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SDG 17. Partnerships to achieve the Goal

Tracking Report on Specific Indicators for 2020/2021

Research

  • The Research Institute of the University of Bucharest
  • Exchanging knowledge and experiences for Integrating RENewable energy and Ecosystem Services in territorial environmental and energy policies, Faculty of Biology

Relationships to support the goals

  • The University of Bucharest has direct involvement in national government or regional non-government organisations’ SDG policy development. Some of the forms of direct involvement include:
  • In July 2021, Decision No 372 was published in the Official Journal on the appointment of the members of the Advisory Council for Sustainable Development, which includes Professor Emeritus Angheluță Vădineanu. The Commission has a key role, thus, according to Article 2 of Decision No 114/2020, it is actively involved, by drafting documents, providing advice, etc., in actions supporting the implementation of the National Strategy for Sustainable Development 2030.
  • The expertise of the teaching staff of the University of Bucharest determines their co-optation in the teams of elaboration of studies, some of them associated with development objectives. An example of this is the participation of Ionuț-Bogdan Dima, a lecturer at the Faculty of Law of the UB, in the preparation of the Occupational Analysis Report. Sustainable development expert.
  • The Center for Research in Systems Ecology and Sustainability (CESSU) of the University of Bucharest, in partnership with IUAV University of Venice, Veneto Innovazione S.p.A, Leibniz University, Climate Protection Agency Hannover Region, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Ministry of European Funds – Romania, University of East Anglia UK, The Estonian Environment Agency, Anglia Ruskin University Higher Education Corporation UK implements the IRENES project – Exchanging knowledge and experiences for Integrating RENewable energy and Ecosystem Services in territorial environmental and energy policies. The project aims to “exchange experience and best practice on the complementarity and synergy of renewable energy exploitation and multiple Ecosystem Services (ES) at territorial level and to feed the results of these activities into Structural Fund programmes and policy instruments through action plans to be developed. Thus, IRENES aims to identify the dysfunctions in current policy instruments regarding the use of renewable energy sources with ecosystem services, including environmental, social, economic and governance issues related to the provision of ES flows. Through the active engagement of the institutions involved in the management of the ERDF, in coalition with technical partners and with the involvement of relevant stakeholders, including economic actors and local communities, IRENES will promote a multi-stakeholder social co-learning process through coordinated action planning between EU regions and study areas.”
  • Within the CIVIS university alliance, of which the UB is a member, the Open Lab social responsibility projects have been running since 2021. The objectives of the CIVIS Open Lab of the University of Bucharest are: to connect CIVIS education, research and innovation to local needs and challenges; to launch local dialogues on local issues, through research, innovation, education and, where useful, public-private partnerships, identifying solutions to local needs; it provide CIVIS students with solid pedagogical, service-learning projects that foster civic engagement and transversal skills; and to strengthen territorial ecosystems and regional development.
  • The University of Bucharest and the members of the academic community initiate and participate in cross-sectoral dialogue about the SDGs. Some examples include:
  • The University of Bucharest was represented at the 10th edition (10-14 October 2021) of the Balkan Geophysical Society Congress by Prof. Florina Tuluca, professor at the Faculty of Geology and Geophysics. Lect. Florina Tuluca, President of the Balkan Geophysical Society, moderated the panel on Recent advances in mapping the Geosciences to the 17 United Nations Sustainability Goals.
  • The University of Bucharest participated at the beginning of the academic year 2020-2021, 9-10 November 2020, in the Global CIVIS Days 2020: Education for a greener tomorrow, a series of events that aimed to bring together students, academic staff, civil society representatives, innovators, policymakers and local government representatives from across Europe and to provide the optimal framework for meeting, connecting and discussing innovative solutions to major societal challenges. The theme of the first edition of Global CIVIS Days was Green Education, with the organisers proposing a conference and a hackathon. The conference was entitled “Education for a sustainable future“, and brought together over 530 participants, while the hackathon brought together 155 students from the eight CIVIS member universities. One of the major objectives of Global CIVIS Days was to stimulate collaboration and address societal challenges in areas such as climate, environment and energy, areas of interest to CIVIS.
  • At the conference Education for a Sustainable Future: Building Capacity for Climate, Environment and Energy Problem Solving, participants explored the challenges and opportunities facing higher education today in addressing the “alarming issues” on the agenda of the World Economic Forum, generating constructive analysis and ideas for innovation in the field of sustainability to solve today’s societal problems.
  • In Hacking today for a sustainable tomorrow in Higher Education students were challenged to solve three problems in a 24-hour online hackathon on the following topics:
  • Green Erasmus – rethinking how student mobility is delivered: How can my Erasmus+ mobility contribute to reducing carbon emissions?
  • Green Campus – reinventing the campus of the future: How can carbon emissions be kept under control on university campuses?
  • SDGs in Education – reshaping education for a sustainable future: How can the Sustainable Development Goals in Education be used in education programmes focused on finding effective solutions?
