Research Abstracts

Climate change risk: an adaptation and mitigation agenda for Indian cities

Aromar Revi, Indian Institute of Technology (Delhi) and the University of Delhi,

This paper considers the needed adaptation and mitigation agenda for cities in India — where the urban population is likely to grow by around 500 million over the next 50 years. It considers the likely changes that climate change will bring in temperature, precipitation and extreme rainfall,
drought, river and inland flooding, storms/storm surges/ coastal flooding, sea-level rise and environmental health risks, and who within urban populations are most at risk. It notes the importance for urban areas of an effective rural adaptation agenda — especially in maintaining the
productivity and functioning of rural systems. It highlights the importance of today’s infrastructure investments, taking into account climate changes, given the long lifespan of most infrastructure, and the importance of urban management engaging with changing risk profiles. One important part of this is the need to connect official adaptation initiatives to the much-improved natural hazard risk assessment, management and mitigation capacity that responded to major disasters. The paper ends by describing a possible urban climate change adaptation framework, including changes needed at the national, state, city and neighbourhood levels, and linkages to mitigation.

Key Words: adaptation • climate change • mitigation • urban disasters

Environment and Urbanization, Vol. 20, No. 1, 207-229 (2008);DOI: 10.1177/0956247808089157

The RCE Initiative as a Policy Instrument for Sustainable Development
Can it Match the World Heritage List and the Global Compact?

Yoko Mochizuki, ESD Specialist, Education for Sustainable Development Programme, at the United Nations University–Institute of Advanced Studies, Japan. Email:

Concerns have been expressed about the United Nations University’s (UNU) Regional Centres of Expertise on education for sustainable development (RCE) initiative. While many have discussed RCE’s contribution to the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development(DESD), there has been no attempt to contextualise the RCE initiative in relation to similar, high-profile UN initiatives such as the Global Compact (GC) and UNESCO’s World Heritage List, and to delineate the potential and limitations of RCE as a scheme to encourage recognition of ‘good practices’ and an institutional mechanism to address sustainable development. With a view to refining and advancing the RCE initiative conceptually and operationally, this article addresses some of the key issues that have been raised regarding the RCE programme. By comparing it to the World Heritage List and GC, the article clarifies the nature of designation of local networks as
RCEs and offers suggestions on how to ensure the quality and validity of the RCE initiative in the long run.

Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, Vol. 2, No. 1, 61-71 (2008);

Opinion Essay
What We Need to Learn to Save the Planet

Moacir Gadotti, Director, Paulo Freire Institute, Professor of Philosophy of Education at the University of Sao Paulo, and author of many books on education. Email:

The author argues that education, as we see it today, is more a part of sustainable development’s (SD) problem than a part of its solution because it reinforces the principles and values of an unsustainable lifestyle and economy. He argues for an economy that is not centred on free market and profit, and which circulates wealth with a logic of cooperation rather than competition. Solidarity economy has incorporated the principles of inclusion and social emancipation. Sustainability and solidarity are emergent and convergent themes. Gadotti proposes that without social mobilisation against the current economic model, education for sustainable development (ESD) will not reach its goals. In addition, education for a sustainable life—not only for a sustainable development is required. The Decade of Education for Sustainable Development is an opportunity for formal education to construct a new quality of education, a social-environmental quality, to replace the current education model that has been eroding the planet since the nineteenth century.

Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, Vol. 2, No. 1, 21-30 (2008)

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