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Managing Our Planet Series

Since 2011, the Managing Our Planet series is developed jointly by the Brazil Institute, Environmental Change and Security Program and the George Mason University. It is based on the premise that the impacts of humanity on the environment (including natural resources) are planetary in scale. The series addresses planetary-scale problems and solutions.

Managing Our Plant Series 2011-2017
 

The Managing Our Planet series is developed jointly by the Brazil Institute, Environmental Change and Security Program and the George Mason University. It is based on the premise that the impacts of humanity on the environment (including natural resources) are planetary in scale. The series addresses planetary-scale problems and solutions.

Since 2011, the series has hosted over 30 unique seminars focusing on planetary issues and solutions on how to address them. The events bring together leading experts on issues ranging from the Arctic, the Brazilian Mata Atlantica, and how public policy is shaping climate change mitigation. The series attracts a strong audience that engages the panelists on a lively and in depth conversations on the issues.

The series is an example of the cross-program collaboration in an effort to focus on climate change on a planetary scale. The combined network between the two programs and George Mason University highlights the reach and contributes to the high quality of the events. Due to the success of the series, members of Capitol Hill and their staffers have taken notice and have asked the Managing Our Planet series to assist in the creation of a series of Hill briefings. 

As part of the series, professors from George Mason University have designed a class "Managing Our Planet" for Masters and PhD level students. The class focuses on global climate issues and requires all students to attend the monthly session. 

Below is the list of all the sessions. Click on the individual event title for more information.

The Economic Case for Land Restoration in Latin America

October 28, 2016

Speakers:

Lester Brown, President and founder, Earth Policy Institute

Julia Bucknall, Director for Environment and Natural Resources, World Bank

Thomas Lovejoy, Senior Fellow, United Nations Foundation

As agricultural and forestry demands increase pressure on natural areas, Brazil and other Latin American countries have a leading  role to play in a wide range of agricultural and environmental relief efforts. Latin American countries have even committed to begin restoration across more than 20 million hectares—an area larger than Uruguay— in the next few years through Initiative 20x20. Inspired by this and other efforts, the World Resources Institute report on The Economic Case for Landscape Restoration in Latin America, uses a robust economic analysis to put a dollar value on some of the benefits provided by restoration across Latin America. The report, authored by a team of WRI experts led by  Walter Vergara and Luciana Gallardo Lomeli, will be featured in an October 28th seminar jointly sponsored by the Wilson Center’s  Brazil Institute and Environmental Change and Security Program and George Mason University’s Environmental Science and Policy program as part of the series “Managing our Planet,” which has hosted over thirty unique seminars focusing on planetary challenges and solutions.  

 

Developing Climate Resilience: An Island Perspective

October 5, 2016

Speakers:

  • Kate Brown, Executive Director, Global Island Partnership

  • Maxine Burkett, Public Policy Fellow

  • Roger-Mark De Souza, Director of Population, Environmental Security, and Resilience

    • Shereen d'Souza, Foreign Affairs Officer, U.S. Department of State

    • Ambassador Angus Friday, Ambassador to the U.S., Grenada

    • John Furlow, Climate Change Specialist, Impacts and Adaptation, USAID

    • Valerie Hickey, Practice Manager, Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice, World Bank

    • Ambassador Ronny Jumeau, Ambassador for Climate Change and Small Island Developing State Issues of the Republic of Seychelles

    • Thomas Lovejoy, Senior Fellow, United Nations Foundation; University Professor, George Mason University; Brazil Institute and ECSP Advisory Board Member

      • Kalim Shah, Assistant Professor of Environmental Policy, Indiana University

      • With the increase in frequency and severity of natural disasters and emergence of slower-moving impacts of climate change, such as sea-level rise, small-island states are often seen as particularly vulnerable. However, they have also proven themselves as innovators of climate resilience through effective risk management, disaster prevention, and climate-compatible development. This session will explore crucial aspects of island resilience in two panels: how islands can serve as resilience “incubators,” and what other states can learn from islands as they adapt to their own climate risks. It will bring together policymakers, scientists, donors, practitioners, and members of the diplomatic community with the goal of exploring island resilience initiatives and how they may be applied elsewhere.

