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Worth Reading and Watching

Application of Remote Sensing and GIS for Risk Assessment in Monastir, Tunisia

Climate change and urbanization have increased disaster risk in cities and urged the need for effective disaster risk management and risk-informed urban planning. However, up-to-date data that can support risk assessments is often lacking. The ever increasing spatial and temporal resolution of remote sensing sensors offers tremendous opportunities to support risk assessments in cities. In a pilot project for the coastal city of Monastir, Tunisia, multi-temporal optical remote sensing and spatial analysis have been used to support the assessment of current and future exposure, vulnerability, and risk associated with flash floods and coastal erosion.

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Worth Reading and Watching

When do rock glacier fronts fail? Insights from two case studies in South Tyrol (Italian Alps)

The fronts of two rock glaciers located in South Tyrol (Italian Alps) failed on 13 August 2014, initiating debris flows in their downslope channels. A multimethod approach including climate, meteorological, and ground temperature data analysis, aerial image correlation, as well as geotechnical testing and modeling, led to the reconstruction of the two events. An integrated investigation of static predisposing factors, slowly changing preparatory factors, and potential triggering events shed light on the most likely reasons for such failures. Our results suggest that the occurrence of front destabilization at the two rock glaciers can only partly be explained by the occurrence of heavy rainfall events.

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Worth Reading and Watching

Creating Transdisciplinary Teaching Spaces. Cooperation of Universities and Non-University Partners to Design Higher Education for Regional Sustainable Transition

Using the interdisciplinary certificate programs on sustainable development offered by the German Universities of Tübingen and Duisburg-Essen as case studies, we analyze the potentials and challenges of teaching programs on sustainable development for promoting regional transition. Leaning on the multi-level-perspective-approach, we have used qualitative interviews to shed light on the design of cooperation between the university and regional partners as well as the creation and integration of transdisciplinary learning spaces. This paper shows that the impact of such teaching formats on the regional transition consists primarily of awareness and network building.

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News

Call for abstracts: INQUIMUS workshop on transformational risk management and Loss & Damage

Scientists and practitioners are invited to submit abstracts to the INQUIMUS ‘on tour’ workshop for Transformational risk management and Loss & Damage: What are suitable approaches for assessing climate-related (residual) risks?
Previously hosted by UNU-EHS in 2019, the INQUIMUS workshop will take place from 30 November to 2 December 2021 at International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), in Laxenburg, Austria.

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Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence

How digital solutions can ease the COVID-19 impact on displaced populations

Displaced people face many challenges when integrating into the labor market in their host communities. They are also more likely than the host population to be employed in sectors that are highly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as manufacturing, accommodation, and food services. And they are mostly employed informally, and thus have no job security or access to social safety nets during the COVID-19 related economic downturn.

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COVID-19 and conservation: crisis response strategies that benefit people and nature

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global human health crisis that is deeply intertwined with the global biodiversity crisis. It originated when a zoonotic virus spilled over from wild animals to humans. Viruses can spread easily in disturbed ecosystems, and with increasing contact between humans and wildlife the risk of contagion grows. Conservation is crucial to reduce the risks of future pandemics, but the current pandemic also impacts on conservation in many ways.
In this Briefing Paper we suggest strategies to alleviate the pandemic’s adverse effects on conservation in the Global South. Many zoonoses originate there, and livelihoods are strongly dependent on natural resources. The paper considers the pandemic’s overarching economic implica-tions for protected and other conserved areas, and specific ramifications for the tourism and wildlife trade sectors, which are closely related to these areas.

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Worth Reading and Watching

What are the distributional implications of climate policies?

To avoid catastrophic effects on natural and human systems, bold action needs to be taken rapidly to mitigate climate change. Despite this urgency, the currently implemented and planned climate mitigation policies are not sufficient to meet the global targets set in Paris in 2015. One reason for their current inadequate rollout is their perceived negative distributional effects: by increasing the price of goods, climate mitigation policies may increase both poverty and inequality. In addition, they may disrupt labour markets and increase unemployment, especially in sectors and areas dependent on fossil fuels. As a result, public protests in many countries have so far blocked or delayed the implementation of climate policies.

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Come on, into the “Green Twenties”!

“Restore Our Earth!” is the theme and rallying cry for this year’s Earth Day on 22 April. This is not something that can be achieved on a single day. According to UN Secretary-General António Guterres and pertinent scientific reports, humanity has just under a decade left to take the necessary measures. If the 1920s were captured as “années folles”, “goldene Zwanziger” or “Roaring Twenties” in Western narratives, the decade that now lies before us might go down in history as the “Green Twenties” – and from a global perspective as well!

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