Thursday, June 30, 2011

My View - International Year of Youth 2010/11 - Mainstreaming youth in environmental processes

Please find below a small write up I prepared for ICIMOD’s Bimonthly newsletter ( You may enjoy reading. Cheers, Tek

My View: International Year of Youth 2010/11 – Mainstreaming youth in environmental processes 

The years 2010/11 were important in the history of youth engagement in the development process. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the first International Youth Year (IYY) in 1985 on the theme ‘Participation, Development and Peace’, 2010/11 was celebrated worldwide as ‘International Year of Youth: Dialogue and Mutual Understanding’.

One in five people – over 1.2 billion – are aged between 15 and 24, according to a report by the Population Reference Bureau in 2009. The proportion of the population between 15 and 24 in least developed countries (LDCs) is higher than in more developed countries (MDCs). In 2005, young people represented 13.7 per cent of the population of MDCs (166 million), but the vast majority of the world’s youth (1.1 billion) are in LDCs.

Things have changed significantly in the last two and a half decades, mainly since the Brundtland Report: ‘Our Common Future’. As well as population growth, new environmental challenges – and opportunities – have emerged. The role of youth in ensuring that our future is sustainable has become imperative.

Several new problems and challenges that were not debated much before the Rio Summit in 1992, such as climate change, have surfaced and are threatening our planet’s sustainability. The global community must make difficult choices to protect the Earth’s resources. Global warming is on the top of the list of new challenges with the 11 hottest years in modern history occurring in just the last 13 years. Forest degradation and loss of biodiversity are other important concerns. The availability of water and its unequal distribution is a serious concern. The productivity of the agricultural system has significantly dropped in many parts of the world, mainly due to extreme erosion of topsoil, limited irrigation facilities, and increasing attacks by pests and insects. Natural disasters like the recent earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, the Pakistan floods in 2010, and the Indian Ocean tsunami, large-scale forest fires, and severe loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystems have all made the Earth a very unsafe place to live. Depletion of the Earth’s vital resources, the rising cost of basic goods and services for human survival, and changing weather patterns are other concerns. These are compounded by social disparities and widening economic gaps, a rapidly growing population, increasing demand for energy, and a shrinking natural resource base.

In this context, IYY is as a good reminder to involve the youth, develop their capacity, and drive the whole process in a safer direction. From an environmental perspective it is high time, as preparations are underway for the Rio +20 conference in June 2012. We need to develop some blueprints for our future at this landmark event. Rio +20 should be used to figure out new and wiser ways to put the world community boldly back on the sustainability track. This is only possible if we consult all of the stakeholders and critically and collectively review our past to shape the future. Let’s make sure youth do not miss out when we are making these decisions about their future on Earth!

- Tek Jung Mahat <>

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

2011 GreenGov Symposium to Take Place, October 31 through November 2 in Washington, DC

2011 GreenGov Symposium to Take Place

October 31 through November 2 in Washington, DC

CEQ and Association of Climate Change Officers to Co-Sponsor Conference

The 2nd annual GreenGov Symposium aims to bring together leaders from government, the private sector, non-profits and academia to identify opportunities to create jobs, grow clean energy industries, and curb pollution by greening the Federal Government.  This year’s event will be co-sponsored by CEQ and the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO).

President Obama signed Executive Order 13514 in October 2009, directing Federal agencies to meet aggressive energy, water, and waste reduction targets, reduce their greenhouse gas pollution, and leverage Federal purchasing power to curb waste, save taxpayer dollars, and support the growth of a 21st century clean energy economy.

At the 2011 GreenGov Symposium, participants will share sustainability challenges and best practices, and discuss cutting-edge approaches to achieving the Federal performance goals set by President Obama. Topics covered will include clean energy, energy and water efficiency, fleet management, getting to zero waste, green buildings, and greening the supply chain. At CEQ’s inaugural GreenGov Symposium in October, 2010, hosted by The George Washington University, more than 1,400 representatives from across all levels of government, the private sector, and the non-profit community came together to shape the future of Federal Government sustainability.