  • In June 2021, the University of Bucharest, through representatives of the Faculty of Geography, was a partner of the Carpathian Forum 2021, with the theme Linking the Environmental, Political and Societal Aspects for Carpathian Sustainability. Among the objectives of the forum is to encourage researchers and stakeholders to exchange ideas, knowledge, and research results, as well as to encourage dialogue between researchers, policymakers and practitioners. At the same time, it aimed to promote interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary collaboration, establishing links between the Science for the Carpathians initiative, local and regional authorities and stakeholders involved in environmental management.
  • The University of Bucharest is part of several international collaborations on gathering or measuring data for the SDGs. Examples include:
  • The University of Bucharest, together with the University of Oslo, the West University of Timisoara and the National Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering “Horia Hulubei”, is implementing the ClimaLAND project, which aims to “complete the global picture of geomorphological responses to recent climate change, focusing on two contrasting but equally sensitive environments: the Romanian Carpathians and the Danube Delta“. In March 2021, a UB team carried out measurements in the central sector of the Retezat Mountains to collect basal snow cover temperature data.
  • The Center for Research in System Ecology and Sustainability (CESSU) of the University of Bucharest, together with other partners in Romania and abroad, is implementing the international project IDESImproving water quality in the Danube river and its tributaries by integrative floodplain management based on Ecosystem Services. The project team aims to improve water quality management by developing and implementing a transnational integrative ecosystem services approach. According to the project presentation, “the IDES tool should enable key national actors in water quality management to identify the most sustainable measures without neglecting the needs of other sectors.”
  • At the beginning of the academic year 2020 the University of Bucharest signed the opening of the funding for the project entitled Strengthening the ecosystem and biodiversity research capacity of the University of Bucharest through e-science and technology – Lifewatch Romania, which aims to “strengthen the research capacity of the University of Bucharest’s stations along the Danube (Orșova, Brăila, Sfântu Gheorghe), as well as the Sinaia zoological station, by developing new laboratories or equipping existing ones with additional equipment. Our vision is to create open research entities that will allow the University of Bucharest to be associated with the research infrastructures that are now being set up or, as in the case of LifeWatch, have already been established at the European level. As it was conceived, the project responds to the need for technological alignment of research infrastructures in Romania with those existing at the European level, as part of the efforts to coagulate cross-border research entities capable of concentrating and mobilising material and human efforts to solve pressing problems (for example, those related to the management of natural capital), as well as basic research. At the national level, the project aims at developing a high-performance computing infrastructure, together with a distributed data-generating infrastructure (laboratories, modules, submodules) to ensure the integration, storage and analysis of data as well as their distribution to stakeholders for the assessment of natural capital and the impact of anthropogenic activities on socio-ecological systems. The project is proposed as a key element in the LIFEWATCH (LifeWatch, E-Science European Infrastructure for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research) infrastructure. Specifically, the project will provide advanced analytical, inter- and trans-disciplinary integration, and modelling capabilities to support: a) the development of knowledge on the dynamic and complex relationships between Biodiversity/Natural Capital and social and industrial metabolism; b) the elaboration of development scenarios; and c) the grounding of sustainable development strategies and policies in broad spaces and timeframes.”
  • The University of Bucharest is a member of several consortia and university networks, among whose objectives are those related to the initiation and promotion of action to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. For example, the UB is part of the Black Sea Universities Network (BSUN), a network that aims to collaborate for the sustainable development of the Black Sea region and the protection of the environment, as well as historical and cultural monuments (art. 2, BSUN Charter).
  • The University of Bucharest is a partner with many non-governmental organisations, with various objectives: organisation of placements, internships, volunteering, research, educational and research projects, projects to promote sustainable development in the community and others.
  • Team Work Association organised in spring 2021 the event “Spring Cleaning in the Botanical Garden” in partnership with the Botanical Garden “Dimitrie Brândză” of the University of Bucharest. This project aims to attract volunteers in an action to protect the environment.
  • The Faculty of Geography of the University of Bucharest hosted, in November 2021, the Behind the Dishes programme, a programme developed by the Agricultural Industry Awareness Association to raise “young people’s awareness of the impact of their food choices on the sustainability of the planet“.
  • The University of Bucharest collaborates with the non-profit organisation Opportunity Lab, implementing projects dedicated to young people. Examples are the BIOcamp and ECOcamp projects implemented in the academic year 2020-2021.
  • The French-speaking master programme “Médias, développement, société ” of the Faculty of Journalism and Communication Sciences has developed the project (platform) Consum’Actor which aims to promote sustainable development. In the academic year 2020-2021, the Consum’Actor project involved three NGOs in civic activities: GEEKS FOR DEMOCRACY, SAMAS Association and the Association for the Promotion and Development of Tourism Prahova. More details about the 2021 edition of Consum’Actor can be found on the platform under Consum’Actor 2.0 – 2021 Edition.
  • The University of Bucharest has published its second report tracking progress towards achieving sustainable development goals. 