Film Screening, "The Anthropologist"

May 18, 2016

Speakers:

Susan Crate, Professor of Anthropology, George Mason University

  • Paul Schopf, Professor of Oceanography, Associate Dean for Research and Computing, George Mason University

    •  

      The Anthropologist recounts the parallel stories of two women: Margaret Mead, who popularized cultural anthropology in America; and Susie Crate, an environmental anthropologist currently studying the impact of climate change. As revealed through their daughters’ perspectives, Mead and Crate demonstrate a fascination with how societies are forced to negotiate the disruption of their traditional ways of life, whether through encounters with the outside world or the unprecedented change wrought by melting permafrost, receding glaciers and rising tides.

      The documnetary is an important documentary for policy, NGO and federal agencies specifically because it is based on anthropological research, one of the critical social science disciplines that methodologically clarifies the human aspects of climate change. Of late, and especially in the context of climate research, there has been significant progress in integrating the natural and social sciences to forefront critical perceptions, understandings, and responses to climate change as it interacts in the diversity of our planet's biocultural systems.

The Future of Sustainable Development Goals

April 13, 2016

Speakers:

Thomas Lovejoy, Senior Fellow, United Nations Foundation; University Professor, George Mason University; Brazil Institute and ECSP Advisory Board Member

  • Daniella Ballou-Aares, Senior Advisor, Development, State Department

  • Sneha Barot, Senior Public Policy Associate, Guttmacher Institute

  • Sarah Davidson, Manager, Water Policy, World Wildlife Fund

  • Melinda Kimble, Senior Fellow, United Nations Foundation; Civil Society Member, GEO-6 High Level Group

  • Eliza Northrop, Associate, International Climate Initiative, World Resources Institute

  • Cletus Springer, Director, Department of Sustainable Development, Organization of American States

  • Roger-Mark De Souza, Director of Population, Environmental Security, and Resilience

  • “As we go forward, we will discover that 2015 was when we really started getting serious about transdisciplinary challenges inherent in sustainable development,” said Melinda Kimble, senior vice president for programs at the UN Foundation, at the Wilson Center on April 13.

    Experts from government, academia, and NGOs met at the Wilson Center to discuss the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how they can build on the successes and failures of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) between now and 2030.

Beyond the Paris Climate Talks: What Was Achieved and What Remains To Be Done

December 16, 2015

Speakers:

  • Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute

  • Andrew Light, University Professor of Public Policy, George Mason University

  • Paul Bodnar, Senior Director for Energy and Climate Change, National Security Council, The White House

  • Helen Mountford, Director of Economics, World Resources Institute

Roger-Mark De Souza, Director of Population, Environmental Security, and Resilience

Speaking at the Wilson Center as part of the “Managing the Planet” series on December 16, four experts hailed the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris as “extraordinary,” “game-changing,” and “the best-case scenario.”

 

Private Sector Roles for the UN Sustainable Development Goals: A Panel Discussion on Managing Our Planet

October 28, 2015

Speakers:

Angel Cabera, President, George Mason University

Terry Yosie, President and CEO, World Environment Center

Dann Sklarew, Associate Director, Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center, Associate Professor, Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University

When delegates met in New York City last month they were tasked with an ambitious goal of developing a new framework based off of the Millennium Development Goals launched in 2000. Working off the success of the previous 15 years, the issue has turned from achieving success in major milestones such as reducing poverty, ending hunger and reducing inequality to ensuring that they continue and are sustainable. The result, 17 broad goals, accompanied by 169 specific targets.

On October 28, a panel of experts will discuss what these goals entail and how they will be incorporated into an already existing framework. Leading members working with the private sector will discuss their roles in developing the goals and targets and where funding for the ambitious plans, expected to cost about $2-$3 trillion dollars per year, will come from and who can emerge as a leader to bring about meaningful change.

 

Looking Ahead to Paris: Expectations and Reality at COP 21

October 14, 2015

Speakers:

Christina Figueres, Executive Secretary, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Yamide Dagnet, Senior Associate, Collective Climate Action Objective, World Resources Institute

Paul Schopf, Professor of Oceanography, Associate Dean for Research and Computing, George Mason University

Lisa Friedman, Deputy Editor, ClimateWire

The focus of the global community on the outcome of the Paris Conference of Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December is unprecedented. The world awaits, anticipating the details of an international and legally-binding agreement to address climate change.

