Career in professional courses: Sustainable Development - We bring you expert insights on Career in Sustainable Development focusing on meeting the present needs without compromising on the future.
A few years back, the then president of Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed, dressed in full scuba gear, conducted a 30-minute cabinet meeting at a depth of 20 feet off the coast just north of the capital Male. It was a dramatic way to bring the world’s attention to rising temperatures and the consequent rise in sea levels. If left unchecked, by the end of this century Maldives might be completely submerged. The recent heavy rain and consequent flooding in Chennai is another sign of unsustainable construction. The rising levels of pollution is Delhi is yet another example. Looking around you, the impact of development is all there to see and feel. But the unbridled development has also resulted in tremendous damage to ecology and environment. If corrective measures are not taken, such developments have the potential to drown us all as Nasheed dramatically displayed.
What is sustainability?
According to the Brundtland report published by UN World Commission on Environment and Development, Sustainable Development is defined as “The development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Since the greatest challenge faced by the global community today is of reconciling economic growth, social development and preservation of the natural environment, informed decision-makers capable of making the right choices about the social and environment issues are required. A number of issues like global warming, climate change, air pollution, and rising sea levels need to be resolved not only for present generation but also for future generation. United Nations General Assembly in its 57th session declared the year 2005-2014 as “Decade for Education for Sustainable Development”.
The concept of suitability gained currency from the first world conference on sustainability held at Rio in 1982. “A lot of initiatives have taken place between Rio 1992 and Rio +20 held in 2012. General awareness has developed in many parts of the globe over time, the developed part in particular, in favour of achieving sustainable development,” said Prof. Manipadma Datta, HoD, Department of Business Sustainability, TERI University.
Courses MA (Sustainable Development Practice), MBA (Business Sustainability), MBA (Natural Resources Management and Sustainable Development), MA (Public Policy & Sustainable Development), MA (Ecology, Environment & Sustainable Development)
Institutes TERI University, Amity School of Natural Resources & Sustainable Development, Banaras Hindu University, TISS Mumbai
Job Profiles Ecologist, Sustainable Development Manager, Environmental Manager, Energy manager, Nature Conservation office, Environmental education officer
Recruiters Private sector, international non-governmental organizations and government departments
Who is eligible?
The basic eligibility criterion for postgraduate courses is an undergraduate degree in any discipline except for MA (Public Policy & Sustainable Development), which is open only to government officials. Some programmes which have substantial scientific content demand that you must have studied science or technology subjects at the undergraduate levels. In general, Engineering graduates are eligible for most of the courses.
Prof. Manipadma Datta,
HoD, Department of Business Sustainability, TERI University
We need managers who can respond responsibly and holistically to the emerging issues of sustainability business. A management programme in business sustainability should have inbuilt theoretical and practical exposure that is interdisciplinary in character
What do you study?
Sustainability has a number of specializations like business sustainability, public policy, natural resources, environmental studies, sustainable development practice, resource economics amongst others. Just like Information Technology, sustainability is an important underlying concept in every aspect of human existence.
The curriculum focuses on the development of broader understanding of the physical, social and economic aspects of resource extraction, conversion, use and disposal. It also provides an overview of concepts and issues like wildlife conservation and management, climate change and trading, different laws and policies related to environment and eco-system. Some programmes also cover or provide inputs on areas like geoinformatics, ecological economics, urbanization and technological change.
Need for professionals
Developing countries of South Asia are facing challenges in use and management of natural resources. “These challenges require training of high-level professionals with skills to consider the interaction of social and natural systems and take informed decisions for development and implementation of practices and policies that enhance natural resource management,” said Dr Indrani Chandrasekharan, Director, Amity School of Natural Resources and Sustainable Development.
An upcoming profile
Unbridled industrial growth has been the primary driver of unsustainability. Hence making corporations responsive and responsible to adopt cleaner technologies, better processing methods, use renewable sources of energy and material as well has been a focus area in the battle against pollution and climate change. “We need managers who can respond responsibly and holistically to the emerging issues of sustainability business,” said Datta.
Dr Indrani Chandrasekharan,
Director, Amity School of Natural Resources and Sustainable Development
The MBA in Natural Resources Management and Sustainable Development responds to one of the greatest challenges humanity is facing today: the sustainable management of our planet’s natural resources and environment, to provide sustainable livelihoods for all in the 21st century and beyond
MBA in Business Sustainability aims to fulfill the need for managers in private as well as public sectors, teaching them to maintain a balance between three basic pillars of sustainability i.e. people, planet and profit. “MBA in Business Sustainability is first of its kind course, which attempts to amalgamate two very important concepts -- sustainable development and management. Sustainable development is the need of the hour because of problems like climate change, pollution etc., whereas management has been a necessary quality for businesses as such,” said Ashwin Mohan Pai, student, TERI University.
Similar is the case with MBA in Natural Resource Management and Sustainable Development. “The MBA in Natural Resources Management and Sustainable Development responds to one of the greatest challenges humanity is facing; the sustainable management of our planet’s natural resources and environment, providing sustainable livelihoods for all in the 21st century and beyond,” said Dr Indrani.
Where do you go?
A number of disciplines like ranging from Energy Management, Sustainable Energy Management and Environmental Education are in need of people with adequate qualifications. Environmental Managers are needed for overseeing environmental performance of organizations while energy managers plan, regulate and monitor the energy use in an organization or facility. They also improve efficiency by evaluating energy use and putting in place new policies. Similarly environmental consultants work on commercial or government contracts, addressing environmental issues, including environmental impact assessment while nature conservation officers ensure conservation and sustainable use of natural resources and environments. As sustainability gets entrenched in the way businesses operate and how policies evolve, the number and range of opportunities for such professionals is sure to be on the rise in the coming days.
Job profiles of Public Health professionals
Also known as sustainability managers. Responsible for overseeing environmental performance of organizations
Plan, regulate and monitor the energy use in an organization or facility. Improve efficiency by evaluating energy use and putting in place new policies
Works on commercial or government contracts, addressing environmental issues, including environmental impact assessment
Nature Conservation officer
Responsible for ensuring conservation and sustainable use of natural resources and environments
Sustainable Development Manager
Responsible for coordinating the social report, the health and safety policies and corporate governance
Concerned with ecosystems as a whole, the abundance and distribution of organisms (people, plants, animals), and the relationships between organisms and their environment.
Environmental education officer
Involved in making people aware of environmental issues, promoting conservation and sustainability, and enhancing the public’s enjoyment of the environment
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