AUB, through FAFS leadership, formally joined (April 1) the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). The Network promotes practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by mobilizing global scientific and technological expertise (universities, research centers, and other knowledge-based institutions). The multidimensional global network provides an excellent platform for effectively translating expertise into action through participatory roles in global discussion and decision-making. AUB will share its own expertise in evidence-based problem solving related to the specific challenges particular to our region, i.e., refugee influx, primary resource scarcity, climate change, etc.
SDSN membership allows Lebanon and AUB to participate more effectively in global discussions addressing local, national, and regional problem solving and educational initiatives in applied research for sustainable development. In turn, AUB brings to the Network its rich expertise in sustainable development through its many faculty and staff, whose work aims at discovering and implementing solutions for the SDG 2030 agenda. SDSN membership expands AUB’s regional and international partnerships and visibility, and strengthens our ability to support localized implementation of SDGs and develop long-term transformative pathways for sustainable development through education around the Agenda 2030.
Since January 2019, FAFS led AUB in mapping completed and ongoing learning, research and outreach activities of the AUB faculties, centers, institutes, and other units in relation to one or more of the 17 SDGs. Over 300 projects were identified across key thematic priority areas of the SDSN, including: The World in 2050, Humanitarian-Development Linkages, Gender, Human Rights, Social Inclusion, Education-Quality-and-Learning-for-All (EQUAL), Health for All, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, Forests-Oceans-Biodiversity-and-Ecosystem Services, and Sustainable Cities: Inclusive-Resilient-and-Connected. Through engagement in SDSN’s Thematic Networks, AUB will have new opportunities for teaching sustainable development to the next generation of systems thinkers in Lebanon and the region by bringing increased collaboration in education, research, outreach, and capacity building with other national, regional, and global institutions. Leveraging existing opportunities and initiatives, such as the FAFS Water-Energy-Food-Health Nexus initiative (WEFRAH), allows AUB to address the challenges of sustainable development more effectively. These strengthen policy coherence, lessen institutional barriers to effective communication across sectors, create joint funding opportunities, foster interdisciplinary work, and further develop the ‘Science to Policy’ framework for a new business model based on important values of health and well-being for society and the environment and ecosystem.