Author:
Katrin Männik

University of Tartu participates for the first time in the UN climate conference in Dubai

The 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) started on 30 November, bringing together world leaders, climate scientists and experts to discuss the developments and future strategies for adapting to and reducing the causes of climate change. At the conference, University of Tartu scientists will present their relevant research, practical applications, and an educational programme for schools in the Estonian pavilion.

University of Tartu researchers’ work on the development of sustainable cities, biodiversity, and climate measures is globally influential. These topics will also be introduced in the programme of the Estonian pavilion. According to Tõnu Esko, Vice Rector for Development at the University of Tartu, climate and environmental issues require cross-national and cross-sectoral solutions, and universities have much to contribute. “Decision-makers from around the world are present at the climate conference, which makes it a great opportunity for the university to develop international collaboration and broaden our perspectives on environmental problem-solving strategies,” said Esko.

The University of Tartu delegation includes Vice Rector for Development Tõnu Esko, Professor of Restoration Ecology Aveliina Helm, Professor of Geoinformatics Evelyn Uuemaa, Research Fellow in Geoinformatics Alexander Kmoch, Professor of Climate Science Piia Post, Professor of Urban and Population Geography Tiit Tammaru, and bachelor’s student of Biology and Biology and Biodiversity Conservation, Ellen Roper.

University of Tartu researchers participate in the Estonian pavilion events on four days

On 6 December, at the panel discussion organised by the city of Tallinn, “Wildly Moving: 15 Minutes to a Just City?”, representatives of universities and the city of Tallinn discuss the concept of the 15-minute city. The University of Tartu representative in the discussion is Tiit Tammaru, Professor of Urban and Population Geography.

On 8 December, the Youth, Children, Education and Skills Day, Tallinn University and the University of Tartu will organise a seminar and panel discussion, “From Classroom to World: Can Innovation Rescue the Climate?”. The event explores the role of innovation in addressing climate change and the significance of education. The University of Tartu is represented by Piia Post, Professor of Climate Science, and Aveliina Helm, Professor of Restoration Ecology and Science Advisor to the Minister of Climate. After the seminar, Ellen Roper from the University of Tartu and Iris Reinhold from the British International School Abu Dhabi will debate on the same topics. The moderator is Vice Rector for Development Tõnu Esko.

On 9 December, Professor of Restoration Ecology Aveliina Helm, Professor of Geoinformatics Evelin Uuemaa and Research Fellow in Geoinformatics Alexander Kmoch will present two innovative digital solutions to support nature restoration and mitigate climate change. Rohemeeter is an application that helps landowners assess to what extent the landscape structure and environmental conditions on their land support biodiversity conservation. The other solution, a data-driven tool developed by university geoinformaticians for the startup Arbonics, helps find areas suitable for reforestation and estimate the potential additional income for landowners from carbon credits.

On 10 December, Aveliina Helm will participate in the panel discussion “Transforming Agriculture: Harnessing Genetic Engineering and Synthetic Biology to Combat Climate Change”, organised by the Centre of Estonian Rural Research and Knowledge.

The 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference takes place in Dubai Expo City from 30 November to 12 December. The conference has been held annually since the first UN climate agreement in 1992.

Read more about the programme of the Estonian pavilion at the climate change conference.

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