Sustainability Insight #9: Evidence Base for Environmental Justice and Sustainability


UNESCO Jakarta organized ninth interview session of the “Sustainability Insight” on 30 July 2020 from 12:00 to 13:00 (GMT+7). In this series, we invite one implementing partner at a time and learn from their knowledge, experience, and view of the post-pandemic new normal.

This session invited two guests to provide different perspectives to the issue of sustainability. Prof. Donna Craig from Western Sydney University, Australia, introduced the concept of environmental justice from the perspective of law. Prof. Roman Jashenko, Director General of Institute of Zoology CS MES RK, Chairman of the MAB National Committee, Kazakhstan explained the evidence-based approach applied at Biosphere Reserves.

According to Prof. Craig, “just sustainability” concept focuses on social justice, economic well-being, and environmental stewardship, while creating sustainable communities able to facilitate global changes. She further explained the importance of indigenous knowledge for environmental sustainability with referring some of her experiences working with indigenous community.

Prof. Jashenko mentioned that the biodiversity conservation is linked to various international obligations which request countries to provide scientific data regarding the state of ecosystems. He introduced the ecosystem data collection and use in Kazakhstan, for example, they are currently working on the identification of alien species. Behind the success of establishing increased number of Biosphere Reserves in Kazakhstan, he mentioned that the key is the good understanding and appreciation of the Biosphere Reserves’ function among government and community, which is to serve as a model area where harmonizes human and nature.

Both speakers indicated that legal frameworks should be further studied so that it can be contextualized to each site, and this study can be carried out with involving experts from law, science, and other relevant areas.

Prof. Shahbaz Khan, Director of UNESCO Jakarta, underlined that both concepts, environmental justice and the evidence from ecological biodiversity, will play an important role as we move forward in this difficult time of COVID 19.

The recorded video is available at the Science for Sustainable Development Youtube

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