ACCO’s co-sponsorship of the 2011 GreenGov Symposium with CEQ is part of ACCO’s ongoing effort to advance the knowledge and skills of public and private sector leaders dedicated to developing and directing strategies for climate change and sustainability. ACCO is a professional development organization for executives and senior officials across all sectors addressing the economic, operational and environmental implications of climate change and related energy, water, waste, resilience, and national security issues.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

World Congress on Sustainable Technologies (WCST-2011), November 7-10, 2011, London

World Congress on Sustainable Technologies (WCST-2011)
November 7-10, 2011, London, UK (

The World Congress on Sustainable Technologies (WCST-2011) is a multidisciplinary congress, Technical Co-Sponsored by IEEE UK/RI Computer Chapter. The WCST bridging efforts across the natural, social and engineering sciences, the environment and development of communities. The congress covers a wide spectrum of topics that relate to sustainability, which includes technical and non-technical research areas. It also encourages sharing new knowledge in the field of sustainable technologies and the environmental impacts.

The mission of WCST-2011 is to provide the opportunities for collaboration and reflection that have the potential to greatly enhance the infrastructure and capacity for conducting and applying art, science and technology for sustainability. The WCST bridges the gap between academia and industry by creating awareness of current development in sustainable technologies.

The topics in WCST-2011 include but are not confined to the following areas:
Sustainable Energy Technologies:

   Bio-energy and Geo-energy
   Energy in Transportation Systems
   Energy Efficiency in Utilization
   Environmental Issues
   Energy Harvesting
   Energy Storage Systems
   Energy Storage Systems
   Energy Market, Management and Economics
   Energy Resources for Portable Electronics
   Energy Efficiency in Utilization
   Geothermal energy
   Intelligent Energy, Power Transmission Distribution, Interconnects and Protection
   Materials for Energy Resources
   Nanotechnology in Energy
   New Enabling Technologies
   New Materials for Energy Resources and RF and Magnetic Field Energy Devices
   Off-grid Isolated Energy Systems
   Policy Issues on Renewable Energy
   Power Electronics and Energy Conversion
   Renewable Energy and Biofuels

Renewable Energy Managements,
Economics and Environmental Impact:

   Climate Change
   Energy from waste
   Environmental assessments
   Environmental issues
   Environmental policies and planning
   Hazardous Chemical
   Innovative use of Renewable Raw Materials
   Offshore pollution and oil spills
   Pollution prevention
   Sustainable waste management technologies
   Sustainability impact assessments and tools


   Environmental Education
   Education and Training
   E-Society (e-Learning, e-Health, e-Medicine, e-Governance, e-Business, e-Art, e-Science)

   Green Computing:

   Advanced IT energy-aware technologies
   Green Computing Geo-energy
   Electronic waste
   Energy Efficient Ethernet
   IT energy management
   Power-aware software
   Power-efficient architectures and chip designs
   Component level power management, e.g., memory, disk.
   Power aware networking
   Smart Grids applications
   Technology as Green Enablers (Grid, Cloud, Data Centers, Virtualization)

Sustainable Building Design:

   Building Design and System
   Creative Industries
   Industrial Developments
   Low and zero energy houses and buildings
   New Insulation materials and techniques
   New building materials and recycling
   Photovoltaics and Solar Thermal

Sustainability and Policy:

   Sustainable Applications
   Sustainable Development Policy
   Sustainable Innovations
   Sustainable Technology Programme

Waste Management:

   Agricultural wastes
   Industrial waste management
   Medical wastes
   Mining and mineral wastes
   Nuclear and hazardous waste
   Waste from electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE)
   Waste water treatment

Proceedings, Journals and Book Chapters

All the accepted papers will appear in the proceedings and modified version of selected papers will be published in special issues peer reviewed journals and book chapter.

For further details, please send a mail to:

IDRC's Graduate Research Awards on Climate Change and Water

IDRC's Graduate Research Awards on Climate Change and Water

Deadline: Thursday, September 1, 2011 (before 4:00pm Ottawa time)

Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) supports research in developing countries to promote growth and development. The result is innovative, lasting local solutions that aim to bring choice and change to those who need it most. 

IDRC’s Climate Change and Water Program (CCW) helps developing country researchers understand how climate change affects water resources and find ways to improve the ability of citizens and governments to adapt to the changing environment.

CCW’s Adaptation H2O Graduate Research Awards aim to build research capacity by providing funding to graduate students working on subjects related to climate change and water.


We offer two types of awards:

1) For developing country graduate students: A maximum of seven awards, each with a maximum value of CA$15,000, are available in 2011-2012. The award covers field work expenses for graduate students who are citizens of a developing country and who are enrolled in amaster’s or doctoral program at a Canadian or developing-country university. 

