These practitioners engage in environmental science, technology and policy approaches to vital problem solving. Full time from 27 January through 12 May 2004, participants are involved in courses, workshops, field trips, symposia, mentorship, professional networking and research projects. Brown’s world-class facilities are fully available to the Watson Scholars, including a 3 million-volume library, brand new offices and computing in the Watson Institute for International Studies and state-of-the- art environmental laboratories and classrooms. This strategically designed curriculum and its eminent institutional setting provide the Watson International Scholars of the Environment with essential tools for enhancing sustainable development capacity in their countries.
Forging Bold New Collaborations
Effective collaboration is key to the program’s success. A major grant from the Henry Luce Foundation enables design, implementation and refinement of our curriculum and its network-building. In addition, the Foundation supports Brown University undergraduates, graduate students and faculty to pursue important environmental management initiatives in collaboration with the Watson Scholars and their developing nations. In addition to the Watson Institute, relevant centers of excellence on campus include the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, the Center for Environmental Studies, the Population Studies Training Program, and the International Health Institute. Finally, Luce support is also expanding our liaison with key environmental organizations throughout the world. Chief among these is our collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which provides UN certification for each participant successfully completing our curriculum. To date, 28 countries are represented in the 2001, 2002, and 2003 cadres: Bolivia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, Eritrea, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Mali, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Uganda, Venezuela, Vietnam, and Zambia.
Critical Context for Focused Capacity-Building
We share a basic premise with our collaborators. For sustainable development to prevail, rapid and significant gains must be achieved in international environmental management capacity. Such efforts must outpace the extraordinary declines underway in ecological integrity—including current losses in biodiversity, productivity, ecosystem functioning and the viability of air, water and soil. Strengthening environmental capacity is most critical in developing nations, where health consequences are severest; population growth is highest; and biological diversity greatest, yet most imperiled. Clearly, the environmental science, technology and policy leaders of developing nations play pivotal roles. Accordingly, the Watson International Scholars of the Environment access a highly integrative curriculum, relevant and transferable tools, front-line institutions and expert networks engaged in environmental capacity-building.