ICE CamBio’s areas of specialisation are in accordance with the foremost work avenues of national and international institutions. In this sense, we must remember that one the Millennium Goals is to guarantee environmental sustainability.
As clarified in the general summary for this project , the coalition has the potential to reach an international status of leadership in areas where it already holds a strong position. This strength is articulated around six areas, justified not only by their potential and the international interest they attract, but especially by the level of proficiency attained by the universities and centres participating in the coalition :
- Ecological agriculture
- Water and climate change
- Coastlines, seas and oceans
- Renewable energy
- Healthcare and environmental technology
- Environmental socio-economics
The UN Development Programme includes a solid work avenue in energy and environment related subjects, especially in matters connected to carbon markets, the protection of the ozone layer, adaptation to the effects of climate change, preparation for future disasters, international waters protection and the protection of biodiversity. Similarly, the UN Environment Programme organises its activities around six priority areas: global change, environmental disasters and conflicts, ecosystem management, environmental governance, toxic substances and energy efficiency. Finally, from the point of view of education, it is important to note that UNESCO gives priority to programmes in water management, renewable energy and reduction of natural disasters.
The UN has declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity with the aim of increasing awareness about the permanent damages currently sustained by biodiversity. As pointed out by this international body, human and economic health alike depend directly on the services provided by nature, the replacement of which would be impossible or extraordinarily costly. These include: wood and fuel supply; housing and building materials supply; water and air purification; moderation of floods or droughts; generation and renovation of soil fertility; plant and crop pollination; pest and disease control; genetic resources and their maintenance; cultural and aesthetic benefits; and the capacity to adapt to change.
In 1989 the USA created a national programme on Global Change, including the creation of the United States Global Change Research Program, with the participation of up to thirteen federal departments and agencies. With the subsequent creation of more research centres, this country has led, to a large extend, the generation and transference of knowledge and innovations in the latest environmental and global change related issues.
In Europe, these commitments and principles are supported by the work carried out by the Joint Research Centre (European Commission), the research guidelines established by the EU’s 7FP (2007-2013) and the Programme Interreg IV.
Our areas of specialisation are also supported by the initiatives started by the European Environment Agency. In its strategy for 2009-2013, this body has highlighted a number of key issues – air quality, polluting agent emissions, biodiversity, greenhouse effect emissions, fresh water and marine environment – and several lateral concerns, including global change, vulnerability and adaptation, ecosystems, health and environment, marine policy, sustainable production and consumption and their waste, land use, agriculture and forests, energy and transport.