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National forum in Pune on urban sustainability stresses on achieving goals

The conference was held with an idea to educate urban citizens primarily about sustainable development goals, Smart Cities initiative and action agenda for urban sustainability

pune Updated: Apr 28, 2019 17:08 IST
Prachi Bari
Prachi Bari
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,National forum,Indian network on ethics and climate change
People seen attending the exhibition at the national conference on urban sustainability at Baner. (Milind Saurkar/HT Photo)

We are not clear about the basics of urban sustainability, and so there is a need to develop the basics,” said Nafisa D’Souza, executive director of Laya, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Visakhapatnam.

She was speaking at the national conference on urban sustainability held at the Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (Yashada) on Saturday. The day-long conference was jointly organised by city-based Samuchit Enviro Tech, Laya and Indian network on ethics and climate change (INECC), which are working on urban sustainability.

The inaugural session began with an introduction of sustainable development goals with urban relevance.

The sustainable development goals (SDG) were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 and ratified by all the members of the United Nations (UN). There are 17 goals, 169 targets to be achieved by 2030, where all countries are to align their policies with the sustainable development goals framework.

The conference was held with an idea to educate urban citizens primarily about sustainable development goals, Smart Cities initiative and action agenda for urban sustainability. It is funded by the federal ministry of economic cooperation and development, Germany and supported by engagement global, Germany under the education for sustainable development project.

Priyadarshini Karve, director, Samuchit Enviro Tech, introduced sustainable development goals (number 11), which highlights sustainable cities and communities. The concept is to make cities and communities inclusive, safe, sustainable and resilient.

During a presentation, Karve pointed out about the issue of disproportionate investment in selected areas of only 100 cities, excessive stress on local resources due to population pressure, high population density and high infrastructure, leading to increased climate disaster risks.

Walter Mendoza, vice-president, development consultant, Pune, Indian network on ethics and climate change, put forth a presentation on responsible consumption and production, which is sustainable development goals (number 12). Walter stressed on localisation, which includes reclaiming the production of basic goods, basic amenities and services, as well as inclusion of consumer driven and community regulated methods.

“The city should focus on decentralised energy services and waste management and the way we consume and the way we produce impact sustainable development,” said Mendoza.

Amitav Mallick, convener, Climate Collective, and trustee Pune International Centre (PIC) focused on climate change, action, and urban sustainability.

“We need to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Mallick.

He suggested that city planning should be climate-friendly, and reduce energy use, with a focus on e-mobility and water conservation.

Dominic D’Souza, consultant Laya, stressed on sustainable development goals (number 4) to ensure equitable, inclusive quality education and the promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030.

“Citizens should have the right to public funded quality basic education as against commercialisation and privatisation of education. There should be all forms of learning for everyone, focusing on adult education, literacy skills for life and work,” said D’ Souza.

He also added that education should be equitable and inclusive with appropriate and adequate infrastructure.

The conference also had an exhibition and poster presentation.

“Since this is a conference on urban sustainability, we are providing a platform for sustainable lifestyle products like household biogas systems, articles made from bamboo, other waste management systems and books on urban sustainability,” said Karve.

During the event researchers and students presented papers on road safety, gardening in limited space and environmental indicators in the context of sustainable development, environment and cultural values of urban open spaces, the role of transportation, the role of behavioural theories in inducing climate action.

First Published: Apr 28, 2019 17:06 IST