The prospect of a successful outcome is certainly a source of optimism and excitement. “[T]he eyes of the world will be on Paris…all indications seem to point toward success,” said Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the UNFCC, in a video made specifically for the ongoing “Managing Our Planet” series. The road to Paris has been enabled by many other negotiations – from Kyoto to Copenhagen to Durban. These talks have set the precedent for a deal to come soon. However, despite this optimism and vision of an effective and comprehensive climate strategy, it is important to look beyond Paris.

To set the Paris deal in motion, the global community must ensure effective implementation, deliver adequate financing, and encourage transparency and accountability. Without these critical components, the negotiations will not stop temperatures from rising to dangerous levels. After the post-Paris celebrations calm down, the global community must keep up the momentum or risk another failed attempt at addressing climate change.

 

The Pioneers of Amazon Research: A Conversation with Dr. John Hemming

October 8, 2015

Speakers:

Dr. John Hemming, Explorer, author, Chairman, Hemming Group Ltd.

Thomas Lovejoy, Senior Fellow, United Nations Foundation; University Professor, George Mason University; Brazil Institute and ECSP Advisory Board Member

Paulo Sotero, Director, Brazil Institute

Dr. John Hemming latest book on the great pioneers of Amazon research, “Naturalists in Paradise: Wallace, Bates and Spruce in the Amazon”, details the harrowing journeys in the wilderness of South America’s rain forest of nineteenth century British explorers Alfred Russel Wallace, Henry Walter Bates and Richard Spruce. Their discoveries heralded a new age of scientific research in the planet’s largest tropical rainforest, whose very existence was then not well known to the outside world. The publication of Naturalists in Paradise is particularly relevant to today’s debate about the imperative of preserving the region’s rich biodiversity and its vital role as Earth’s climate stabilizer.

 

Mist of the Earth: Art and Sustainability

May 20, 2015

Speakers:

            Ambassador Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, Ambassador of Brazil to the United      States

            Denise Milan, Multimedia Artist

 Manuela Mena, Senior Curator, Eighteenth Century Painting and Goya, Museo Nacional del Prado

            Naomi Moniz, Professor Emeritus, Georgetown University

           Thomas Lovejoy, Senior Fellow, UN Foundation, University Professor, George Mason    University, Brazil Institute and ECSP Advisory Board Member

   Paulo Sotero, Director, Brazil Institute

"Mist of the Earth,” an exhibition of photographs and photo-collages by renewed Brazilian artist Denise Milan, joins memory and history and invites viewers on a journey of imagination and reflection about the environmental challenges of development. On May 20, a panel of experts will join the artist to discuss the roles of art in sustainability as the Brazil Institute welcomes “Mist of the Earth” to Washington. A viewing of the artwork with Milan and exhibit Curator Simon Watson will follow.

Promoting Years of Sustainability: Responding to Megatrends

April 22, 2015

Speakers:

Roger-Mark de Souza, Director, Population Environmental Security, and Resilience, Wilson Center

Banning Garrett, Faculty, Singularity University

Alan Hecht, Director for Sustainable Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Jennifer L. Turner, China Environment Forum & Manager, Global Choke Point Initiative

Terry F. Yosie, President and CEO, World Environment Center

2015 is a major test for the international system. The Sustainable Development Goals are expected to be adopted in New York in September and expectations for the UN Climate Summit in Paris are higher than perhaps any other time. “It is a critical year,” said Alan Hecht, director for sustainable development for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “but our challenge is years of sustainable development. How do we take actions today, how do we prepare for the future in such a way that we will achieve a more sustainable outcome?”

 

The UN Sustainable Development Goals: 17 Goals or One?

March 18, 2015

Speakers:

Manish Bapna, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, World Resources Institute

Thomas Lovejoy, Senior Fellow, United Nations Foundation; University Professor, George Mason University

Dann Sklarew, Associate Director, Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center, Associate Professor, Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University

Ellen H. Starbird, Director, USAID Office of Population and Reproductive Health

The proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), being developed by the world community under the auspices of the UN, provide benchmarks for eradicating poverty, protecting the environment, and empowering people and communities. Join us as speakers from USAID, the World Resources Institute, and George Mason University discuss the current state of the SDGs and the challenges and opportunities for comprehensively pursuing the sustainable development goals.

