2nd International Conference on Green University held at University of Isfahan, Iran
President ECOSF participated as a Key Note Speaker
2nd International Conference on Green University was held on April 30 to May 1, 2019 at the University of Isfahan, Iran. The conference was opened by the Acting Minister of Science, Research and Technology of Iran H.E. Mr. Abdolreza Bagheri with the presence of the Heads, Administrative and Financial Deputies and Civil Engineers of Research Centers and Science and Technology Parks.
The two-day conference attracted a number of experts and scientists who shared their experiences and best practices in the field of sustainable development with special focus on sustainable campuses. The conference provided an opportunity to participants to present a comprehensive landscape of environmental conditions, policies and sustainable development in universities of different countries.
The conference highlighted various themes and concepts on sustainable campuses using GreenMetric system. The GreenMetric system assesses six key dimensions of environmental infrastructures, energy and climate change, waste water management, water, transport, and education in the universities. The GreenMetric system was launched by Universitas Indonesia in 2010 in order to present a comprehensive overview and policies related to environmental issues and sustainable development in universities worldwide.
President ECOSF Prof. Dr. Manzoor Hussain Soomro was invited as the keynote speaker. In his presentation, Prof. Soomro highlighted various initiatives undertaken by the Foundation to promote STI as a whole but specifically the science education with focus on sustainability and green concepts in the universities and campuses in the ECO member states, in line with SDGs. Prof. Dr. Soomro emphasized over the need to transform universities into green and sustainable campuses. It is crucial to stay competitive in a greener world and it is important to implement sustainability management into all economic sectors including universities and schools, he said. Prof. Soomro also stressed that the sustainable approach tends to increase operational efficiency, reduce waste and optimize the resources, which is helpful to improve business and process productivity. He also proposed establishment of an "Office of Sustainability" in universities to coordinate the many planning initiatives, projects, networking, and monitoring of the program's progress in achieving its goals.
Prof. Soomro further underscored that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education coupled with Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE) approach, is the key to achieve sustainability in all spheres of life. ECOSF strives to promote STEM education through IBSE approach in the ECO region. Our youth and young students are required to be trained with such skills that have the potential to address some of the most pressing challenges of sustainability in the water and energy areas.
Another expert from Pakistan co-sponsored by ECOSF Prof. Dr. Ghulam Raza Bhatti gave a talk on the importance of biodiversity and community parks under the patronage of Universities.
After the conference, a day long forum on the green concepts with especial reference to town planning was organized for the managers and staff of the Isfahan Municipality. In this forum numerous experts including Prof. Soomro and Prof. Ghulam Raza Bhatti shared their experiences and wisdom, Prof. Bhatti also proposed for winning of Isfahan and Islamabad as green sister cities (I2I),which was appreciated by the audiences.
2nd Day of Conference Prof. Dr .Manzoor Hussain Soomro, President ECO Science Foundation Meeting with Prof. Mousavi Movahidi of University of Tehran at the University Isfahan on the sidelines of the Green Campus conference on 1 May 2019 Prof. Movahidi sought ECOSF Cooperation in the field of science for youth.
It is pertinent to mention that Green University initiative was taken by ECOSF in partnership with Firdowsi University of Mashhad in 2018 wherein, 1st Green University Conference was organized in February 2018. This conference is the continuity of the initiative. A national level conference on GreenMetric was also organized by Higher Education Commission of Pakistan supported ECOSF in July 2018. The initiative will be expanded in other countries of ECO.