Sustainable Development

Somali children play in a child-friendly space supported by UNICEF and run by Save the Children US in the Kobe refugee camp in Ethiopia, in 2012. Some 27,000 refugees from drought and conflict were residing in the camp. Photo: UNICEF

Certificate Program to Focus on Environment and Security

A new professional certificate program at Columbia University will address the linkages between environment and security, aimed at practitioners with responsibility for providing assessments and warnings regarding environment-security risks or for designing programs to manage such risks.

by |October 5, 2015

Program Backs Start-up Competition at Dhaka University

The Sustainable Development program at the Earth Institute is helping to sponsor a start-up competition for students at Dhaka University in Bangladesh.

by |September 29, 2015
Computer lab in Mayange, Rwanda.

Leave No One Behind: The Sustainable Development Goals

At the end of September, all 193 member countries of the United Nations have agreed to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals towards eradicating poverty, protecting the planet and advancing prosperity by 2030. What do they hope to accomplish and why do they matter?

by |September 14, 2015

The Challenging Question: What is Sustainable Development?

“Ever since I started studying sustainable development, the big question has always been how to define and speak about it. I have come to notice more and more how important this question is as I spend my days conversing with different people on the topic.”

by |September 11, 2015

Making Agriculture Sustainable in One of India’s Poorest States

Jharkhand, India is one of the nation’s poorest and most most food-insecure states, with over 45 percent of the population living below the poverty line. Can a research team devise sustainable ways to improve livelihoods, productivity and sustainable water use?

by |September 9, 2015

Map & App Help People Track Transit in Nairobi

Commuters and others traveling in and around Nairobi often rely on an unofficial network of minibuses and minivans, called matatus, that have no centrally controlled schedules, fares or route plans. But a new application developed for use on cellphones with Google Maps can now help them find their way.


The Big City, Subdivided for Sustainability

Two-thirds of people on the planet will live in cities by 2050. But few cities are prepared for this population boom. An upcoming research project will explore new, localized models for urban infrastructure to make cities cleaner, healthier and more enjoyable places to live.

by |August 12, 2015
Hurricane Sandy satellite image

The Disaster Profiteers

In his new book “The Disaster Profiteers,” Earth Institute professor John Mutter argues that natural disasters are bad for the poor–and can be great for the rich, who often seize resources meant for recovery, when no one is looking.

by |August 10, 2015
Sorghum is a vital crop for some 500 million people in Africa and Asia, but may be vulnerable to climate change. (Courtesy Jesse Lasky)

How Genomics Can Help Famine-Prone Nations Weather Climate Change

A team of biologists and agronomists has identified genomic signatures in plants indicating they are resilient to stresses such as drought or toxic soils. The multi-year study, expected to help developing-world farmers, was done with sorghum, one of the world’s most common crops.

by |July 8, 2015
sus dev snip

New 5-Year Program in Sustainable Development & Sustainability Management

Columbia University’s Earth Institute and School of Continuing Education, in collaboration with Columbia College and General Studies, are pleased to announce the launch of an Accelerated Program in Sustainable Development and Sustainability Management. Through this new program, majors and special concentrators in sustainable development can earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in just five years, saving time and money.

by |June 14, 2015