AIT Ranks 19th in World in SDG1—No Poverty in Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2020

AIT participated for the first time in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, which looks at global universities’ commitment and performance in furthering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Over 850 universities from 89 countries participated in this ranking exercise by submitting input during 2019, and the results were just published on April 22, 2020 by THE.


Living Deltas

The Living Deltas Research Hub is funded for five years (2019-2024) and operates across four delta systems – Red River, Mekong deltas in Vietnam; the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna system in Bangladesh and India. We call these socio-ecological systems. The Living Deltas Hub’s AIM is to tackle the problem of delta degradation in the face of multiple threats (sea level rise and saline intrusion, mangrove degradation and loss of coastal buffering, climate change, population rise, land use changes, saline intrusion and communities health and well-being, unsustainable engineering interventions: damming, sand mining etc.). GCRF also aims at helping to delta countries to better achieve their UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Voluntary National Review agendas. The Hub aims to achieve its objectives via a process of CAPACITY-BUILDING though EQUITABLE PARTNERSHIP – only by doing this will the Hub have legacy beyond its five-year funding period. As such, this is an extremely ambitious research program – the most ambitious that the UK Research Councils have done up to now. The Hub is truly interdisciplinary and brings together the natural and physical sciences, the social sciences and the arts & humanities on an equal basis to seek new solutions (building on the research already carried out in the delta countries) to complex, intertwined issues through capacity-building and knowledge co-production towards BETTER DELTA FUTURES.

Keywords: Delta, Sustainability, Resilience, equitable livelihoods, socio-ecological systems


STEM education: Conceptions and Practices for Sustainable Development in Vietnam

Vietnam is experiencing with rapid demographic and social change including rural out migration and aging population in rural areas. Rapid economic growth and industrialization have not been friendly to the environment and natural resources; and urbanization and population growth are causing rapidly increasing waste and pollution challenges. Since every SDG requires education to empower people with the knowledge, skills and values to live, build their lives and contribute to their societies. A question emerged in this context is how STEM education prepare a young generation who are able to address the great challenges of the society. This project aims to understand teachers’ attitudes and behaviors in STEM education- an interdisciplinary approach to learning. The ultimate goal is this research is to understand which STEM education models would be “good practices” to (i) enhance comprehensive education for students, (ii) improve students’ STEM literacy, (iii) develop students’ both soft and academic skills such as problem-solving, creativity, critical thinking, augmentation, intellectual curiosity and collaboration skills, (iv) connect schools to communities, (v) orient students’ career development and (vi) prepare for Industry 4.0.

Keywords Teachers, attitudes, STEM teaching practices, young generation, STEM literacy, problem-solving


Strengthening Groundwater Governance in Rapidly Urbanizing Areas of the Lower Mekong Region

Groundwater plays a crucial role in the water security, poverty reduction and sustainable development of the Mekong region. However, in many countries either the groundwater is under-utilized or over exploited and at the same time affected by multiple stresses such as rapid urbanization, population growth, climate change and climate variability. Lack of good groundwater governance, absence of groundwater policies and laws, groundwater institutions, stakeholders’ participation and fragmented groundwater management with other aspects of socio-economic developments led to unsustainable management of groundwater in the Mekong region. The unsustainable management groundwater in the region, especially in rapidly urbanizing areas bring conflict among different sectors and vulnerable population such as poor, marginalized and ethnic people. Therefore, this project aims to evaluate the current state of groundwater governance in the region and recommend ways to improve or strengthen the groundwater governance based on evidence-based understanding of groundwater availability, its use and potential conflicts under multiple stresses in the future. The project is implemented through four case studies in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

Keywords water insecurity, human rights, conflict sensitivity, groundwater institutional and policy framework


Energy access, renewable energy and energy efficiency measures and best practices database for SDG 7

The project will develop a database of policies, interventions and best practices in the energy sector (with focus on SDG7 targets). The database will be uploaded in the Energy Portal as a knowledge product for policymakers, energy planners and practitioners. At the same time, it would serve as an input to NEXSTEP and support the identification and prioritization of technologies and interventions to make an informed decision on appropriate policy measures.

Keywords SDG 7, energy access, renewable energy, energy efficiency, best practices database


Outreach lecture on “Urban Governance and Waste Management” at the joint workshop on “Strengthening Governance for Low-carbon Integrated Solid Wastes Management and Circular Economy” organized by UNITAR, GTC Korea, and UNEP

Since 2018, Dr. Sohee M. Kim, Assistant Professor at UEM has been participated as a guest lecturer in the capacity building & training programs and student workshop on “Low-carbon Integrated Solid Wastes Management and Circular Economy”, organized and funded by United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), Green Technology Center (GTC) of Korea, and UN Environment.

Keywords Circular economy, Sustainable consumption and production, Solid waste management, Urban governance


Spatio-temporal analysis on urban development and scenario-based flood risk assessment in Lower Mekong region

The project aimed at spatial and policy assessment on the future vulnerability to flood hazards in the context of urban growth for Lower Mekong region. Activities performed include: 1) development and dissemination of a flood risk assessment system combined with open-source global-scale geospatial and socioeconomic datasets on a cloud-based platform; and 2) organizing policy dialogue with key stakeholders and producing policy brief on the integration of flood risk considerations into urban development strategies for urban risk reduction and resilience.

Keywords Flood risk, Disaster risk reduction, Climate change, Sea level rise, Urban planning

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Cities by Women: Embedding Climate Change Resilience in Himalayan Cities

The research focuses on gender mainstreaming in the nexus of climate change, land use, and informal livelihoods in Himalayan cities. Expected activities include:
1) survey and mapping to examine how women in informal settlements use the urban spaces for their livelihoods and what the impacts of climate change on their daily activities are;
2) stakeholder workshop and networking to address and inform the urban policy about women’s role in building climate change resilience in Himalayan cities.

Keywords Gender, Climate change, Informal livelihood, Urban space, Urban planning


Technology needs assessment in Asia for climate change mitigation and adaptation

Several Asian Countries are conducting a country-driven Technology Needs Assessment for Climate Change mitigation and adaptation following specific methodology to come up with sector/technologies prioritization to deploy, identification of barriers, and technology action plan for short/medium/long term. AIT is the regional center to provide all technical guidance related to processes and provide inputs, and advices on the outputs of all Asian participating countries to complete the project. Countries are expected to come up with technology action plan for both mitigation and adaptation.

Keywords climate change, national assessment, mitigation, adaptation technologies