16 episodes

About Sustainability… is a podcast presented by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, featuring IGES staff and guests having in-depth discussions about sustainability-related topics. Each episode addresses a different topic of conversation -- be it an upcoming event, a debate of interest, or an interesting research finding. With the topic as a starting point, we see where the conversation takes us. We aim at a broad audience, so we avoid using jargon and try not to assume lots of pre-existing knowledge on the topic. Views expressed during the podcast are those of the speaker at the time of recording and are not the official positions of IGES or other organisations involved.

About Sustainability‪…‬ Institute for Global Environmental Strategies

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About Sustainability… is a podcast presented by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, featuring IGES staff and guests having in-depth discussions about sustainability-related topics. Each episode addresses a different topic of conversation -- be it an upcoming event, a debate of interest, or an interesting research finding. With the topic as a starting point, we see where the conversation takes us. We aim at a broad audience, so we avoid using jargon and try not to assume lots of pre-existing knowledge on the topic. Views expressed during the podcast are those of the speaker at the time of recording and are not the official positions of IGES or other organisations involved.

    Renewing Commitments to Nature: Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

    Renewing Commitments to Nature: Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

    In this episode of About Sustainability…
    Erin and Simon caught up with Andre just before his trip to Montreal, Canada for the second part of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15). A few things have changed since the release of our CBD episode back in March. CBD COP15 will now be convened from the 7th to the 19th of December 2022 in Montreal, Canada under the Chinese COP15 presidency.


    After a two-year delay, Parties will finally come together to negotiate and agree on the text of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (or GBF). We explored some of the highlights and interesting aspects of the GBF, including the “30by30” target, other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs), and digital sequence information.


    Relevant links:
    IGES’ Special Webpage on CBD COP15About Sustainability… episode on the CBDPreparations for the post-2020 GBF"About Sustainability..." is a podcast brought to you by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), an environmental policy think-tank based in Hayama, Japan. IGES experts are concerned with environmental and sustainability challenges. Everything shared on the podcast will be off-the-cuff discussion, and any viewpoints expressed are those held by the speaker at the time of recording. They are not necessarily official IGES positions.

    • 30 min
    Circular Economy (Sustainability Afoot #1)

    Circular Economy (Sustainability Afoot #1)

    In this episode of About Sustainability…
    Bob kicked off a new experimental format, tentatively called “Sustainability Afoot”.  The concept is simple: go for a walk near the headquarters of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) in Hayama, Japan, and discuss some basic questions about a topic, concept, or methodology that IGES works in. The first episode of this format is about the concept of the “circular economy.”  Yasuhiko Hotta, Programme Director of the Sustainable Consumption and Production unit at IGES, explained the circular economy concept, gave a few examples, and talked about some of IGES’ work on the topic.  This naturally led to marine plastic litter, and the ongoing work of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) on Plastic Pollution that came out of UNEA 5.2 (the second part of the 5th session of the United Nations Environment Assembly), a conference that we discussed on this podcast  before and after it happened.
    The sound quality of this format will not match that of  our regular episodes.  We’ll try to get better at recording these types of episodes, but the audio will never be as clean. Whether  we should do more episodes like this, or the sound quality will make you stop listening, we want to know.  Please tweet us at @IGES_EN to let us know what you think!


    About our guest:
    Yasuhiko Hotta is Programme Director of the Sustainable Consumption and Production unit at IGES. His expertise includes 3R (reduce, reuse, recycle) policies, sustainable resource management, extended producer responsibility (EPR), the circular economy, and plastics. 
    "About Sustainability..." is a podcast brought to you by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), an environmental policy think-tank based in Hayama, Japan. IGES experts are concerned with environmental and sustainability challenges. Everything shared on the podcast will be off-the-cuff discussion, and any viewpoints expressed are those held by the speaker at the time of recording. They are not necessarily official IGES positions.

    • 32 min
    SDG4 (part 2): Education and sustainable development - are we teaching the right things?

    SDG4 (part 2): Education and sustainable development - are we teaching the right things?

    This is the second part of our episode on SDG4 and education for sustainable development. In this part we focused on whether the right skills are taught in schools to equip people with skills and priorities necessary to bring about a more sustainable world rather than one characterized by competition and scarcity.  Robert shared more information and examples from his work on education for sustainable development, and we discussed what approaches to education might be needed to help achieve important sustainable development and climate goals ahead of 2030.
    "About Sustainability..." is a podcast brought to you by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), an environmental policy think-tank based in Hayama, Japan. IGES experts are concerned with environmental and sustainability challenges. Everything shared on the podcast will be off-the-cuff discussion, and any viewpoints expressed are those held by the speaker at the time of recording. They are not necessarily official IGES positions.

    • 35 min
    SDG4 (part 1): Why is education so important for sustainable development?

    SDG4 (part 1): Why is education so important for sustainable development?

    In this episode we talked with our good friend Robert Didham. He is Centre Director and Associate Professor at the Centre for Collaborative Learning for Sustainable Development Faculty of Education, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. 