 

The Precarious State of our Oceans

February 25, 2015

Speakers:

            Sherri Goodman, President and CEO, Consortium for Ocean Leadership

            Nancy Knowlton, Chair for Marine Science, National Museum of Natural History

            Monica Medina, Senior Director for International Ocean Policy, National Geographic      Society

            Paul Schopf, Professor of Oceanography, Associate Dean for Research and Computing, George Mason University

Humanity has had an unequivocal impact on the world’s oceans and our continued growth in population has seen a declining rate in fish populations and the growth of hypoxic zones devoid of animal life. A recent study by the University of California Santa Barbara points to the role of human activity in degrading marine fauna.

 

The Resilience Beat: Reporting on Climate, Population, and Health

December 3, 2014

Speakers:

            Jennifer Brady, Data Analyst, Climate Wire

            Jina Moore, Global Women’s Rights and Africa Correspondent, BuzzFeed News

            Lisa Palmer, Public Policy Scholar, Wilson Center, Freelance Journalist

            Meaghan Parker, Writer/Editor, Environmental Change and Security Program, Wilson Center

            Steve Sapienza, Senior Producer, Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting

            Alan Weisman, Author and Senior Producer, Board Secretary/Treasurer, Homelands Productions

In his 2007 best-seller, 'The World Without Us,' Alan Weisman explored what would happen to the planet if the human race suddenly vanished – the gradual deterioration of the built environment, the geologic fossilization of our everyday stuff, and the ecological processes that would rebound and thrive without continual and growing human pressure.

Solutions for Sustainability and Resilience in a Constantly Changing World

November 19, 2014

Speakers:

            Joseph Fiksel, Executive Director, Center for Resilience, Ohio State University

 Alan Hecht, Director for Sustainable Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

            Thomas Lovejoy, Senior Fellow, UN Foundation, University Professor, George Mason University, Brazil Institute and ECSP Advisory Board Member

            Peter Saundry, Executive Director, National Council for Science and the Environment

            Lauren Sorkin, Platform for 100 Resilient Cities, Rockefeller Foundation

            Roger-Mark De Souza, Director, Population, Environmental Security and Resilience, Wilson Center

In the past few years, natural and manmade disasters including Superstorm Sandy, the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, and the Boston Marathon bombing have highlighted the growing need for communities and societies to be resilient in the face of unexpected and constantly changing challenges. Join us, the Rockefeller Foundation, Thomas Lovejoy of the UN Foundation, and select authors to discuss how urban communities and industrial enterprises can “survive, adapt, and flourish in the face of turbulent change and uncertainty.”

The Future of Food, Climate and the Natural World: A Conversation with Jonathan Foley

October 22, 2014

Speakers:

            Jonathan Foley, Executive Director, California Academy of Sciences

 On Wednesday October 22, the Managing Our Planet series brings a special edition where Foley will discuss his vision for the Academy and discuss issues related to food security, demographics and sustainability.

 

Africa’s Stalled Fertility Transition: Causes, Cures and Consequences?

October 15, 2014

Speakers:

            Jack A. Goldstone, Fellow, Wilson Center and Hazel Professor of Public Policy, George Mason University

            Jeffrey Jordan, President and CEO, Population Reference Bureau

            Paul M. Lubeck, Senior Research Professor, Johns Hopkins University, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Santa Cruz

Goldstone spoke alongside Jeffrey Jordan, president and CEO of Population Reference Bureau, and Paul Lubeck of Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies on the potential causes and consequences of stalled fertility transitions in Africa and what it could mean for economic, environmental, and health outcomes. They cautioned that not all countries are the same, but highlighted the over-arching importance of women’s empowerment and good governance in accelerating demographic transitions and easing the impact of continued rapid growth.

The New Climate Economy

September 17, 2014

Speakers:        

             Manish Bapna, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, World Resources Institute

             Christopher Delgado, Senior Fellow, World Resources Institute

             Thomas Lovejoy, Senior Fellow, United Nations Foundation University Professor, George Mason University; member of Brazil Institute Advisory Board

           The research has been carried out by a partnership of leading global economic and policy institutes, including the World Resources Institute (Managing Partner), and on September 17, a panel will convene to discuss recommendations released the day before by the Commission and what policies and actions can be implemented.

Where is the Blue Carbon Going?

