MEDIA INVITE BY PROFESSOR AHMED BAWA, VICE-CHANCELLOR AND PRINCIPAL AT THE DURBAN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
The Durban University of Technology, in partnership with the Iqraa Trust, Eskom and DUT business incubator Invo Tech, are gearing up for a major conference where issues concerning sustainability, the “green economy” and development will be discussed.
The conference: Greening developing economies in the wake of falling oil prices, is being organised and co-ordinated by DUT’s Journal of Green Economy and Development (JGED) and will be held from Tuesday, 7 July 2015 to Friday, 10 July 2015, at the Makaranga Lodge in Kloof.
The conference will cover a variety of aspects including climate change, green agriculture, rural development, sustainable urban and rural livelihoods and development finance and growth.
“One of the most significant challenges facing humanity in the 21st century is the impact that it has had on the state of the earth,” said Professor Ahmed Bawa, Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the Durban University of Technology. “This has resulted primarily from the modes of development that we have chosen such as rapid industrialisation, unsustainable consumption, humungous levels of wastage, unprecedented levels of pollution of all three biospheres of the earth, and so on. What this tells us is that there is a direct link between the nature of the economy and the long term quality of life of all forms. It is important therefore for us to focus our attention on how best to address these challenges through teaching and learning, research, engagement as well as social and political activism of various kinds,” said Prof Bawa.
The 2014 launch of the Journal of Green Economy and Development (JGED) and the accompanying Green Economy and Development Conference not only widened the debate to encompass concerns about water resources, marine affairs, etc, but also showed that ideas on the environment must not be separated from political economy issues such as inequality and power relations.
“While nobody can argue about the positive impact of the economic growth on unemployment and the standard of living of millions of disadvantaged people around the world, we must also admit that the cost and the negative impact of this nonstop growth has been very high to the environment worldwide,” said Dr Mahmoud Youssef Baker, Iqraa Trust Chairman. “We are suffering from unprecedented natural disasters everywhere. Global warming and pollution are affecting our lives and have made our earth very vulnerable. Sustainability planning has become very important to protect the only home we have in this universe. Governments need to reconsider their plans to keep growing their economies irrespective of the impact on environment and future generations,” said Dr Baker.
Academic papers on sustainability, the green economy, climate change and development will also be presented at the conference. Scientists, entrepreneurs, artists, designers, funders and public sector institutions will be in attendance.
Prof Bawa said universities must contribute to knowledge and understanding of how best to address environmental challenges and what undergirds earth’s “massive degradation” in all its representations. “DUT sees itself as being a social institution committed to these activities. This conference will bring together people from many societies who have a common concern about the future of humanity. It will be a great opportunity to understand what is being done globally and what needs to be done and to
produce opportunities for all of us to be part of the movement for fundamental change,” said Prof Bawa.
The details of the conference are as follows:
Date: 7 July 2015 – 10 July 2015
Venue: Makaranga Lodge, Kloof, outside Durban.
For comment or interviews, contact:
– Professor Ahmed Bawa, DUT Vice-Chancellor and Principal, on (031) 373 2845/ 2899.
– Dr Mahmoud Youssef Baker, Iqraa Trust Chairman, on (031) 201 2911/ 072 241 0349.
Durban University of Technology
031 373 2845