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Sustainability Science in Central and Eastern Europe

2014 Workshop in Bratislava adopted work program

The German, the Austrian and the Slovak National Commission for UNESCO organized a workshop on "Sustainability Science in Central and Eastern Europe" from 15 to 17 June 2014 in Bratislava. The workshop assembled over 40 representatives from ministries, parliaments, academies of science, universities and National Commissions for UNESCO.

Some 20 presentations provided a detailed overview of all ten countries participating in the workshop, the work of the EU in this field and of several pioneer institutions; they also provided important conceptual clarifications. Among the speakers were the President of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, the United Nations University and its "Regional Centres of Expertise", the Vice-President of the Copernicus Alliance and the Director of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission for Environment and Sustainability. In several interactive discussions, the participants agreed on a common understanding of the challenges ahead and how they should be addressed. The participants also agreed to a provisional common understanding of Sustainability Science.

Participants expressed their intent to work together on approaches to change priorities of research funding, methods of selection and evaluation of projects as well as structures within academic institutions. The goal is to achieve significant progress in the cooperation until the World Science Forum in November 2015 in Budapest.

In a "Summary Statement", the participants agree that the development of the region so far was not sustainable, in spite of plenty of strategies and instruments, since they are not appropriately implemented. That scientific research is indispensable for sustainability is so far only recognized on paper - this knowledge does not lead to the necessary structural changes in the science systems. The participants agreed provisionally to a common understanding of "Sustainability Science".

Summary statement of the Bratislava workshop 



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