Global Sustainability Initiative (GSI) Projects offer graduate students and professionals first-hand experience examining some of the most pressing environmental sustainability challenges facing our planet in the coming decades, and some of the innovative solutions and strategies being developed to address them.
The next few decades promise to introduce significant changes. By 2050, the world will be more urban and more affluent, driving higher demand for infrastructure, food, water, energy, goods and services, etc. It's an exciting time that stands to close poverty gaps, improve health and quality of life, and provide development pathways never imaginable a century ago. It’s also a decisive time for ensuring environmental sustainability of that development – a challenge that demands unprecedented leadership and cooperation. Environmental sustainability is an active process requiring innovative thinkers, managers, and leaders that have the ability to adopt a transdisciplinarly perspective, create an inspiring vision for the future, and can work across boundaries to get us there. The Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability (CLiGS) is committed to building capacity in individuals and organizations to provide this leadership. GSI Projects are one way we are carrying out that commitment.
GSI Projects are integral to CLiGS's global programs, focused on innovative partnerships and strategies for environmentally sustainable development in rapidly developing regions of the world. CLiGS is building a network of partners working around the planet on sustainability challenges to leverage our efforts to a greater outcome. GSI Projects help the Center's partners advance their sustainability goals while providing team members with a valuable experience by integrating our research, education, and engagement. Each project is pragmatic, professionally-oriented, and interdisciplinary. We work with real people in real places facing real challenges.
Learn, travel, and gain invaluable experience with GSI Projects!
The CLiGS Brazilian Amazon Program is focused on exploring the complexities of sustainable development challenges and strategies when a booming economy rests on natural resource use and extraction. The 2013 GSI Brazilian Amazon Project explored public-private partnerships and strategies being developed in the Northern Amazon Basin to expand commodity production, namely soy, while simultaneously reducing illegal deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest. The team worked for several days in the Amazon Basin and concluded their work in Rio de Janeiro. The next GSI Brazil Project is scheduled for January 2015 -- stay tuned for details.
The CLiGS Greening of Russia's Cities Program focuses on exploring the implications of urbanization and resource wealth for the megacity of Moscow in the face of national-scale population declines, particularly as it relates to urban planning and quality of life. The next GSI Greening of Russia's Cities Project is scheduled for Summer 2013 and will examine the opportunities and constraints for promoting environmental sustainability in Moscow and St. Petersburg, focusing on land use, alternative transportation, waste and water management, and environmental amenities. The deadline to apply is May 3rd.
The CLiGS India's Urban Ecosystems Program explores the challenges of building and managing complex socio-ecological systems in the rapidly developing area surrounding Mumbai. The next GSI India Urban Ecosystems Project is scheduled for January 2014 and will focus primarily on Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai and the areas surrounding it, examining the challenges of managing for ecosystem services (including the conflicts surrounding them) in the context of rapid population growth, urban development, and encroachment. The deadline to apply is November 8th.
The CLiGS China's Waters Program explores the implications of economic development strategies for the sustainability of ecological infrastructure systems in various types of communities and landscapes, and works with partners to develop strategies for managing these challenges. CLiGS China's Waters Program focuses on three river basins - the Upper Mekong Basin in southwest China, the Yangtze Basin across central China (including the Shanghai urban cluster), and the Lijiang River Basin in southeast China. The next GSI China Waters Project is scheduled for Summer 2013 and will focus on the southeastern region of China. The team will visit several locations including a river town, a village set among rice terraces, and the megacity of Shanghai to explore first-hand urbanization and development trends in China. Deadline to apply is March 20th.
CLiGS South Africa's Ecological Infrastructure Program is focused on urban and regional planning strategies that emphasize and enhance green and ecological infrastructure systems in the urbanizing regions of Johannesburg and Durban to meet South African development goals. The next GSI South Africa's Ecological Infrastructure Project is scheduled for Summer 2014. Stay tuned for more details coming soon.
CLiGS Chesapeake Watershed Program is focused on innovative cross-sector partnerships that have been brokered to advance green infrastructure solutions (in its broadest sense) in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, particularly within the Potomac sub-watershed. The 2013 projects associated with this program are currently restricted to XMNR students.