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January 9, 2018

The Expert Track of the MOOC on “Disasters and Ecosystems: Resilience in a Changing Climate” goes live next Week!

The expert track of the MOOC on “Disasters and Ecosystems: Resilience in a Changing Climate” by the UN Environment program and the TH Köln is going live next week! 15.01.2018

Disaster has multifold impact e.g., losses of lives, devastating impact on infrastructure, damage ecosystem and undermine the development. On the top of this, Climate change is expected to aggravate existing disaster risks in many regions of the world. There is a need for increased awareness amongst practitioners, policymakers and researchers on the latest advances in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA). The idea of this MOOC is to deepen the knowledge on ecosystem management, resilience and transformation, climate change adaptation to bring into practice for disaster risk reduction and for sustainable development.

This track is for professionals and students who seek more in-depth learning and skill development in applying ecosystem-based tools for disaster risk reduction and adaptation. The Expert Track consists of 15 units with video- presentations and accompanying self-study booklets, quizzes and a peer reviewed final assessment. The Expert Track runs over four weeks, with four hours per week.

Sign up now:

Click here to download the flyer

November 24, 2017

ITT Alumni from Germany and Latin America meet in Costa Rica!

From 6th – 10th November, 2017, 32 ITT alumni from Latin America and Germany took part at the Alumni Seminar ITT – DAAD “Climate Change and Sustainable Development in Latin America: Translating Paris” in San Jose at the University of Costa Rica.

During the Seminar, the alumni had the opportunity to present and improve their project proposal of the preceding online phase and to get them evaluated. They also engaged with experts from academia and consulting who presented measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The alumni improved their understanding of the climate change negotiations during the Simulation “UN Climate Change Conference COP”, in which they strived to achieve a global compromise on a new climate change regime. Furthermore, the alumni seminar encompassed two visits to local “Cooperativas” in the Region Santa Maria de Dota. The first, Coopesantos, is a rural electrification cooperative and the second, CoopeDota, a local coffee cooperative, which earned recognition in 2011 as the world’s first carbon neutral coffee producer. Finally, the seminar provided a platform to discuss the concept for future collaboration to formalize the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC)-ITT Alumni network.

Preparing the Project Poster Pitch

Presenting the business case, the idea and financial demands.

The peers as potential donors and investors had to be convinced in the plenum

The peers as potential donors and investors had to be convinced by personal negotiations in an open space format.

Role playing the COP: the complexity sparks a lot of thought

Negotiating collective action: the alumni struggle for their interests and a feasible compromise in the COP role play.

In the clouds: despite the cold weather an interested crowd: facts and figures on wind power in the Coopesantos energy production 

Hard work to harvest coffee in the showcase farm of CoopeDota, the first producer of carbon neutral coffee

Credits: The Alumni seminar in Costa Rica was funded by DAAD.

November 9, 2017

ITT students join the Green School Bali for a renewable energy project

REM students contributed to the Green School Bali’s project Operation Rain or Shine from September 24- October 07, 2017 – a project of Zayed Future Energy Price

The Green School Bali is located in one of the emerging and fast growing economies of Asia: Indonesia. The country faces huge challenges how to solve energy and power outages. Hence, sustainable decentralized energy solutions can be seen as one upcoming key element to tackle unreliable grids in order to meet the supply and demand of electricity.

The Green School Bali is situated in an environment with a high potential of renewable energy sources such as solar, water and biomass. The School aims at increasing its level of the off-grid system share with the main target to build a visible renewable energy solution that meets the sustainability vision of the school´s values. Educating for sustainability, through community-integrated, entrepreneurial learning, in a wall-less, natural environment, the Green School Bali follows a holistic, student-guided approach which inspires children at a young age to be green leaders.

In order to create an integrated hybrid renewable energy micro grid, five REM students from ITT joined the Green School Bali and worked within the Operation Rain or Shine project. Almost 24% of the Green School´s electricity consumption is supplied by an existing 21 kWp PV power plant and a 72 kWh battery bank. The School´s target is to increase its self-sufficiency level by 40% by end of 2017. REM students worked on 5 objectives during the field trip: 1) analysis of the PV efficiency of the existing PV farm for the output optimization, 2) development of an energy monitoring system, 3) assessment of the renewable energy resources around the School in order to estimate the optimal energy mix, 4) planning and designing further PV generation systems for the School, and 5) conducting a PV workshop for the Green School Bali students. The long term goal of the School is the implementation of a smart grid that includes a student´s village, a bamboo factory and a farm. The field research trip is part of Project 2 and 3 module of the master program. 

September 29, 2017

The MOOC on “Disasters and Ecosystems: Resilience in a Changing Climate’ has been relaunched!

Recent events, such as flooding in South Asia and Texas in the United States have led to a great amount of discussion about the role that urban sprawl and the loss of green spaces and wetlands played in aggravating these disasters. It is critical that we learn more about the links between development and disasters through improved ecosystem management. This is what the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on “Disasters and Ecosystems: Resilience in a Changing Climate” is about, and we are re-launching it with new materials and interviews with global leaders.

When UN Environment and the TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences first launched the MOOC on “Disasters and Ecosystems: Resilience in a Changing Climate” in January 2015, no one could have anticipated its success. The first round of the course had over 12,000 participants from 183 countries. The participants took the initiative to create their own online community with now over 13,000 followers, where people share their stories of working with ecosystems to build resilience. For example, in India, Heba Anna Philip prepares farming communities for floods by introducing growbags that provide vegetables even if their fields are under water. And, in Pakistan, Dr. Naeem Shahzad at the National University of Sciences and Technology developed a new graduate programme based on what is covered in the course.

Erik Solheim, UN Environment Executive Director, in this MOOC, tells the story of Ravi Sangarappilai at the Disaster Management Center in northern Sri Lanka who started a campaign to improve coastal protection by planting hectares of mangroves. The MOOC also includes exclusive interviews from Inger Andersen, Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Robert Glasser, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The MOOC explores the linkages between ecosystems, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. It aims to enhance knowledge and skills for tackling these complex issues and how they can be operationalized through ecosystem-based solutions for promoting disaster risk reduction, climate change resilience and adaptation.

It is designed for disaster managers and practitioners, natural resources managers, climate change adaptation professionals, development planners, project implementers, policymakers and students from around the globe. 

The MOOC has been launched on September 18, 2017. You will have access to 6 units of the “leadership track” and will receive our certificate free of charge upon completion. The course will take approximately 20-30 hours to complete. It is self-paced (no time pressure) and available for the next six months. The expert track will start on November 20, 2017 live from Bali, Indonesia, where you will have access to 15 more units with more in-depth learning. This MOOC is hosted on the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) platform.

You can sign up under:

September 29, 2017

The ITT Academic Day is coming up on October 4th!

On October 4th 2017, ITT welcomes the new students of the master programs Renewable Energy Management (REM), Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and Natural Resources Management and Development (NRM).
On this day the ITT will open its doors to grant students the opportunity to get to know professors and staff, as well as get an insight into the various services and facilities of the institute.

Where: Campus Deutz – 4th Floor “O” wing (ZO-4)
When: Between 14:00 and 16:30

An official welcome by the director of the ITT is scheduled from 17:00 to 17:30 at HS 4 (Lecturer Hall 4, Hörsaal 4).

After welcoming the new generation of students we want to say goodbye to our previous students who graduated within the last 12 months. In addition a best master thesis award will be awarded to a student from each master program.

The graduation ceremony will take place in HS 4, this ceremony is open for all students, graduates and their friends and families. Afterwards the graduates, their friends and families are invited for a “get-together” gathering in room ZS-8-8 with some drinks and snacks.

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