May 21, 2014

Speakers:

            Ariana Sutton-Grier, Environmental Scientist, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

            Diane Hoskins, Director of Government Relations, Restore America’s Estuaries

            Jennifer Howard, Marine Climate Change Manager, Conservation International

 Steve Emmett-Mattox, Senior Director of Strategic Planning and Programs, Restore America’s Estuaries

 Paul Schopf, Professor of Oceanography, Associate Dean for Research and Computing, George Mason University

             Thomas Lovejoy, Senior Fellow, United Nations Foundation; member of Brazil Institute Advisory Board

Increasing Resilience to Climate Change

April 23, 2014

Speakers:

            Sunshine Menezes, Executive Director, Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting

            Donald Boesch, President, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

            Roger-Mark de Souza, Director, Population Environmental Security, and Resilience, Wilson Center

            Cathleen Kelly, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

            Dann Sklarew, Associate Director, Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center, Associate Professor, Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University

            Meeting the climate challenge requires increasing the resilience of both natural and human systems to absorb shocks and adjust to changing realities. A panel of experts    discussed the state, national, and international efforts to improve our ability to improve our ability to prepare for –and bounce back from-climate-related disruptions.

The State and Fate of the Arctic

March 19, 2014

Speakers:

            David W. Titley, Professor of Practice, Department of Meteorology Director, Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk

            Igor Krupnik, Curator, Arctic and the North, National Museum of Natural History

            Miriam C. Jones, Research Geologist, Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center U.S. Geological Survey

            Paul Schopf, Professor of Oceanography, Associate Dean for Research and Computing,  George Mason University

The Arctic is a sentinel of global warming where scientists predict and have observed the largest warming, melting and change, yet a region with planetary impact. Challenges facing indigenous people and how they are responding and coping with this changing world; and how feedbacks in the climate system may mean that the Arctic becomes more than an indicator of climate change and perhaps a source of even more greenhouse gasses. A panel helped sour out the science from the speculation, and guide effective decisions for the future.

 

The Challenge of the Oceans

February 19, 2014

Speakers:

            Andreas Merkl, President and CEO, The Ocean Conservency

            Chris Parsons, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University

            Thomas Lovejoy, Senior Fellow, United Nations Foundation; member of Brazil Institute Advisory Board

The world’s oceans are under direct threat. The 5th Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has noted that as a direct results of increased carbon intake, acidification has increased, which has a direct correlation to the overall health and balance of the oceanic ecosystems. On February 19th, a panel convened to discuss recent oceanic challenges.

 

Climate Change: Science, Impacts, Risks and Response

December 17, 2013

Speakers:

       Andrew Light, Senior Advisor to the Special Envoy on Climate Change, State Department, Professor of Public Policy and Philosophy, George Mason University

Glynis Lough, Chief of Staff, National Climate Assessment, U.S. Global Change Research Program

Jagadish Shukla, President, Institute of Global Environment and Society, Professor of Climate Dynamics, George Mason University

Paul Schopf, Chair, Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, George Mason University

Paulo Sotero, Director, Brazil Institute, Wilson Center

           In the final installment of the Managing our Planet series, a panel drew the thread from the increasing scientific evidence of human causes of global climate change, through an assessment of the consequences of climate change on our economy and society, to the status of international negotiations that are required to deal with what is a global problem.

The State of the Oceans

November 13, 2013

Speakers:

Libby Jewett, Director, Ocean Acidification Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Karen Sack, Senior Director, International Oceans, The Pew Charitable Trusts

Paul Schopf, Professor of Oceanography, Associate Dean for Research and Computing, George Mason University

 On November 13, a panel discussed the implications of the IPSO State of the Ocean Report 2013 and what needs to be done in order to address the issues on a global scale.

Making the Millennium Development Goals Sustainable

October 16, 2013

Speakers:

            Melinda Kimble, Senior Vice President for Programs, UN Foundation

Thomas Lovejoy, Biodiversity Chair, H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment

Jacob Scherr, Director of Strategy and Advocacy, Natural Resources Defense Council

With a target date of 2015, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a set of highly ambitious objectives to help eradicate poverty, reduce environmental degradation, and improve global health standards across the globe. Negotiations are already underway for a new set of “Sustainable Development Goals” for humanity to attain by 2030. On October 16th, a panel discussed the challenges and potential for formulating a coherent set of new SDGs to guide sustainable development, improve human security and manage our shared planet over the next generation.

