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International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, 13 October

The International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction was started in 1989, after a call by the United Nations General Assembly for a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction primarily through widespread provision of early warnings and risk mitigation knowledge. In 2015 at the UN conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, the international community was reminded that disasters hit hardest at the local level with the potential to cause loss of life and great social and economic upheaval. Sudden onset disasters displace millions of people every year. Disasters, many of which are exacerbated by climate change, have a negative impact on investment in sustainable development and the desired outcomes. Hence, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction is a people-focused and action-oriented approach to disaster risk reduction and applies to the risk of small-scale and large-scale disasters caused by man-made, or natural hazards, as well as relat . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Keeping up with hydrogen

Hydrogen seems to be the perfect solution to our energy needs – and at last more people see the problem with the geopolitics of fossil fuel distribution thanks to the Ukraine invasion even if they are less concerned from a climate perspective. Hydrogen doesn’t produce any carbon dioxide when used. It can store energy for long periods of time. It doesn’t leave behind hazardous waste materials. And it doesn’t require large amounts of land to be flooded, like hydroelectricity, or covered like solar and wind farms. It can be used for “heavy” usage like aircraft and shipping and goods vehicles. All in all, hydrogen seems too good to be true. No wonder the energy industry is currently pushing hydrogen as the fuel of the future. So are there any problems? It all depends on production method. One is to pass an electric current through water, splitting the water molecules apart into their constituent hydrogen and oxygen atoms. With this method, the key is w . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Three Ways Sustainability Policy isn’t Serving the SDGs – and How It Could (IISD) ‘Dark data’ is killing the planet – we need digital decarbonisation (The Conversation) Waste solutions can curb 84% of global trash emissions, but nations are neglecting waste in climate plans (Eco-business) Chinese techniques offer corn farmers in Benin a way to adapt to climate change (Eco-business) What does true sustainability look like in the hotel industry? (Eco-business) The American EV boom is about to begin. Does the US have the power to charge it? (The Guardian) Cutting emissions will hit growth, but costs of inaction much higher, says IMF (The Guardian) Could This Paper Cup Help Us Quit Plastic Coffee Cups for Good? (green queen) Demand response: A win-win solution to climate and energy price crises (CHN) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

International Day of Peace

Every year the IDoP is observed on 21st September. In its most immediate form it asks that all conflict of all kind cease for the 24 hours. But of course a single day of ceasefire is not a solution to armed conflict and a day of respite from other forms of conflict is very small respite indeed. The bigger aim therefore is to get people to reflect on what brings them to conflict and the possible ways to remove themselves from it for a more everlasting peace - itself one of the primary motivators for the very existence of the UN. In 2022, the specific theme is to end racism - a form of conflict that is unfortunately endemic in many places yet which has no logical basis. The UN will mark the day early on 16th September to match with events at the UNGA. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Aiden Howe - 2022-23 ITSF YAC Member

I'm Aiden Howe, a Year 12 student studying at Chinese International School. I initially became interested in social issues in Year 10, when I first created Helpers for Helpers, a social organization focused on fighting domestic worker issues through outreach and events as well as sharing stories. After joining the first cohort of the UNITAR YAAPP programme and having the ability to connect with other youth, I co-created the Coalition for Minority Empowerment alongside fellow minority empowerment youth organizations Second Strings, Coexist, and KickAction, hosting the first ever youth-led UN event in Hong Kong. Currently, my focus has been on providing even more free opportunities for domestic workers to learn new skills and selfempower, such as our Mixing Bowl cooking classes and partnering with NGOs like SPLASH Foundation to host swimming lessons, and working in improving interconnectivity and collaboration amongst youth organizations on a local scale. My position on the ITSF YAC help . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

How Digital Innovation Has Accelerated Monitoring of the World’s Forests (IISD) Cooperation Needed to Correct Course on Gender Equality: UN Report (IISD) What is COP27? This year’s crucial climate talks, explained (Eco-business) Big promises, slow progress: sustainability culture rising up corporate to-do lists (Eco-business) Patagonia’s billionaire owner gives away company to fight climate crisis (The Guardian) Reasons for (cautious) optimism: the good news on the climate crisis (The Guardian) Clean energy jobs overtake fossil fuel sector but wages lag behind (CHN) 4 Online Courses for a Better Planet: From Sustainability to Plant-Based Nutrition (green queen) Agriculture drives more than 90% of tropical deforestation (Science Daily) What is The Line, the 170km-long mirrored metropolis Saudi Arabia is building in the desert? (The Conversation) AWS launches new Sustainable Cities Accelerator for startups (AWS)   . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability in the LICs

One of the biggest issues that is addressed again and again is how to ensure that the economic development of the LICs can be done sustainability. How it can learn from the mistakes of the HICs and mitigate for the hugely damaging impacts of elements such as energy provision through fossil fuels and infrastructure with steel and concrete. There have been examples of leapfrogging in the east i.e. adopting better and newer tech without using a poorer, earlier version at all. Witness Africa’s early and rapid adoption of mobile phone tech which allowed an avoidance of the damage of laying phone lines but also gave remote communities instant access to money transfer. Yet many LICs, especially in Africa remain hampered by problems that have been around for years. This good article in African Business highlights this in the energy context. What much of this all points to of course is who should pay? And it seems more and more to me that the only viable answer to that is the HICs and . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Education in the SDGs

An interesting article was published in the IISD SDG Knowledge Hub yesterday titled Towards Transforming Education Summit: Is Acceleration the Right Approach? The authors argue that a number of struggles have been exacerbated if not overtaken by the various pandemic scenarios and that many places now should be reassessing and reimagining their education targets as a result. What always amazes me in these discussions is that very few people actually challenge the assumptions of what a national education system is or should be. I rarely see the even bigger question of whether government should even be involved at the curriculum and assessment level. Education is a highly specialized environment and government ministers often come to it with any number of biases. All over the world, education systems are dominated and shaped by political rather than educational and social criteria. Added to this is the idea of how national education needs may very well vary along the development pathway . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading
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