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UC-Todai/IR3S Workshop

December 8, 2009

UC-Todai/IR3S Workshop

Today I attended the University of Copenhagen-Todai University/IR3S Workshop at the University of Copenhagen over at Frederiksberg. I met Deliang at 9am over at Forum Metro station to walk over, on the way discussing our team’s activities yesterday at COP.  We arrived just on time for the ice-breaking session and we managed to meet some really interesting people from University of Copenhagen (UC) , Todai as well as Australian National University (ANU).

Deliang and myself were invited to participate in this workshop by Professor Shinichi ARAI, who is a project researcher with IR3S, which stands for Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science. He works with the University of Tokyo and was at a recent Carbon Workshop held in the National University of Singapore by Professor David Higgitt. Deliang and myself attended this workshop and represented the NUS by presenting a case study of Campus Sustainability.

Workshop on Longterm Cooperative Initiative towards a Low Carbon Society

The ice-breaking session began with Eskild from UC giving a brief introduction and by highlighting that this ice-breaking session should hopefully lead us to less ice being broken. I thought it was a funny and yet great start to the session. We went round introducing ourselves and it was a great opportunity for us to network.We later broke up into groups of 4-5 and began to discuss our ideas on a low carbon society.

My group giving our presentation

Group 2

Group 3

Group 4

Deliang's Group

There were a range of ideas from all who presented. These largely revolved around agriculture, food security, sustainable practices such as walking, and targeting civilian groups to empower them to make informed decisions. Ida from Copenhagen presented a project on soil sequestration. She explained that soil sequestration has a lot of potential and things like conservation tillage have been around for a long  time but has not been implemented widely. She also argues this can help to ensure food security and can be exported to different socio-cultural contexts. Takako from Todai suggested electronic vehicles for all police cars in Tokyo. Her case study shows that if all 20, 000 police cars in Tokyo are changed to electric cars, it has the potential to save approximately 200,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year! Hmm, makes you think about our Subaru WRX traffic police cars doesn’t it?

Singapore Police Car

Deliang presented on campus sustainability and it was well taken by the rest of the people at the workshop. My group has a discussion about university campus sustainability issues and the ANU students recalled that their campus green team ANU Green has done a lot to ensure that the campus is green and eco-friendly.

ANU Green

At the end of the session, we picked 5 teams which we all felt represented the most innovative, most feasible, most cost-effective, most ambitious and most off-beat presentations. My group, which presented on a global campus sustainability ranking system was chosen to be the most feasible!

My group's presentation - chosen as most feasible!

I suppose at the end of the day, this was a good way to network and to understand different perspectives towards creating a low carbon society. Deliang and I were actually unable to attend the full workshop, which is probably still on now. We only had time for the student workshop while the afternoon/lunch session was more of presentations. The presentations made by Dr Shinichi Arai and Dr Dumaresq were also presented in NUS during the Carbon Workshop held in November, so maybe we didn’t miss much!

To close the session, Dr Arai (Tokyo U) gave a closing comment, followed by Dr Dumaresq and Dr Jenette Lindesey. Dr Arai applauded our contributions but encouraged us to take the next step by trying to make it happen. He encouraged all of us who attended to approach those who are capable or in power to help us in our cause or to take up the necessary skills to makes our projects and visions happen. Similarly, Dr Dumaresq (ANU) echoed Dr Arai’s views but also reminded us not to forget to keep putting pressure on governments and their agencies. He highlighted the role of agriculture, sequestration and photosynthesis. Dr Lindesey closed by bringing up the fact that food production determines the existence of humans and we must remain diligent towards improving agricultural productivity and was hopeful that the diversity of ideas there (especially that of the Copenhagen students who are doing their Master degrees and PhDs in Agriculture…) can help to achieve that.

All in all, it was a very good experience!!!

Live at COP 15
ECO Singapore

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