INSTITUTE FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
The Institute for Sustainable Development is a multidisciplinary institute and is Tech-U’s flagship academic unit with responsibility for holistic and interdisciplinary research and training programmes in sustainable development. The institute champions the incorporation of the concept of sustainability into all programmes and activities of the University.
Sustainable development is a modern-day imperative behind which is the principle of meeting human development goals today in a way that ensure that natural resources and ecosystem services upon which economy and society depend are also guaranteed for future generations. The proposed Institute is intended to be a signature Institute of the University responsible for;
- Providing scientific evidence to support the formulation of appropriate policies.
- Creating training opportunities to build human capacity and competence and
- Diverse professional services.
All of these will be geared towards supporting the evolution of a dynamic, resilient and sustainable society. Beginning with the promotion of the culture of sustainability among staff and students, the Centre will among other endeavours, seek to develop human capacities for achieving a healthy balance between nature, human development goals, community development, economic prosperity, industrial revolution and prosperous livelihoods.
The recognition of the need for harmony and balance between the fixed capacity and resources on the earth to support the seemingly untamed human population growth led to the agreement among countries of the world in 2015 to pass Resolution A/RES/66/288, entitled “The Future We Want” out of which came what has now become known as the 17 “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) accompanied with a “Project Everyone” campaign in order to facilitate ownership by and commitment of everyone, governments, institutions, corporation, communities and institutions. The 17 goals were broken into 169 targets and 304 indicators.
With a land area of 923,768 sq. km and a population of more than 198 million (National Population Commission, 2018), Nigeria ranks as the 6th most densely populated country in Africa and the most densely populated in West Africa. This, in addition to a larger proportion of the population that live in rural and native communities deriving livelihood almost exclusively from natural resources, make sustainable development initiative an indispensable imperative for Nigeria. In spite of this apparence and a modest effort of the Nigerian Government through the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs) to coordinate and integrate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into Nigeria’s national development plans and priorities and develop an actionable framework for implementation at the national, state and local government levels, the progress has been very slow and scattered. Sustainability appears more as a mention than as an action that ought to permeate the entire society and reflect in all activities of government, organizations and peoples. The Nigerian situation also mirrors what is obtainable in adjoining West and Central Africa countries. The effect of this is visible in the ranges of environmental degradation, ecological hazards and declining quality of life as a result of mismatch between population growth, urbanization and infrastructural development.
In instances where attempt was made to incorporate SDGs into development plans, required human capital has been grossly inadequate. The vision of the proposed institute therefore is to be one-stop academic centre for sustainable development initiatives intended to lead to the emergence of a resilient and prosperous society through an integrated approach that links education, research, innovation, community development and livelihood.
The Institute will be an autonomous multidisciplinary academic Unit and will headed by a Professor who will be assisted by several Academic Programme Coordinators and a full complement of Administrative support staff.
Academic Programme in the Institute
The Institute will offer basic and advanced degrees in Sustainable Development. In addition short courses will be mounted for policy makers, professionals, artisans, community development workers. The Institute will promote public awareness through hosting regular round tables, workshops and seminars. A range of professional services will also be offered to different segment of the Nigerian society through partnerships and professional mentoring.
The Institute will take-off with three broad programme themes, namely
- Sustainable Environment
- Sustainable Society
- Sustainable Industries