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Unesco Cousteau Eco-Technie Chair

Since 2004, The Future University has worked in partnership with UNESCO. The Future University is the first private academic institution in Sudan and the region to host a UNESCO Chair. This Chair is in cooperation with The Cousteau Society and is called the UNESCO Cousteau Ecotechnie Chair (UCEC). The UCEC takes a proactive and effective role in raising environmental awareness, policy making, education, technical assistance and relevant research.

Vision and Mission

Bearing in mind UNESCO's aim of, " building an attitude of peace in human minds through education, science, culture and communication," UCEC aims to promote environmental sustainability and technology transfer to conserve the environment, through the following:

  • The UCEC UNITWIN program is an international initiative to promote interdisciplinary education, research and policy-making in the field of the environment and development. It is a joint effort of UNESCO's Man and Biosphere (MAB) program and the Cousteau society.
  • UCEC is working to facilitate a number of ad-hoc training programs on environmental sustainability to build capacity in young people in the areas of UCEC interest.
  • UCEC emphasizes research since it is crucial to realize sustainable development i.e. the motto of UCEC.

Objective

The role of UCEC in Sudan and the region is to emphasize the paramount importance of promoting the implementation of environmentally friendly techniques leading to sustainable development. The main objectives are the following:

  • Encourage integration of environmental issues in R+D, training and documentation Offer innovative short training courses with reference to the UNESCO mandate for UNITWIN / Chair projects.
  • Develop an Eco-Informatics Network among relevant academic institutions and NGOs on both national and regional levels.
  • Encourage and support Environmentally Friendly Tourism as a relatively new concept in Sudan to generate money for environmental protection.
  • Raise public awareness of the environment.

Ongoing Projects

The remit of the chair includes conducting scientific research towards realization of sustainable development in the related areas. At the last Chair Council meeting in February 2008 a number of adhoc scientific committees were established. Following this meeting, five research project proposals were prepared and submitted to relevant departments / sections at UNESCO Headquarters during the 35th General Conference for financing. Titles of the submitted project are:
Eco-Village , Provision of Low-Cost Public Latrines, Post Graduate Diploma in Eco-Building, Suakin Ecotourism Village and Coastal Environment Van (CEV) for monitoring the Sudanese coast.

The Eco-Sustainability Monthly Forum

Within the framework of the UNITWIN Program, the UNESCO / Cousteau Ecotechnie Chair at Future University - Sudan has launched the Eco-Sustainability Forum (ESMF) in September 2007. The focus of these forums comes from the three main areas of the Chair's activity: capacity building; networking and environmental awareness; and pursuing the realization of sustainable development via ICT and related appropriate technologies.

The main objective of ESMF is to increase the environmental awareness of the general public, professionals, postgraduate students and decision makers. This allows timely scientific advice on issues related to community needs. To date, 44 sessions have been organized dealing with a broad spectrum of environmental issues, topics and themes at local, regional and international levels.

Approved Long Term Action Plan

  • Capacity Building (3 years TOT program consists of 3 topics)
  • Networking (5 years Eco-Informatics Network activity)
  • Environmental Awareness (12 issues for 2012)
  • Proposed research projects (6 selected projects out of 13)
  • Postgraduate program (M. Sc. in Sustainability Science)

Special Initiative

International conference of Ecotechnie for all UNESCO Ecotechnie chairs will be held in December 2012 in collaboration with Cousteau Society and Man and Biosphere (MAB) Program, Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences, National Science Sector at UNESCO HQ.