 

Energy Looking Forward

September 11, 2013

Speakers:

            Kevin Knobloch, Chief of Staff to Secretary of Energy

            Jennifer Sklarew, Fullbright-Hays Fellow, George Mason University

            Paulo Sotero, Director, Brazil Institute

            Greory Unruh, Arison Professor of Doing Good Values, George Mason University

On September 11th, as part of the “Managing our Planet” series, a panel convened to discuss the current state of the energy infrastructure and what steps are being made to reduce carbon emissions and promote clean energy. Panelists discussed green initiatives and the direction of energy policy in the United States as well as implications for our global energy infrastructure.

The GEF Looking Forward

May 20, 2013

Speakers:

            Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility

Thomas Lovejoy, Biodiversity Chair, H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment

Blair A. Ruble, Director, Global Sustainability and Resilience Program; Senior Advisor, Kennan Institute

As part of the “Managing our Planet” seminar series, the Brazil Institute convened a meeting about the Global Environmental Facility, the largest funder of biodiversity and climate change related projects in the world. Dr. Naoki Ishii shared her thought on where the GEF is header under her leadership.

 

Climate Change and Extreme Weather: Impacts on Public Health and Agriculture

April 10, 2013

Speakers:

William Hohenstein, Director, Climate Change Program Office, Office of the Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Tom Karl, Director, National Climatic Data Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Paul Schopf, Professor of Oceanography, Associate Dean for Research and Computing, George Mason University

Paulo Sotero, Director, Brazil Institute

Catherine Thomasson, Executive Director, Physicians for Social Responsibility

On April 10, the “Managing Our Planet” series convened a panel of experts to discuss the outlook and impact of extreme weather events scientists see as connected to climate change.

 

The World at 7 Billion: Building a Sustainable Future

December 5, 2012

Speakers:

            Sandeep Bathala, Senior Program Associate, Environmental Change and Security Program, Global Health Initiative

            Suzanne Ehlers, President and CEO, Population Action International

            Matthew Erdman, Population-Health-Environment Technical Advisor, USAID

Jack A. Goldstone, Virginia E. and John T. Hazel Jr. Professor, George Mason University

Thomas Lovejoy, Biodiversity Chair, H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the  Environment

           As the world population surpasses seven billion people, governments and societies must help communities cope with limited natural resources and a rapidly changing global climate. A panel discussed planetary demographic trends and their implications for ecological management at the international and global scales. 

Managing Mountains for Ecological Services and Environmental Security

October 17, 2012

Speakers:

            Ruth Greenspan Bell, Public Policy Scholar, Wilson Center          

            Lisa Friedman, Deputy Director, ClimateWire

            John Furlow, Climate Change Specialist, Impacts and Adaptation, USAID

            Paul Schopf, Professor of Oceanography, Associate Dean for Research and Computing, George Mason University

            Andrew Taber, Executive Director, The Mountain Institute

High mountain regions face grave environmental challenges in the face of climate change. A panel including development and conservation practitioners, donors, environmental media, and policy analysis representatives provided an overview of challenges, issues, and solutions for mitigating and improving damages in mountain regions caused by environmental degradation.

 

Rio+20: Impacts and Ways Forward

September 12, 2012

Speakers:

            Fred Boltz, Senior Vice President of Global Strategies, Conservation International

            Reid Detchon, Vice President for Energy and Climate, United Nations Foundation

            Michelle Lapinski, Director of Corporate Practices, The Nature Conservancy

            Jacob Scherr, Director of Strategy and Advocacy, Natural Resources Defense Council

            Dann Sklarew, Sustainable Fellow, George Mason University

Tens of thousands of delegates, journalists, and activists converged in the city of Rio de Janeiro for the June Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development. Yet there was a general sense of frustration and angst over the final document and lack of commitment from leading delegates. A panel of experts discussed the conference outcomes and the next steps in the global effort for climate change sustainability.

The Global Environment Facility at 20

April 11, 2012

Speakers:

            Monique Barbut, CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility

            Melinda Kimble, Senior Vice President for Programs, UN Foundation

            Paul Schopf, Professor of Oceanography, Associate Dean for Research and Computing,  George Mason University

The CEO of GEF, Monique Barbut, explained how her organization, the largest funder of global projects, with over $60 billion with co-funding allocated to over 2,800 projects to improve the global environment, will view the upcoming Rio + 20 conference and what roles it will take in the future.

