Sustainable Northwest in China

Posted by Renee Magyar on October 26, 2015

Andrew Spaeth, Forest Program Associate, is in Beijing to present at The World Forum on Ecosystem Governance.

Andrew (right) on a panel presentation at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

The World Forum on Ecosystem Governance is a series of conferences that focus on the planet's natural capital and finding effective ways to respond to ecosystem threats. The goal of the forum is to gather experts and leaders from across the globe to explore alternative approaches to managing the world's ecosystems, taking into account globalization, adaptation to climate change, and the roles of technology and collaborative stakeholder involvement.

Andrew's visit to China kicked off with two days at the Future Leaders Academy, the second event in the forum, and precursor of the main conference. The focus of the academy was to foster cross-cultural leadership development for young professionals, and empower this network of future leaders to assume roles in ecosystem governance. Andrew joined more than twenty other young professionals and scientists from a dozen countries, and it was an excellent opportunity to learn about natural resource management in other parts of the world.

After his participation in the Future Leaders Academy, Andrew was selected to represent his peers on a panel entitled “The Role of Ecosystem Governance to Sustain Development”, at the opening day of the forum. Andrew joined five prominent scientists and business leaders for a high-level presentation intended to set the tone and focus of the forum’s technical roundtable dicussions. Andrew was asked to share, from the perspective of the young professionals network, why it is vital to better manage and sustain our ecosystems, and what role can young leaders play. “Young people today recognize that we cannot solve today’s environmental problems in isolation. We must work together across disciplines, and bring multiple perspectives and a holistic approach to bear on wicked challenges that cross traditional geo-political and ecological boundaries.”

Andrew will be in Beijing through the week, and the next two days will be spent at the technical roundtable discussions where he will co-lead a presentation entitled “Collaborative Management of a Forest Ecosystem”. The presentation and dialogue draw on his graduate school research and work with forest collaborative groups in Oregon and California.

Organizers are seeking ambitious outcomes for the forum which include a stated vision for more effective governance of ecosystems to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and address the effects of climate change. In addition, they seek to develop an agenda for collaborative ecosystem governance that includes an international, interdisciplinary network of specialists and future leaders.

Sustainable Northwest is honored to represent the collaborative natural resource management efforts taking place in the Pacific Northwest, and we look forward to learning more about the results of this important forum.