinct, according to a new report on the world’s biodiversity. Based on information gathered over three years from land, freshwater and marine ecosystems, and drawing heavily from the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the report from the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services warns that Earth’s life-support systems may collapse if humanity doesn’t change the way it values and uses nature.
But what does this mean for everyday life? “Biodiversity” – which describes the variety and abundance of species living on Earth – is a term which doesn’t travel far outside debate between scientists and policymakers. The consequences of the biodiversity crisis can seem abstract and difficult for many people to understand, particularly the implications for their own lives. Continue reading
Dr Graham Long
Universities, globally, have a unique place in accelerating implementation of the SDGs, even as they face uneven contexts and challenges. They can play a key role in engaging youth as a force for change, and in helping to generate the knowledge, analysis and expertise needed to understand and implement the SDGs as a universal and interlinked agenda. Some recent resources and initiatives have been launched to guide universities in these areas – notably the Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s (SDSN) Guide for Universities, and the SDG Accord, an initiative to encourage universities and academics (and institutions of further education too) to publicly commit to the SDGs. Universities are talking about SDGs, too – from the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) event on the final day of the 2017 High Level Political Forum, to my own university’s conference on this two weeks ago.
Much has been said about universities and the SDGs, but there is little research around what role academics see for themselves. To address this gap here, I draw on the preliminary findings of research I recently conducted with the help of Ana Flamind, Louise Luxton, and Dani Morgan at Newcastle University. We contacted 400 academics in developing countries to ask them about the SDGs in the context of their countries’ Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) this summer, receiving 87 responses. In this blog I want to highlight three key messages around SDGs and academics, linking the findings from this specific research to the wider picture around the role of universities.
Anne Liddon, Science Communications Manager and Carmen Hubbard, Lecturer, Centre for Rural Economy, School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, have written a thought-provoking post on how to make Christmas more sustainable.
Dr Jennifer Hazelton, a Research Coordinator for the Institute for Sustainability at Newcastle University, travelled to Lobitos, a small town in Northern Peru, in March 2014 for five weeks to help develop the town’s infrastructure. In the final post of a four-post series, Jennifer tells us about her trip.
Dr Jennifer Hazelton, a Research Coordinator for the Institute for Sustainability at Newcastle University, travelled to Lobitos, a small town in Northern Peru, in March 2014 for five weeks to help develop the town’s infrastructure. In the third of a four-post series, Jennifer tells us about her trip.