 

Rio+20: A New Agenda for Sustainability – or More of the Same?

February 22, 2012

Speakers:

            Reid Detchon, Vice President for Energy and Climate, United Nations Foundation

            Robert Engelman, President, Worldwatch Institute

            David Sandalow, Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs, Department of Energy

With the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development approaching, an opportunity to make progress on the global sustainability agenda was also met. A panel of experts discussed the agenda and what outcomes to expect from the conference as well as possible limitations.

 

Sustainable Solutions for the Planet’s Energy Challenge

January 25, 2012

Speakers:

  Daniel Kammen, Professor of Public Policy, Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley; Former Chief Technical Specialist, Renewable Energy and Efficiency, The World Bank

  Greg Kats, President, Capital E; author of “Greening Our Built World”

           The environmental challenges of climate change, energy demands, and natural resource loss continue to mount. The world’s population hit seven billion in November 2011, and is projected to grow to ten billion if not more. The Amazon had the greatest drought in recorded history in 2010. Droughts, floods, wildfires, and intense tropical storms are becoming more frequent. A panel of experts discussed how to mitigate the problems and presented possible solutions.

The Road to Rio+20

November 16, 2011

Speakers:

 Luis Alberto Figueiredo Machado, Under-Secretary for Environment, Energy, Science, and Technology, Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs            

             Richenda Van Leeuwen, Senior Director, Energy and Climate, UN Foundation

            Thomas Lovejoy, Biodiversity Chair, H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment

             Jacob Scherr, Director of Strategy and Advocacy, National Resources Defense Council

In the lead up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio +20, Ambassador Luis Alberto Figueiredo Machado, leader of the team responsible for planning the conference, shared the extensive preparatory work carried out in Brazil, and the specific goals, objectives and proposals that will be presented at the conference.

 

The State of the Oceans

May 18, 2011

Speakers:

            Thomas Lovejoy, Biodiversity Chair, H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment

 Jane Lubchenco, Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere; Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration

            Enric Sala, Ocean Fellow, National Geographic Society

A panel of experts focused on the current state of the world’s oceans and looked at ways to mitigate the human impact on our planet and environmental management on a global scale. Speakers presented commissions that took place in 2003-4, discussing how the United States is working on methods to protect the oceans on its coastlines.

 

Managing Our Forests: Carbon, Climate Change, and Fire

April 20, 2011

Speakers:

            Sandra Brown, Director and Chief Scientist, Ecosystem Services Unit, Winrock  International

            David Cleaves, Climate Change Adviser to the Chief, USDA Forest Service

            William Sommers, Research Professor, Center for Climate and Society, George Mason    University

This event, which took place during the International Year of Forests, brought leading experts together to discuss the impact of climate change, carbon emissions and fire on the world’s forests.

 

What "Lost" Cultures Can Contribute to Management of Our Planet

March 23, 2011

Speakers:

            Susan Crate, Associate Professor of Anthropology, George Mason University

            Wade Davis, Explorer-in-Residence, National Geographic Society

           This panel, another installment of Managing Our Planet, focused on the effects of climate change on indigenous communities worldwide. Wade Davis and Susan Crate explored the psychological, spiritual, and cultural aspects of land from the perspective of Indigenous groups, and how climate change alters landscapes and weather patterns that they have adapted to over centuries.

Managing the Planet’s Freshwater

February 23, 2011

Speakers:

            Karin Krchnak, Director, International Water Policy, The Nature Conservancy

            Dann Sklarew, Sustainable Fellow, George Mason University

   Paulo Sotero, Director, Brazil Institute

As part of the Managing Our Planet series, panelists discussed the increasing stress placed on freshwater resources by population growth, urbanization, and environmental change, as well as potential solutions to global water insecurity.

 

A Dialogue on Managing the Planet

January 19, 2011

Speakers:

            Dennis Dimick, Executive Director, National Geographic

            Juliet Eilperin, Reporter, The Washington Post

            Molly Jahn, Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

   Thomas Lovejoy, Biodiversity Chair, H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment

Starting off the ongoing Managing Our Planet series for 2011, this panel of experts focused on setting the stage for the upcoming monthly events and how to use national environmental management tools on a global scale.

 

Header Photo Credit: CIAT (Flickr)

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