On 5 June during the celebration of World Environment Day, over 300 university students of 30 countries and regions gathered in the 129 Hall of Tongji for the “Connecting People to Nature” Summit during the International Student Conference on Environment and Sustainability 2017. Students shared the innovative thinking and best practices on the topics of ecosystem and wildlife, sustainable development education and United Nations, eco-city and green lifestyle. This Conference is co-hosted by Tongji University, United Nations Environment Programme, Xinhua News Agency and Beijing Environment Foundation for Young Talents.
Erik Solheim, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme conveyed welcome remarks to the conference by video, expressing his expectations on the World Environment Day and young students. He reviewed his attendance of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing hosted by China. To echo to this call the UN Environment launched the global initiative for the greening Belt and Road with the Chinese government. In the video he emphasized the 15 years of partnership between UN Environment and Tongji University has achieved considerable success, also his encouragement to all Chinese and foreign student participants of ISECS to carry on, and lead future sustainable development in the world.
Mr. Cai Mingzhao President of Xinhua News Agency conveyed welcome remarks by words. Prof. Zhong Zhihua, President of Tongji University and Ms. Qian Hong, Vice-President of Agricultural Bank of China, Shanghai Branch delivered welcome remarks. In their speeches they hoped that young students would practice on sustainable development and consumption concepts, as well as take the lead in this field, so as to make greater contribution to achieve the goal of global sustainable development and create a harmonious Eden Garden possessed and shared by all the member of human being.
On the summit, Prof. Zhou Huaiyang Professor of School of Ocean and Earth Science delivered a keynote speech to analyze deep sea mining from the environmental, technical, economical and policy dimensions, and emphasized the key of deep sea ecological environment.
Ms. Clarice Wilson, Acting Chief, Policy Coordination Office, UN Environment, delivered a report on Toward a Pollution-Free Planet. One of the results of a weakened link of man and nature is pollution. She called for strengthened cooperation with Global University Partnership on Environment and Sustainability to build a center for sustainable consumption and life.
The Graduation Ceremony of 2015-2017 International Master Programme in Environmental Management and Sustainable Development was also held. Prof. Wu Jiang, Executive Vice President of Tongji University, Dean of IESD, along with Mr. Liu Mingzhe, Vice President of Academy for International Business Officials, Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China; Ms. Clarice Wilson, Acting Chief, Policy Coordination Office, UN Environment; Mr. Liu Jianxiong, Chairman of College of Environmental Science and Engineering Council; Prof. Deng Huiping, Vice Dean of College of Environmental Science and Engineering and Prof. Li Fengting, Deputy Dean of UN Environment-Tongji IESD, Vice Dean of College of Environmental Science and Engineering awarded graduation certificates to graduate students.
Since 2015 two sessions of International Master Programme in Environmental Management and Sustainable Development, sponsored by Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China. A total of 45 master students from 25 developing countries were enrolled. They come from their countries’ ministries or departments (e.g. Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Energy Source, Ministry of Railway/transportation, etc.), international organizations (e.g. UNDP, WWF, etc.), enterprises or universities.
Panel Discussion was included during the summit, moderated by Dr. Wang Xin, Vice Dean of UN Environment-Tongji Institute of Environment for Sustainable Development. Ms. Clarice Wilson, Ms. Zhou Ying, Program and Communications Officer, World Future Council China Program and representatives of youth participants discussed current hot-spot sustainable development topics and shared their thoughts.
Awarding ceremony of student scholarship for 2017 Green Future Scholarship and 2016 Green Seedling Scholarship was held. A total of 34 environment-related-major students from 11 universities nationwide were awarded. Meanwhile, research projects from 14 student teams were funded by Green Seedling Scholarship, and 10 research reports or papers were awarded with Green Future Scholarship. As the same time 2017 Golden Brick Future Scholarship also awarded its winners. Speech by student winner representative was made by Ms. Ou Tian. Mr. Xu Feng, Vice President of G.B. Holdings, wished young students to carry on and make their contributions to sustainable development career in the speech by sponsor representative. Prof. Wu Jiang, Ms. Clarice Wilson, Mr. Xu Feng awarded the winning students.
Green Seedling Scholarship and Green Future Scholarship are set up by Beijing Green Future Environmental Foundation, serving for undergraduate students and master students majoring in environment or environment-related majors in China. Green Seedling Scholarship is set for student science research projects, encouraging small inventions, innovations and academic researches, especially interdisciplinary researches in environmental science sector by young students. Green Future Scholarship serves for student social practices, and it promotes students to survey environmental problems in their hometown or under current focused social hot-spot. Research reports and papers basing on adaptability evaluation of national or local environmental policies, laws and standards are welcomed.
Golden Brick Future Scholarship is jointly set by IESD and GB Holdings, Beijing. Eight teams from Tongji University stood out from research teams from 10 academies and institutions, and won the opportunity for project support. This scholarship mainly focus on green human habitat and sustainable development related surveys and researches. It encourages students to combine their major and knowledge with the society’s need, and initiate innovations in researches and practices, thus demonstrate the responsibility for the career of environment and sustainable development of the young students.
Prior to this Summit student participants have already visited the exhibition, conducted on-scene study and taken part in seminars. Focusing on four sub-themes and respective speeches and debates, latest practices and thoughts from global young students are shared though multiple means, including academical reports from specialists, group discussions, on-scene survey and poster demonstrations. The conference will conclude at Jun. 7th, with the Global Youth Tongji Declaration.
Organizers of the conference says, the ISCES 2017 is held to echo the theme of World Environmental Day “Connecting People to Nature” and the China’s World Environment Day theme “Lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets”. It’s of great importance and meaning to build a platform to gather young students worldwide and discuss important, global-focusing environmental and sustainable development issues, which provides a platform for young students, as well as institutions devoted into green development, NOGs and enterprises to share and communicate. It also encourages young talents to participant in sustainable development projects and practices.