The Precautionary Principle in Sustainability Transitions: thinking forward, looking backwards and acting

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The precautionary principle is a key principle of environment governance. It poses challenges to both environmental science and environmental governance because it applies to 'situations of scientific complexity, uncertainty and ignorance, where there may be a need to act in order to avoid, or reduce, potentially serious or irreversible threats to health and/or the environment, using an appropriate strength of scientific evidence, and taking into account the pros and cons of action and inaction and their distribution' (EEA 2013, p. 681). As a tool to manage risks, uncertainties and ignorance in complex social ecological systems, it is a core element of governance for a transition towards sustainability and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
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When 28 Jun 2018 to
04 Jul 2018
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This European Environment Academy (EEAcademy) event is the fourth edition of the highly successful 2015, 2016 and 2017 SUN courses on the same topic. The faculty is composed of renowned and high-profile scholars and practitioners with broad experience in interdisciplinary research and integrative policy-making. The team includes the Executive Director of the European Environment Agency and two of its senior managers, the former Senior Advisor of EEA and 'Late Lessons' project leader, the former Chair of the Scientific Committee of EEA, as well as professors from renowned Universities and Business executives. Participants will also come from a variety of backgrounds (including both researchers and practitioners from public bodies, NGOs and business). The course will be a unique opportunity to (i) increase participants' theoretical and practical expertise on issues surrounding the precautionary principle and transitions towards sustainability; to (ii) train in inter- and transdisciplinary research and integrative policy praxis; and (iii) build a strong network with other participants and faculty. The course will be broadly advertised to international and European environmental communities. Applications are invited from researchers (advanced PhD students, postdocs) and practitioners from policy-making institutions, NGOs, business and international organizations.



Sybille van den Hove, Bridging for Sustainability, Belgium
Ruben Mnatsakanian, Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, Central European University, Hungary 
Anton Shkaruba, Erda RTE, the Netherlands / Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, CEU
David Stanners, European Environment Agency, Copenhagen, Denmark


Hans Bruyninckx, European Environment Agency; Sarah Cornell, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sweden; Steffen Foss Hansen, Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby; David Gee, Retired (former senior advisor EEA), UK; Philippe Grandjean, University of Southern Denmark; Owen McIntyre, School of Law, University College Cork, Ireland ; Pierre Mottet, Ion Beam Applications, Belgium; Xenia Trier, European Environment
Agency; Jock Martin, European Environment Agency.


Central European University's summer school (CEU SUN), established in 1996, is a program in English for graduate students, junior or post-doctoral researchers, teachers and professionals. It offers high-level, research-oriented, interdisciplinary academic courses as well as workshops on policy issues for professional development, taught by internationally renowned scholars and policy experts (including CEU faculty). Application from all over the world is encouraged. Financial aid is available.


More information about this event…