Science and Technology for Sustainable Societies

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    Govindan Parayil

    The main focus of the Science and Technology for Sustainable Societies (STSS) programme at UNU-IAS is to meet the goals of equitable and sustainable economic and human development through the application of science, technology and innovation. The STSS programme aims to guide technological development and innovation to create a greener, cleaner and creative economy, both in rural and urban areas. The transition to a green economy requires concerted global and local actions by governments, industries, universities and civil society groups.

    There are a number of STSS outputs expected in 2013. They include many forthcoming journal papers and book chapters on a variety of subjects including sustainable agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa, taking forward the idea of open source biotechnology, the stakeholder perceptions of GM technology in West Africa and an assessment of the merits of algae biofuels for sustainable development in developing countries. Other contributions include papers on open source software, biofuels in Indonesia’s transportation sector and on the challenges and opportunities for doing business in ASEAN countries. The programme is also leading the development of a concept paper for developing governance indicators of low carbon contexts in Asia. And a monograph on Nuclear Power, Economic Development Discourse and the Environment (Routledge), with India as the case is also due to be released in early 2013.

    The Programme has moved forward in addressing some of the pressing issues in Governance and bio-security in East Africa through the Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring System (WEMS) initiative. WEMS has brought together four African countries to a common information sharing platform to address illegal wildlife crime. This was achieved through a joint partnership with the Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF) in Nairobi, ITC-University of Twente in the Netherlands and Harvard University. This initiative is expected to expand further to ASEAN and South Asian regions. The long-term objective of WEMS is to bring in science-based decisions through research in the development of national and international wildlife policies. This initiative is expected to lead to policy briefs and journal articles as well. There are a number of other research questions in the areas of international relations, innovation for sustainability, climate governance in Indonesia and policies for the “Green New Deal,” that are in early stages of conceptualization and development.