International students eye closer connections between man and nature
Updated: 2017-06-14


Participants at the 2017 International Student Conference on Environment and Sustainability pose for a group photo. The event was held at the Tongji University from June 2 to 7. [Photo provided to]

The 2017 International Student Conference on Environment and Sustainability, held at Tongji University in Shanghai from June 2 to 7, brought together 300 students to discuss ways to create closer connections between people and nature.

An annual event organized by Tongji University, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Xinhua News Agency and Beijing Environment Foundation for Young Talents, this year's edition focused on the theme of Connecting People to Nature — Sustainable Development Best Practices. The conference attracted some 300 full-time university students from 30 countries and regions across the world.

During the six-day event, international participants held group discussions, took field trips and staged poster exhibitions on four topics: the eco-city, green lifestyles, the ecosystem and wildlife animals and plants, as well as the United Nations and its program of education for sustainable development.

Prestigious figures such as Clarice Wilson, an official from UN Environment, and Zhou Huaiyang, a professor at Tongji, also shared their ideas on important topics: Ways toward a Zero-Pollution Earth, The Future of the Paris Climate Change Agreement in a Changing World, and Deep Sea Mining: if it is ready.

On the sidelines of the event there was a farewell party for postgraduates studying at the UN Environment-Tongji Institute of Environment for Sustainable Development. As a joint effort of Tongji and UNEP, since 2015 the school has enrolled 45 students from 25 countries to study for master's degrees.

Initiated in 2011, the conference has gathered more than 1,500 students from over 40 countries and regions around the world. They have focused on themes such as how to construct an ecological civilization, sharing a green future, the green economy, food, health and sustainable development, ecological civilization and green development, city and nature, and consumption and production.


Participants laid out poster exhibitions on four environmental topics. [Photo provided to]

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