HALBAN The First Summer School on “Climate Change Response Strategies for Sustainable Land Use and Water Management” is currently held at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech). The two-week interdisciplinary course is conducted in cooperation with professors from Brandenburg Technical University, Cottbus/ Senftenberg in Germany. The Summer School focuses on Sustainable Development and Climate Change, Climate Change Response Strategies, Emerging Issues on Environmental Law and Environmental Assessment with a special focus on sustainable land use and water management while combining different teaching techniques such as lectures, case-studies and group work. The summer school courses are directly related to all Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Science programmes offered at GUtech. “Since pre-industrial times and due to human activities, urbanisation and industrialization, global greenhouse gas emissions have been rising to more than 70%. As a consequence the frequency of cyclones, heat waves and rain season has been increasing in the past years,” said Prof. Dr. Eike Albrecht during his introduction to Sustainable Development. Today due to climate change especially low-lying areas such as islands are vulnerable to increased sea level rise. At the same time a massive extinction of species has been witnessed worldwide including a drastic decline of insects, for example in Germany, said Prof. Dr. Albrecht, while mentioning that the extinction of plants and species has an impact on the entire ecosystem of our planet and many other species and we human beings will be effected. Over-exploitation of our planet’s resources for food, clothing or other products has accelerated climate change. On the other hand, Prof. Albrecht stressed on the fact that forests are the main producers of oxygen, storing CO2 emissions. These need to be protected on a large scale. According to Prof. Albrecht, currently there are more than 200 international environmental agreements and many bilateral agreements in place.
“The Summer School provides students with in-depth knowledge on highly relevant topics in the field of environmental planning, law, hydrogeology, ecology in the context of sustainable development and coping with the effects of climate change through adaptation and mitigation, such as coping measures to be discussed on a local, regional and global scale. The Summer School provides the students with a new vision of the world they live in, addressing the complexity and interrelation of problems such as environmental degradation, population growth and the scarcity of resources. Climate change in the context of land use and water resource management is gaining importance particularly in Asia and in the Middle East where an increased risk of droughts and mismanagement is projected,” said Prof. Dr. Najah Al Mhanna, Head of the Department of Engineering at GUtech.
© GUtech/ Dr. Manuela Gutberlet and Prof. Dr. Najah Al Mhanna