 For Canadian doctoral students: Up to two awards, each worth a maximum of CA$15,000, are also available to cover field work expenses of Canadian citizens (or permanent residents of Canada) enrolled in a doctoral program at a Canadian university.

These awards cover the field work period, which must be 3 to 12 months in duration. The awards are only meant to cover research expenses and not university tuition or affiliated fees. 


Eligible themes  

Proposals must address one or more of the following themes:

1) Economic analysis related to climate change adaptation
Climate change is likely to undermine the progress that many developing countries have achieved in several areas, notably agriculture and the availability of water. Climate change exacerbates extreme weather events such as flooding and drought, exposing local people to various degrees of vulnerability. Under this theme, we are seeking proposals that explore economic incentives for adapting to climate change, and the costs and benefits associated with different adaptation strategies.

2) Gender analysis of adaptation strategies
The factors that increase women’s vulnerability to climate change in developing countries are largely under-researched. To address this gap, research must go beyond the simple demonstration of the gender-specific impacts of climate change. It must analyze gender inequalities to examine how climate change exacerbates these disparities. Under this theme, we are seeking proposals that explore the opportunities posed by adaptation strategies to address gender differentials through practical and empowering solutions.

3) Use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and spatial decision support systems for adaptation
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and spatial decision support systems have the potential to enhance resilience and strengthen the adaptive capacity of vulnerable communities to climate change. For example, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be a useful tool for evaluating risks and managing floods, droughts, and sea-level rise. When communities are involved in their use, these technologies can contribute to the development of adaptation solutions. Under this theme, we are seeking proposals that explore how information systems, knowledge management, and/or spatial decision support systems facilitate improvements in water management and adaptive capacity in the face of a changing climate.

4) The role of clean energy in water provision
Renewable energy technologies are an asset in developing countries coping with climate change and energy shortages. Given the central role energy plays in providing safe and sufficient water supplies, we are seeking proposals that explore how renewable energy can increase the availability and quality of water and support local adaptation to climate change.

5) Adapting to climate change in vulnerable coastal communities
The long term sustainability of coastal populations depends on healthy coastal ecosystems, yet these systems are being degraded at an unprecedented rate worldwide.  Climate change poses an additional risk to already vulnerable ecosystems, and coastal communities must now find ways to deal with the combined effects of environmental degradation and unpredictable climate change. Anticipated impacts include, but are not limited to: sea level rise, coastal erosion, and saltwater intrusion into coastal lagoons and groundwater supplies.  We welcome proposals that explore the linkages between climate change, ecosystem degradation, and poverty, and that explore ways of strengthening the ability of coastal communities to prepare for, and recovery quickly from, water-related impacts of climate change.

Please note that we encourage research proposals that incorporate a social as well as a gender analysis.

Eligibility criteria  

To be eligible for an award, applicants must meet the following criteria, in addition to any other conditions set out in this call for proposals:

  • Applications will ONLY be accepted in English or French.
  • APPLICANTS FROM DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: must be citizens of a developing country and be enrolled in a master’s or doctoral program at a Canadian or developing country university.
  • CANADIAN APPLICANTS: must be Canadian citizens (or permanent residents of Canada) and be enrolled in a doctoral program at a Canadian university). No Canadian Master’s students will be accepted.
  • The proposed field work must take place in a developing country and start no later than December 31, 2012. The applicant’s research supervisor must provide training and supervision in the field of the proposed research for the entire duration of the award period.
  • In principle, applicants must have completed all the required course work for their program of study before receiving the award. An exception will be granted where a university requires one or two more courses to be done after the field research.
  • All doctoral applicants must have successfully passed comprehensive written and oral examinations for the academic program in which they are enrolled before receiving the award.
  • All applicants must be affiliated with one reputable non-academic institution (national/international organization, institute or NGO) in the developing country in which the proposed research will take place. This will provide the participant with better access to scientific knowledge, networking possibilities and increase the likelihood that the supported research will contribute to useful local interventions.
  • All applicants must submit a budget. For details on the preparation of the budget, please use the Application form below.
  • The application must include all the required documents listed in the Application checklist below.
Guidelines for submitting a research proposal

The research proposal must be
 no more than seven (7) pages single spaced, be supplied in PDF format, and only contain the following documents, submitted in the order presented here:

1) Cover page (1 page): Contains the title, the name of the author, and the date of submission.

