Ferdowsi University of Mashhad in collaboration with MSRT Iran and ECOSF organized the 1st International Conference on Green University in Mashad, Iran, February 6-7, 2018

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Ferdowsi University of Mashhad in partnership with Ministry of Science, Research and Technology (MSRT), Government of Iran, ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF) and GreenMetric, held its first International conference on the concept of “Green University” on 6-7 February 2018. The two-day conference attracted a number of experts and scientist on Sustainable Management and Green Campuses to share their experience and best practices in the field of sustainable development with special focus on sustainable campuses. Minister of MSRT of Iran Dr. Mansoor Gholami was the Chief Guest in the event.

The international conference highlighted various themes and concepts on sustainable campuses using GreenMetric system. This system assesses six key dimensions of environmental infrastructures, energy and climate change, wastewater management, water, transport, and education in the universities. The GreenMetric system was launched by Universitas Indonesia in 2010 in order to present a comprehensive overview and policies related to environmental issues and sustainable development in universities worldwide. The conference provided an opportunity to participants to present a comprehensive landscape of environmental conditions, policies and sustainable development in universities of different countries including those of the ECO member countries. It is pertinent to mention that ECOSF facilitated the participation of representative of Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan for implementation of sustainable initiatives in the universities in Pakistan. ECOSF also provided a handsome grant to the Ferdowsi University for organizing the conference.

President ECOSF Prof. Dr. Manzoor Hussain Soomro was the keynote speaker and made his speech highlighting various initiatives undertaken by the Foundation to promote STI as a whole but specifically the science education with focus on sustainability and green concepts in the universities and campuses in the ECO member states, in line with SDGs. Prof. Dr. Soomro emphasized over the need to transform universities into green and sustainable campuses. It is crucial to stay competitive in a greener world and it is important to implement sustainability management into all economic sectors including universities and schools, he said. Prof. Soomro stressed that sustainability approach tends to increase operational efficiency, reduce waste and optimize the resources, which is help to improve business and process productivity. He also proposed establishment of an "Office of Sustainability" in universities to coordinate the many planning initiatives, projects, networking, and monitoring of the program's progress in achieving its goals.

Prof. Soomro further underscored that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education coupled with Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE) approach, is the key to achieve sustainability in all spheres of life. ECOSF strives to promote STEM education through IBSE approach in the ECO region. Our youth and young students are required to be trained with such skills that have the potential to address some of the most pressing challenges of sustainability in the water and energy areas, he said.

On the occasion of the international conference, MoU was signed between ECOSF and Ferdowsi University of Mashad on February 7, 2018 to specifically promote sustainability in university campuses and other educational institutions and exchange of best practices of sustainability initiatives across the ECO region. Under the MoU, Ferdowsi University will assist ECOSF in promoting the concepts of Green Campuses. The MoU was signed by President ECOSF Prof. Dr. Manzoor H. Soomro on behalf of the Foundation and the President Ferdowsi Univeristy of Mashad Prof. Muhammad Kafi on behalf of the University.

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