    We talked to Robert about education for sustainable development and its place in Agenda 2030 as SDG 4. He explained how SDG 4 takes a comprehensive focus on education when compared to earlier approaches such as the Millennium Development Goals. We then discussed some of the different facets of education such as a more qualitative view on education that is being promoted including focus on youth, technical vocational education and training, gender, jobs and education as lifelong learning. 
    This episode is divided into two parts to allow for more space for discussion. Part two focuses more on Robert’s work on education for sustainable development, and what approaches to education are needed to help achieve important sustainable development and climate goals. But that will be in our next release. 

    At small correction shall be noted: At 2:20 in the recording, when Robert was referring to the international framework that is the follow-up to the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development, he misnamed this framework by referring to it as the Education for 2030 framework, and it should have been correctly referred to the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) for 2030 framework.

    Please visit ESD for 2030 framework and the subsequent ESD for 2030 roadmap for further information on these initiatives.
    "About Sustainability..." is a podcast brought to you by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), an environmental policy think-tank based in Hayama, Japan. IGES experts are concerned with environmental and sustainability challenges. Everything shared on the podcast will be off-the-cuff discussion, and any viewpoints expressed are those held by the speaker at the time of recording. They are not necessarily official IGES positions.

    • 40 min
    SDG3: Good Health and Well-Being

    SDG3: Good Health and Well-Being

    In this episode of About Sustainability..., Erin, Andre, and Bob invited Eric Zusman back to talk about SDG3 on Health. Eric works on co-benefits between air pollution mitigation and climate action, which has significant implications for public health. Meanwhile, Erin provided some context and perspectives based on her public health background. 
    We started the discussion with what it means to be ‘healthy’ and what is required to attain good health. We then moved onto what SDG3 emphasises (and what it does not), what is missing from SDG3, global progress on the goal, and COVID-19’s impacts on our efforts and on health systems more generally. We then looked more deeply into air pollution specifically, as it is responsible for the premature deaths of approximately seven million people annually. We explored linkages with climate change, solutions that benefit air quality, climate mitigation and health, and the challenges or tradeoffs of implementing such solutions.
    Related links
    UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ Goal 3 PageSustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)’s 2022 Sustainable Development ReportStrengthening the Linkages Between Air Pollution and the Sustainable Development GoalsThis policy brief argues featuring air pollution more prominently in the structure of the SDGs could deliver significant health benefits.Sustainable and Inclusive Solutions to Air Pollution and Climate Change in Southeast Asia: Participatory Governance, Social Co-benefits and Co-InnovationThis issue brief presents ways that policymakers in Southeast Asia can support sustainable and inclusive solutions to air pollution and climate change with health co-benefits.One Atmosphere: Integrating Air Pollution and Climate Policy and GovernanceThis paper argues that more rigorous research is needed on how governance can help achieve air quality, climate and health co-benefits.Integrating Clean Air, Climate, and Health Policies in the COVID-19 Era: The Role of Co-benefits and the Triple R FrameworkThis policy brief argues that co-benefits can be a useful concept to integrate climate, air pollution and health policies in the COVID-era.About our guest:
    Eric Zusman is a Research Leader at the Integrated Sustainability Centre at IGES. Apart from his expertise in multilevel governance, sustainability transitions, and SDGs generally, he has extensive experience in air pollution mitigation and co-benefits of climate mitigation and air quality improvements (and health).
    "About Sustainability..." is a podcast brought to you by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), an environmental policy think-tank based in Hayama, Japan. IGES experts are concerned with environmental and sustainability challenges. Everything shared on the podcast will be off-the-cuff discussion, and any viewpoints expressed are those held by the speaker at the time of recording. They are not necessarily official IGES positions.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    SDG2: Zero Hunger

    SDG2: Zero Hunger

    In the second episode of our series on SDGs, Simon, Andre and Erin invited Prabhakar SVRK, who knows a lot about climate adaptation, food and agriculture. Focusing on SDG2 on Zero Hunger, we talked about the challenges to achieve a world free from hunger while trying to reduce fossil fuel use to limit climate change, given the significant fossil fuel-based inputs in our current food system. It seems the world is producing enough food or has potential to do so, but that distribution, access and sustainability of production remain a problem. 
    In this episode, we covered the world’s progress on SDG2; why we can’t solve this fundamental problem; the issue of production vs. access to food; extensive vs. intensive agriculture; globalized food supply chains; the role of innovation; food loss and food waste, and more.
    Related links
    SDG2 Progress, Targets, and IndicatorsPrabhakar’s slides on SDG2 About our guest:
    Sivapuram Ventaka Rama Krishna Prabhakar (referred to as “Prabhakar” in the episode) is a Principal Policy Researcher in the Adaptation and Water unit at IGES. He specialises in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, as well as agriculture, food and energy-related issues.
    "About Sustainability..." is a podcast brought to you by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), an environmental policy think-tank based in Hayama, Japan. IGES experts are concerned with environmental and sustainability challenges. Everything shared on the podcast will be off-the-cuff discussion, and any viewpoints expressed are those held by the speaker at the time of recording. They are not necessarily official IGES positions.

    • 1 hr 13 min

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