Since 2010, EARTH has participated actively in the Costa Rican Network of Sustainable Educational Institutions (REDIES). The network formed out a need to both make campuses more sustainable spaces and to prepare professionals with environmental and social consciences; it has helped create awareness in its more than 18 member institutions.
As part of the Network’s activities, this past November, Manrique Arguedas, environmental manager at EARTH and REDIES coordinator, participated in the 2nd Conference of the Alliance of Ibero-American University Networks for Sustainability and the Environment (ARIUSA), in Bogotá, Colombia.
ARIUSA is an Ibero-American circle of environmental university networks created in Bogotá on October 26, 2007. Its fundamental purpose is to promote and coordinate efforts in the field of higher environmental education, as well as academic and scientific cooperation within University Networks for the Environment and Sustainability.
In the first part of November’s conference, organizers presented the project they are jointly developing in seven countries, on environmental research’s application to systems of science, technology and innovation in the selected countries and universities. They do so with the aim of formalizing a publication they may later share with other interested organizations and people.
The conference’s second part consisted of a presentation on applied environmental indicators in the different participating universities. Participating representatives from Spain, Mexico, Colombia and Costa Rica shared their success stories, with EARTH representing Costa Rica.
One result of the conference was the decision to hold a seminar in Valparaíso, Chile, in December 2013, on evaluating universities’ sustainability. Before the upcoming event, the organizers have agreed to do a comparative analysis of the identified purpose indicators in Latin America in four areas: management, training, extension and research.
Manrique Arguedas, environmental manager at EARTH, will participate in the representation process in Costa Rica and take charge of analyzing the environmental management indicators. The committee in charge of the previous analysis is expected to meet to review the advances made on the issue.
Additionally, in tandem, this past December 3, 2012, the Global Universities Partnership on the Environment and Sustainability was also launched in Bogotá. This alliance is an initiative of the United Nations Program on the Environment, which seeks to promote the integration of environmental and sustainability considerations into teaching, research, community participation and university management, as well as to increase and enhance student participation in activities directed toward sustainable development both within and beyond their universities.
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