2) Research description (4 pages): Single-spaced, with 2.5 cm margins and submitted in Times New Roman 12 pt font. The research description must include the following:
  • Project title: Provide a title that is concise and meaningful, and includes the name of the city and country where the intended research project will take place.
  • Problem and justification: State the problem or issue to be addressed in relation to the particular development context in which your research project will take place. Identify the knowledge gaps that your research will address in order to contribute to the advancement of knowledge.
  • Objective: Provide a clear and concise description of what you plan to achieve over the course of the project. Objectives should be concrete and measurable.
  • Literature review: Demonstrate that you are familiar with, and have considered, what is currently known about the issue addressed by your research.
  • Research questions: Break down your research problem into specific research questions which you will address.
  • Theoretical approach or framework: Based on your knowledge of the literature, describe, if appropriate, the theoretical approach that helped you formulate your hypothesis.
  • Hypothesis: Present your hypothesis.
  • Methodology: Give specific examples of methods and techniques you plan to apply or develop in order to examine your hypothesis. Realistically assess the data available from secondary sources and the data you will need to generate from primary sources. Discuss the limitations the data may present and how you will deal with this. Suggest variables as well as data collection, processing, and analysis techniques which you plan to apply to test your working hypothesis.
  • Feasibility: Discuss any possible obstacles to the execution of the research and to the eventual use of the results and how you intend to address them. Identify any ethical questions related to the proposed project.
  • Expected results and impacts: Describe the anticipated results and their potential use. Identify the target beneficiaries and explain how the results may impact them.
3) Bibliography (1 page): Proposals must include relevant in-text citations as well as references.

4) Field schedule (1 page): Proposals must indicate the timeframe (Gantt chart) of planned activities.

Evaluation process

If your application meets the eligibility criteria, it will be pre-screened by IDRC staff. The selected proposals will be forwarded to at least two external evaluators for further assessment. Taking into account the eligibility and compliance requirements, the evaluators will classify the proposals into one of the following three categories: A (recommended), B (acceptable with some modifications), and C (rejected). Based on the evaluators’ reviews and the evaluation criteria outlined below, IDRC will make the final decision as to which proposals will be selected for funding.

Evaluation criteria

Researcher capability: The student’s academic training suggests sound and thorough knowledge of at least one of the four eligible themes. The application demonstrates that the student has prior experience and/or the skills needed to deliver the research project.

Relevance: The development problem or issue to be addressed and the project goal/purpose support the CCW main goal of helping the world’s more vulnerable people adapt to the water-related impacts of climate change in developing countries. The proposed research clearly identifies a gap in the knowledge base and explores or introduces a new idea or concept.

Results and impact: Results and potential uses of the project are clearly identified. There is a clear and logical relationship between the proposed goals, objectives, activities, and intended results. Targeted beneficiaries are clearly identified and possible long-term impact on participants, the student and/or the host institution are considered.

Approach and methodology: The theoretical approach and/or the hypothesis are clearly explained. Specific methods and techniques to be used to test the project hypothesis are clearly identified. Secondary and primary data collection required, and their limitations, are clearly assessed. The research methodology incorporates a social as well as a gender analysis. The proposal suggests methodology that is innovative or creative.

Feasibility: Challenges in project implementation (including knowledge of the local language) and eventual use of results are manageable.

Partnerships: The proposal identifies a reputable non-academic institution.

Budget and schedule: The proposed total budget is realistic in relation to the proposed activities and desired results. The application includes a realistic amount of time proposed for each phase of research, with a maximum of 12 months for the entire project.

Research dissemination
  • Award holders will be required to submit a fieldwork report two weeks after the end of their field work. IDRC will provide guidelines for the preparation of this report.
  • Award holders will be required to submit a report in the form of a scientific paper and an evaluation form three months after the end of their field work.
  • In the event that award holders fail to submit either of these reports, they will not receive the final instalment of the research award.
  • Award holders who submit the best scientific papers will be invited to participate in a workshop at an international conference (to take place in 2014-2015), where they will have the opportunity to present and discuss their results with peers (including Adaptation H2O award holders) and other relevant stakeholders. Following the workshop, selected papers will be published in a special issue of a scientific journal and could be considered for further publication by IDRC. 
Applicants who have unsuccessfully sought a graduate research award from the Climate Change and Water program and wish to resubmit the same or similar project proposal must obtain and integrate the comments from the evaluators of the first application. They must explain in the Letter of intent the changes that have been made to the research proposal since the first application and specify where to find the changes in the proposal.

