Date of the peak after which oil production begins a structural decline
Conflicts on the oil value chain Protests of local people against the extraction Protests of employees in production and refining (Arabia, Kuwait, Russia) Illegal appropriation of oil Rural guerrilla against companies (the Niger Delta, Colombia) Low intensity wars for control of wells, oil pipelines, gas pipelines: Georgia, Afghanistan, Ecuador Wars for oil
2. Crisis of economic growth GDP still Increase in cost of raw materials Limits the increase in productivity (over-production) Social Limits to Growth (individual consumption take on a social aspect: the satisfaction for the individual consumption of goods and services depends on the consumption of others. The case of air, traffic and other common goods) Culture of growth in a de-growth scenario: social exclusion, racism, insecurity, anomie, Hobbesian state
3. Climate change and environmental crisis Environmental limits to growth: the metabolic cycle Greenhouse gas emissions Environmental hazards and social vulnerability increasing Increase in environmental conflicts
Climate crisis, environmental hazards and social vulnerability
Conflicts over control of energy and materials There is a link between the metabolic profile of a social system and environmental conflicts. Conflict on extracting energy and materials Conflict on transport routes Conflict on waste and pollution
Sustainable Socio-Environmental Transition Threats to sustainability of a system require urgent attention if its rate of change begins to approach the speed with which the system can adequately respond. As the rate of change overwhelms this ability to respond, the system loses its viability and sustainability. The sustainability of humankind is now threatened by both of these factors: the dynamics of its technology, economy and population accelerate the environmental and social rates of change, while growing structural inertia reduces the ability to respond in time. The sustainability of human society becomes an urgent concern.
The current ecological crisis is forcing international, national and local institutions to implement a process of radical environmental change, that will limit the negative impact of human activity on the biosphere and safeguard the planet's bio-capacity. These objectives – that are part of a strategy we call “ecological transition” – can only be reached through a process of cooperation, coordination and synergy among the various institutions, and through a radical change in the development policies, particularly at local level, to be led by experts and professionals.
But the local community sustainable transition should also be considered advantageous from both a local and global point of view. Today's local, national and international policy- makers often lack specific skills in promoting development on a sustainable basis. A sustainable local development requires the presence of professional figures with an awareness of the local/global context and an understanding of the changing and increasingly complex and interdisciplinary scenarios.
Skills for Sustainability The objectives of our International Master Course are to train experts in scientific policies and sustainable development for local, regional, national and global bodies, providing them with the necessary skills to: cope with problems growing from hazardous industrial plants and public health dangers; implement the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; preserve and promote biological and cultural diversities in a given territory; identify sustainable management for strategic resources such as water and energy; lead the environmental transition in all the required fields of application.
Strategy for environmental transition The aim of this project is to fine-tune a training model, consisting of methodologies, professional skills, knowledge, good practices and awareness, that may encourage the ecological transition in every corner of the planet, with a specific focus on the Euro- Mediterranean and Latin-American regions. The main characteristics of this educational project are:
The professional expertise, experience and awareness of lecturers of international standing may form experts, consultants and professionals capable of leading sustainable strategies at local and global level. The formative structure of the project, based on the transfer of both theoretical and practical competence and ability enables participants to acquire predictive capacities and identify strategic actions for accompanying stakeholders and development bodies towards local/global sustainability.
International links between research centres, institutes, departments and universities involved in environmental research and training, guarantee high standards in study, professional approach and state-of-the-art awareness in the subjects, approaches and methods. Such interlinking favours the flow of knowledge and the development and exchange of research’s models and outcomes between institutions of different countries and continents, with the aim of accompanying and facilitating the decisions of policy makers and stakeholders.
The mutual exchange of knowledge and experiences between different universities, institutes, research and training centres may guarantee high standards of teaching, assessment and research for the project itself. Knowledge can be shared through forums, seminars, conventions aimed at assessing the educational and research processes and improving the training proposal.
Radical Changes in Consumption Students will be educated in monitoring the environmental and social quality of life at the local, regional, national and transnational level and promoting sustainable development in consumption (housing, food, energy, transport, public and private utilities). Participants will learn to use accounting tools such as MFA, EFA, Ecological Footprint, HANPP methods, and environmental accountability such as Life Cycle Assessment, Integrated environmental economic accounts, Green National Domestic Product and other useful methods and economic planning skills to implement sustainable production, consumption and design styles.
Bottom-up Participation Participants will be educated to lead the ecological transition at different levels, guiding civil society, firms, business companies and public organisations towards new ways of production, distribution and consumption of material, energy, commodities and services. Here the focus is on methodologies of bottom-up participation to involve the local population in sustainable projects, future scenarios drawing, social planning and communication such as Agenda 21, Backcasting Approach and Strategic Environmental Assessment,
Preserving Bio-cultural diversity Participants will be educated in preserving and promoting bio-cultural diversity, understanding that local knowledge, traditions and heritage are crucial aspects of sustainable development. Here the focus is on methods (in the biological, sociological and anthropological fields) for rediscovering and appreciating landscape and land cultures – art, monuments, agriculture, food, land safeguarding, architectural legacy, old industrial buildings and craftsmanship – using appropriate tools for communication and social marketing and for land- and cultural museum management.
Risk governance and communication Participants will be educated on the field of preventing natural and industrial risks and hazardous (natural disasters, industrial disasters, pollution of air, water, food), managing urban and rural development, environmental conflicts, and scientific and technological sustainable innovation. Participants will learn about risk communication and policies of risk prevention – such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, deforestation.
Scientific responsibility and dissemination policy An international dissemination about theoretical environmental- related topics such as models of environmental transition, complexity theory, interdisciplinary efforts to manage for a integrated science of sustainability, methodologies of environmental accounting will be implemented. The emerging ethical, cultural and socio-economical problems posed by the ecological crisis, are forcing us to act according to the “principle of precaution” and in line with the United Nations' “Millennium Development Goals”, with the “World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg 2002” and the UNESCO coordination of the “United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development” (2005 and 2014).