EcoWeek 2012: Day Two
Sustainable development is a multifaceted and
often-misinterpreted concept, but it is one that directly affects
individuals, communities and nations around the world, and one that
must be understood in our days of rapid and often-unchecked growth.
In a nutshell, sustainable development is development that can
provide benefit not just today but for years and generations to
come. Sustainable development is development that will continue to
provide on-going economic and social enhancement while ensuring
that the environment is protected and preserved.
The UN Friday ‘Youth and Sustainable Development: the Future we Want’, which brought together some of the most respected national and international experts in Sustainable Development and Climate Change, has been a vital part of the EcoWeek 2012 programme. EcoWeek is an initiative established by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Information Office and the Government of Uzbekistan, in order to raise awareness of national environment projects and the need for ecological and biodiversity protection.
Today’s UN Friday brought together a highly-respected group of experts and community figures who could provide their individual perspectives on the topic of Sustainable Development, and specifically how it can be enhanced through the involvement of youth volunteers and activists. The event participants included the Director of the British Council in Uzbekistan Mr. Steve McNulty, the International Volunteer of the UNDP project ‘Supporting Uzbekistan in Transition to a Low-Emission Development Path’ Mr. Martin Jensen, the UNDP Expert on Climate Change Ms. Rano Baykhanova, and the Project Manager of the UNDP project ‘Supporting Uzbekistan in Transition to a Low-Emission Development Path’ Dr. Liliya Zavyalova.
The event was also particularly honoured to host two esteemed international guests via Skype, including Dr. Saqib Jafarey from the City University of London, and Dr. Axel Michaelowa from the University of Zurich. Both these individuals are highly recognised and well regarded leaders in their fields, having authored dozens of articles between them and having served as experts at international events and conferences. By taking time to participate in today’s UN Friday, these individuals provided valuable expert knowledge to their peers in Uzbekistan.
Before the UN Friday panel discussion began, Ms. Rano Baykhanova and Mr. Martin Jensen presented an engaging presentation which provided an overview of some of the main principles behind Sustainable Development, in particular the intrinsic need to find a balance between economic development and environmental preservation. The informative session helped to lay the groundwork for the following panel discussion.
During the expert panel discussion, questions were presented by hosting staff and gathered journalists, environmental volunteers and other guests. A wide variety of topics were discussed which ranged from the economic viability and growing acceptance of sustainable development both on a national and international scale, to the importance of encourage youth to understand the ideas behind the vital principle and promote them within their communities.
Much of the event’s conversation surrounded the topic of partnership. It was determined that for sustainable development to occur within a rapidly developing nation such as Uzbekistan, all members of society must be dedicated to striving towards and achieving the goal in a unified manner. While UN agencies, other international organisations and their national partners must team together to promote sustainable development, it is equally important that the nation’s youth receive the support they need to truly make a true difference.
The UN Friday ‘Youth and Sustainable Development: the Future we Want’ is just one event in the current EcoWeek programme, which will feature a number of educative community and school events in the lead-up to World Environment Day on Tuesday the 5th of June. To learn more about exciting upcoming events, visit www.un.uz, www.undp.uz, and the UNIC Facebook page.