UNESCO Jakarta organized 13th interview session of the “Sustainability Insight” on 13 August 2020

UNESCO Jakarta organized 13th interview session of the “Sustainability Insight” on 13 August 2020 from 12:00 to 12:50 (GMT+7). In this series, we invite implementing partners and learn from their knowledge, experience, and view of the post-pandemic new normal.

The guests of 13th session have extensive experiences in the field of environmental assessment, conservation and restoration. Mr Kamran Yousaf, Country Manager, National Engineering Services Pakistan (NESPAK) Doha Office, is an engineer who have over 20 years of progressive experience in the environment and resettlement. Dr. Leah Barclay, President of Australian Forum for Acoustic Ecology and Lecturer at the University of the Sunshine Coast, works at the intersection of art, science and technology especially through the recording and disseminating the soundscapes.

Mr Kamran Yousaf introduced how the nature-based solutions have been recognized and gained significance attention over time among engineering community. Advantages of the nature-based solutions includes cost-efficiency, long-term sustainability, and better involvement of community. He also introduced the engagement with community through the example of river environment assessment and restoration project in Northern Iran.

From Dr Leah Barclay’s perspective, the nature-based solution is a restoration of ecosystem, which benefits for both ecosystem and human well-being, and essential part of this is to understand the nature deeply supported by inter-disciplinary research, citizen science, and engaging with indigenous knowledge. One of the powerful ways to understand nature is to listen to the environment, of which she provided specific examples through her project through the case of Cat Ba Biosphere Reserve (BR) in Viet Nam and BRs in Australia.

The discussion also explored possibility to use the sound recording in evaluating the improvement of environment over the course of environmental restoration project such as the project introduced by Mr. Yousaf. According to Dr. Barclay, soundscape recording and live streaming tools are easily available with affordable price.

At the end of the session, Prof. Shahbaz Khan, Director of UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific reiterated that applying systems approach and understanding the function of the nexus – in this session development/engineering and ecological science – are important. He called for collective efforts in continuous learning of eco-systems, understanding community’s perspective, and providing support in educating professionals, e.g., through the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).

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