The purpose of cyberseminars is to provide a forum for scientists from the social and natural sciences to debate and discuss cutting edge population-environment research topics. Past topics include population and deforestation, international migration and the environment, population-consumption-environment linkages, and urban spatial expansion.
This Population-Environment Research Network (PERN) Cyberseminar brings together two allied efforts to bring population considerations into the debate at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in Rio in June (Rio+20).
In the other, The Royal Society's expert international working group, chaired by Nobel Laureate Sir John Sulston FRS, oversaw a study which resulted in a major report, People and the Planet, which will be released on 26 April 2012. They conducted a wide-ranging evidence gathering exercise involving meetings with government, industry, academia, and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations in the UK and overseas, as well as an open public call for evidence.
In this cyberseminar we will draw on both documents. It takes as a premise that population matters are important in considerations of sustainable development (SD). Yet, the framing of the discussion has tended to be Malthusian, with a focus on population size and growth rates and a policy emphasis on efforts to curb population growth rates.
The size of populations, though, is only one dimension of their characteristics that matter for SD prospects. Research indicates that size is usually not even the most important dimension. Other dimensions—among them age distribution, household composition, place of residence, migratory and consumption patterns, gender considerations, and educational structure—have arguably more important and more predictable implications for people’s ability and willingness to engage in mitigation of environmental challenges, their effectiveness in adapting to such challenges, and their success in developing and adopting new approaches and technologies across the spectrum of daily life.
Through this cyberseminar, researchers and policymakers from around the world can add their perspectives—their readings of the scientific evidence and its policy implications—to those of their colleagues who met at IIASA and who contributed to People and the Planet report. Some of the IIASA and The Royal Society study experts will be back as active participants during the seminar week.
How to participate in (or leave) a cyberseminar:
PERN Cyberseminars are conducted using a standard email discussion list. There are two main ways to join (or leave) the PERN Cyberseminars discussion list: Via the web-based interface, or Via email commands sent to the listserv software.
1) Via the Web Interface: The web address for PERN Cyberseminars (PERNSEMINARS) list is http://listserver.ciesin.columbia.edu/. The first step is to create an account on the listserv server. To do this you select the "Get a LISTSERV password for this server" link on the main listserv page, under the "Assistance" category. Using the "Subscriber's Corner" follow the instructions to subscribe and unsubscribe to the list called PERNSEMINARS.
2) Via E-mail: You can send commands to subscribe and unsubscribe to the firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to participate in a cyberseminar please send an email message with the body text "SUBscribe PERNSEMINARS". You may leave the list at any time by sending a "SIGNOFF PERNSEMINARS" command.
Once you are subscribed, you may wish to change subscription settings so that you receive a daily digest of postings (all postings attached to one email message) instead of individual postings. To do this you can either use the web interface to change your settings or send a message to the LISTSERV email address (in #2 above) with the text “SET PERNSEMINARS DIGEST”
All who are interested in cyberseminar topics are invited to participate and subscription is free. Please adhere to the following standards of conduct when participating.
To ensure that the cyberseminar is successful and that we have a lively intellectual discussion, we would like to ask all the participants to be mindful of a few standards of conduct similar to those you might find in a face-to-face meeting. Please remember :
Respectful disagreement is fine; impoliteness is not accepted.
Opinions are welcome; advocacy is not - this is an intellectual debate, please refrain from using this forum for any advocacy purposes.
Respect other's email space: do not repeat something you have already said and limit yourself to a reasonable number of postings.
With these standards in mind, we look forward to your active participation in the seminar.
Technical support for
PERN is provided by the NASA-funded
Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC)
at the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN)
of Columbia University.