Education for the SDGs

  • The University of Bucharest runs a variety of programmes and courses that educate students and, by extension, the community about sustainable development goals.
  • The UNESCO Chair (Interculturality, Good Governance and Sustainable Development) at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Bucharest is part of the UNITWIN network, which aims to support higher education through collaboration with NGOs, foundations and organisations from the public and private sectors.
  • Many of the CIVIS courses, developed in the following five areas: Health, Cities, Territories and Mobilities, Digital and Technological Transformation, Climate, Environment, Energy, Society, Culture and Cultural Heritage, cover themes that address sustainable development objectives and are accessible to all students of the University of Bucharest.
  • In June 2021, the Faculty of Journalism and Communication Sciences organised the Francophone Summer University in Communication Sciences, in partnership with the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, the ICOM-LYON 2 Communication Research Institute and Serious Evo International. The 2021 edition Social Economy and Solidarity, Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development, addressed themes such as Women Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Development, Ecotourism, Mobility and Sustainable Development.
  • The UB’s sustainability website also contributes to educating the members of the academic community and the wider public, as it brings together numerous actions towards the goals, references to specific courses and other relevant events. The page can be accessed here.
  • The University of Bucharest has dedicated courses (full degrees, or electives) that address sustainability and the SDGs.

Examples of full degrees:

  • Sustainability of socio-ecological systems, Master’s Degree Programme at the Faculty of Biology
  • Environmental policies for sustainable development, Master’s Degree Programme at the Faculty of Biology
  • Environmental policies for sustainable development, Master’s Degree Programme at the Faculty of Geography
  • Applied geobiology in the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, Master’s Degree Programme at the Faculty of geology and geophysics

Examples of specific courses:

  • Sustainable Development, Faculty of Geography
  • Environmental Ethics and Sustainable Development, Faculty of Philosophy
  • The University of Bucharest has dedicated outreach educational activities for the wider community.  An opportunity for such actions is through CIVIS Open Lab projects by which the University contributes to the development and implementation of initiatives that provide solutions to address community challenges and needs. In the academic year 2021-2022, 3 projects have been funded in the three main areas of development: Sustainability and Urban Resilience, Education and Culture and Research and Digital Transformation. The projects were carried out in partnership with various stakeholders (associations, research Centres, universities, schools, town halls, and companies), which allowed for wider dissemination of actions that also targeted community education. The three projects are:
  1. The “People and Trees Project. Management solutions of the Băneasa Forest for sustainable urban development and resilience” aimed to substantiate management measures that promote sustainability, ecosystem services and community well-being in the urban environment.
  2. The “Science for resilience project. Research for local sustainable development aimed to carry out new multidisciplinary scientific research in the UNESCO International Geopark Țara Hațegului” project – a development territory created and managed by the University of Bucharest, together with local partners.
  3. The “Learning Content Accessibility Services and Support for Children/Teens from Vulnerable Groups” project- aimed to create, with the help of students and specialists from the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, University of Bucharest, a support system for children/teens from vulnerable groups and to set up a Learning Content Accessibility Centre equipped for young people with disabilities.
  • Another form of community outreach, this time under the form of sharing information with the wide public was through the UB Dose of Science, a series of conferences that in 2021 approached subjects relevant to the SDGs:
  1. Episode 1: “Vaccination and scepticism among Romanians“, with Professor Cosima Rughiniș, professor at the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work;
  2. Episode 2: “Climate change. The great challenge of today“, with Professor Alfred Vespremeanu-Stroe, professor at the Faculty of Geography, University of Bucharest;
  3. Episode 3: “Education in a pandemic context“, with Professor Lucian Ciolan, professor at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Bucharest;
  4. Episode 4: “Pollution, a continuous threat“, with researcher Cristian Mihai Adamescu, director of the Centre for Research in System Ecology and Sustainability;

Marc, 21 – International Forest Day
March, 22– International Water Day
April, 22 – International Earth Day
May, 10 – Birds and Trees International Day
May, 15 – International Day of Climate Action
May, 22 – International Biodiversity Day
June, 5 – World Environment Day
June, 8 – World Oceans Day
June, 21 – World Sun Day
September, 23 – World Cleanliness Day
October, 1 – World Habitat Day
October, 31 – International Black Sea Day
December, 5 – International Soil Day
December, 11 – International Mountain Day

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