  • To be considered complete, applications must include all the required documents listed in the Application checklist below. 
  • ONLY complete applications that are received on time will be considered.
  • Applications will ONLY be accepted in English or French.
Please make sure that the documents are arranged in the following order:
1) Letter of intent (including complete name, mailing and e-mail addresses)
     a. In this letter, briefly present yourself and describe your motivation for your research.
     b. Applicants re-applying with the same or similar project proposal must have integrated the comments from the evaluators of the first application. They must explain in the Letter of intent the changes that have been made to the research proposal since the first application and specify where to find the changes in the proposal.

2) Application form
The electronic Application form is available in the Downloadable documents below.

3) Research proposal (maximum of 7 pages single-spaced)
See the guidelines for the submission of research proposals above.

4) Budget
Please fill the budget requested in the Application form.

5) Support letter from the research supervisor
The letter must be signed by your supervisor. If the letter is scanned, please ensure that it contains your supervisor’s signature and is in PDF format. A template for the Support letter from the research supervisor is available in the Downloadable documents section below.

6) Support letter from the non-academic institution
A template of the Support letter from the non-academic institution is available in the Downloadable documents section below.

7) Transcripts
We require transcripts (original or notarized/certified copies) of your most recently completed degree program AND of your current program, even if it is not completed You can also provide an original letter from your last university confirming your degree and the marks you obtained. The letter must be on university letterhead.

8) Proof of citizenship or permanent residency
Photocopies of the following documents are accepted:
   a. current passport
   b. birth certificate
   c. Canadian permanent resident card

9) Application checklist
The electronic Application checklist is available in the Downloadable documents below.

Applications must be sent using one of the following delivery methods:

By e-mail: We will accept your documents by e-mail. All submitted documents must be included in a PDF file in the required order previously mentioned.

Please send your application to the attention of:

Nicole Mayer
Program Assistant
Climates Change and Water Program
Re: Application to the Adaptation H2O Awards

By e-mail
Email subject: Application to the Adaptation H2O Awards

By regular mail, priority mail, or Xpresspost
Climate Change and Water Program (CCW)
International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
P.O. Box 8500
Ottawa, Ontario K1G 3H9 - Canada

By courier services
Climate Change and Water Program (CCW)
International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
150 Kent Street, Mailroom Suite 990
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 0B2 - Canada

All duly completed applications, including attachments, MUST BE RECEIVED by email or mail prior to Thursday, September 1, 2011. Electronic documents must be sent by midnight (Ottawa time). Documents sent by mail or courier must be received by IDRC at the latest by 4:00pm (Ottawa time). Acknowledgment of receipt will be sent to all applicants whose application was received before the closing date and time.

Validity of Applications

Applications received before the deadline and that meet the requirements set out in this call for proposals will be evaluated in accordance with the evaluation process outlined above.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

Conditions of awards

Under no circumstances will awards be granted by IDRC to recommended candidates without first:
  • obtaining evidence that the master’s or doctoral applicant has completed all of the required course work for their entire program of study;
  • obtaining evidence that the doctoral applicant has successfully passed all of his or her comprehensive written and oral examinations for the academic program in which he or she is enrolled;
  • the applicant’s acceptance of the award’s contract terms and conditions.
We reserve the right to impose additional conditions which we may deem appropriate prior to issuing an award. These may include, without being limited to, the following: 
  • The applicant shall permit IDRC to disseminate his or her research results or resulting papers.
  • The applicant shall respond to the comments of the IDRC-designated evaluators on the applicant’s proposal.
  • In the case of ethical questions relating to the research, the applicant may, at IDRC’s discretion, be required to obtain and submit the appropriate approval from the Ethics Committee of their home university.
  • Applicants whose proposal involves carrying out a physical activity shall comply with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. As a result of an environmental impact assessment of the proposed project, the applicant may have to modify his or her project to mitigate environmental impacts.
We will post the list of the candidates recommended for an award on the Adaptation H2O website at the latest on December 1, 2011

Only candidates who have been recommended for an award will be contacted.

We thank all applicants for their interest.

For all enquiries regarding this Call for proposals, please contact the project coordinator:

Mélanie Robertson
Senior Program Officer
Climate Change and Water (CCW)