It is hugely important to engage with new audiences for any author and photographer, especially if the subject is that of the ecosystems. We have recently visited Dubai Smart Landscapes forum and acted as keynote speakers, discussing and connecting the issues of urban sustainability, climate change and ecosystems restoration.
Our most recent article on ‘Global Urban Sustainability Assessment‘ presents the results of many years work painstakingly collecting urban sustainability data on over 140 global cities from all around the world. We are able to compare the sustainability performance of global cities on 20+ key smart and sustainable indicators, thereby identifying the leaders and followers, exploring best practices and advising on policies to improve performance.
Connecting science and art and using art to promote important changes in our society is not an easy task, however artists have used this strategy since the time of Goya and van Gogh to attract our attention to issues of violence and poverty and increasingly, inspired by new environmental photographers like Balog, Burtinsky, Salgado, Maisel and Beltra more and more contemporary photographers are starting to use creative strategies to attract the attention of the public to where our society has got it wrong and possibly establish a pathway for positive change.
Our album, ‘Ecosystems‘ tries to achive just that. With 60th of the global biodiversity lost since 1970 according to WWF we have no time to waste changing our travel and consumption patters, using combustion engine less, consuming less palm oil, fewer disposable coffee cups and plastic bags, making sure that devices we use but also clothes we wear last longer thereby reducing our impacts on vulnerable ecosystems. In the world still obsessed with economic growth regardless of the consequences it is not an easy task, but thanks to ecological economics, the new interdisciplinary thinking our analytical work is based on, we are starting to see small changes.
The executive education programme we have set up in Oxford exploring the subjects of green economy, sustainable cities and ecosystems through the lens of ecological economics has been a huge success. The recent Spring School, our 16th event, has brought together practitioners and thought leaders from Colombia, Iceland, Denmark, Italy, Slovakia, Germany, India and Australia and featured distinguished speakers including the executive director of WWF, Dr Marco Lambertini and member of the Club of Rome, Herbert Girardet. You are most welcome to see the atmosphere at our executive schools on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/EnvironmentEurope/ and will will hope to see you joining our sessions in the future.
The forums we have held reached out to participants from 55 different countries: Canada, USA, Mexico, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Iceland, UK, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bosnia, Serbia, Albania, Latvia, Lebanon, Ghana, Nigeria, China, India, Taiwan, New Zealand and Australia, including representatives of UNDP, UNEP, ILO, IUCN, OECD, WWF, leading universities, NGOs and government ministries.
Dr Stanislav Shmelev speaking at the Smart Landscapes Forum in Dubai, 18-19 March, 2019
Shmelev, S.E. & Shmeleva, I.A. (2018) Global Urban Sustainability Assessment: a Multidimensional Approach, Sustainable Development, 2018;
Volume 26, Issue 6, pp. 904-920 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/sd.1887?af=R
Shmelev, S.E. (2018) Ecosystems: Complexity, diversity and nature’s contribution to humanity, Environment Europe Press: http://stanislav.photography/ecosystems