Joana Mattei Faggin looks back at the first WCSG PhD Day.
The first Wageningen Centre for Sustainability Governance PhD Day was a success!
The day opened with an inspiring keynote presentation by Prof. Rik Leemans, chair of the Environmental Systems Analysis Group at Wageningen University, editor-in-chief of the Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability and co-writer of the 2007 IPCC Report. He discussed the important and timely topic of ‘Protecting humans and other species from dangerous environmental change.’ We discussed in particular the impact of human-emitted greenhouse gases on global warming. The rapidly expanding population and inequity of resources around the world have lead to problems such as an escalation in the number of floods, droughts and forest fires, a rise in the sea level, and decreased biodiversity. Stimulating discussions included the potential for innovative changes that might reverse the emission of CO2 and the challenges faced in dealing with climate deniers.
The keynote was followed by three parallel sessions with a total of 11 presentations by PhD researchers in the cluster. We learned about a variety of local, national and global issues in the areas of biodiversity financing, climate change, agriculture, sustainability, forestry, food security, vegetable seeds, aquaculture/fisheries and renewable energy. Each presentation was followed by feedback from two reviewers, also PhD researchers in the cluster, and questions from the audience. It was an excellent opportunity to present and receive feedback on our research and to review others’ work. It was also nice to learn more about the interesting research being conducted in the other chair groups and to get to know each other better. Approximately 20 PhDs were involved as presenters, reviewers or audience members.