2012 ISTF Conference

Each January the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies holds a conference on tropical forests. Dedicated young men and women of the Yale Chapter of the International Society of Tropical Foresters(ISTF) work tirelessly through the academic year to organize this important tropical conference. Starting Thursday, January 26, this year’s conference theme is “Strategies for Landscape-Scale Restoration in the Tropics”.

This 3-day conference will bring together tropical forestry experts from all over the world to share ideas on ways to address this question of practical strategies for tropical forest restoration at landscape levels.

Following 2011 International day of forest worldwide, there have been discussions on restoration of degraded forest lands.  This conference will address the restoration strategies…

Ten years ago, the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, marking the ten year anniversary of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. The WSSD differed from many previous U.N. conferences in that no new treaties or international institutions emerged from Johannesburg (although it did produce another plan of action). What was new at the WSSD was the encouragement and recognition of hundreds of commitments by governments, businesses and civil society organizations to engage in Partnerships for Sustainable Development.

The partnerships were voluntary multi-stakeholder initiatives intended to contribute to the implementation of Agenda 21- the “blueprint for sustainable development” adopted at Rio in 1992.  They addressed the full gamut of environmental, social, and economic issues that are embodied in the concept of sustainability. The term…

In case any prospective FESers might like to view what our neighbors at Yale SOM think about life in New Haven…

Yale SOM students on New Haven

After a whirlwind semester and a two-week long break, I am in the throes of school life again! Am I glad that school has started again? In all frankness, I was initially reluctant to tear myself away from family and friends in my freezing hometown of Ulaanbaatar. However, I did also realize that during my first semester, I was able to build a life here in New Haven. I had a nice apartment and roommates to return to (East Rock is a great neighborhood). I also had friends, a job, classes and the prospect of concocting a whole new thoroughly fulfilling semester. Our semester is not entirely predictable with only classes and academics filling our days. It is ours to enhance with extracurricular activities, social events, weekend outings and independent…

New year’s wishes from Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies’ Dean Peter Crane, “We are all looking forward to welcoming students, staff and faculty back for another busy semester this coming Monday. We return from the holidays in sadness from the tragic loss of our wonderful alumnus and friend David Gaillard, but also with great hope for all that our alumni and the broader F&ES community will accomplish in 2012.
Happy New Year!
Peter”…

I’m sure you have all read about the recent Durban and Rio conferences this past month, and the different perspectives on the numerous side events and meetings we were all able to attend. The role of health is crucial in both the Conference of Parties climate debate, as well as The Rio Earth Summit on Sustainable Development. In Durban, humanitarian aid organizations and non-governmental health organizations have a prominent role. The Red Cross chaired the humanitarian council this year, to tackle these issues and integrate human health impacts into the roll of climate change. There is clear science and research from the IPCC and other independent and university affiliations about the strong correlation between health and climate change, ranging from the rising seas, increasing natural disasters, and correlation to infectious…

The 2nd Intersessional for the Rio+20 summit was the first UN intergovernmental conference that I have ever attended. I attended the Intersessional as part of NRDC’s team under the NGO – Major Groups sector. It was interesting to observe the different profiles of country representatives and their dispositions at the Intersessional. Sitting through both days, I observed that the general disposition in the room appeared to be ladened with weariness for rhetorics, there was no clear enthusiasm associated with change or the promise of change, rather there were mixed dispositions amongst country and civil society delegates. The general disposition of country delegates appeared to be a simple ‘tick in the box of attendance’ at the 2nd Intersessional for the Rio+20 summit. Even the brilliant comments, questions and commitments from countries or groups of countries…

It has been the 20 years since the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) where historic declarations and conventions were agreed up such as Agenda 21 – the blueprint for sustainable development, the Forest Principles, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).  We had established the the UN Commission on Sustainable Development and we had agreed acted upon the “Our Common Future” that was produced five years before in 1987. Twenty five years in the making during the recent Rio+20 intersession in NYC we were making some progress in articulating our common future which is still development for all without comprising our environment for future generations.

The discussion agenda at the intersession was focused on the zero draft – the outcome…

It was a great opportunity to work with NRDC through the course on ‘International Organizations and Conferences’. It enabled me gain deeper insights into Rio +20. Green economy and Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development are the main themes of the conference. Rio +20, the second earth summit being held after 20 years of the first earth summit, will determine the future of environmental governance and thereby the future of “Our” course of action!

As a part of Yale delegation, I attended the 2nd Intersessional meeting of Rio+20 in New York during 15-16 December 2011. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the structure and format of the zero draft of the outcome document. All the member states and other organizations submitted their inputs on zero draft by Nov…

Rio+20 is going to be held in 6 months; however, it is more likely that you’ve heard about Brazil’s upcoming World Cup and Olympics.  Rio +20 marks two decades since the landmark 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) conference in the same city that gathered 108 world leaders to discuss the green economy and sustainable development. Through Yale’s FES 850a International Organizations and Conferences course and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) I had a chance to attend a planning meeting for Rio+20, the Second Intersessional Meeting for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) in New York City on December 15-16, 2011.

I sat in on the US delegation’s briefing on Friday, December 16 with a diverse group of stakeholders. In attendance were…