Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 18 April 2008


(2008), "Diary", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 19 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/meq.2008.08319cac.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Diary From: Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, Volume 19, Issue 3.

Civilising Nature: National Parks in Transnational Historical Perspective

German Historical Institute, Washington, DC, USA, 12-14 June 2008

National parks can be seen as an essentially Western concept of ordering space and the relationship between humans and their environment. Over the last century, they have become a truly global institution. The 2003 UN-List of Protected Areas features nearly 4,000 National Parks located all over the world. Ever since the USA started designating large areas to the preservation of natural wonders, the idea of relegating “Nature” to the confines of a “park” and assigning it the status of a national heritage has been transferred to a wide range of political, social, and ecological settings. In the course of their global spread, national parks have served as sites for the preservation of scenic landscapes or threatened species, destinations for outdoor recreation and tourism, venues for scientific research, and locations of spiritual renewal.

However, they have also been places of fierce contest about conflicting utilisations and perceptions of land and nature, and their creation was in many cases associated with the removal of indigenous residents. The spread of national parks can thus be construed as a means of “civilising nature”: they became a tool for civilising “wild nature” into a park, and they were regarded as markers of the advanced, “civilised” state of societies that established them to preserve a spiritual space and give their citizens access to “wild nature”.

The conference seeks to analyse the global development of the concept of the National Park between its original Western principle and its localizations and adaptations in differing historical, political, social, and ecological settings.

Further details can be obtained from: B.Thomas@ghi-dc.org

SEASINK 2008: Climate Conference in Portugal

Oporto, Portugal, 26-28 June 2008

Researchers, students and other professionals are now invited to the SEASINK 2008 Conference, to be held in Oporto, Portugal on 26-28 June 2008. The conference is organised by the Global Change, Energy, Environment and Bioengineering R & D Unit at the University Fernando Pessoa in Portugal. Oceans, representing about 70% of the earth surface, are considered as deposits for a large number of anthropogenic residues. Receiving input from human activities through land drainage, atmospheric deposition, rivers, and direct dumping, oceans act as sinks for several classes of compounds. There are many problems associated with the deposition of residues in the oceans, both from an environmental and a health perspective. Indeed, one of the most important scientific challenges today is to prevent that the carrying capacity of marine ecosystems to human induced stresses is exceeded. SEASINK 2008 is being organized aiming at discussing approaches, methods, projects and other initiatives related to the deposition of residues in the oceans. The thematic sessions are as follows:

  • organic compounds and effects;

  • inorganic contaminants;

  • climate change effects on toxicity of compounds in the Ocean; and

  • regional approaches.

Further details are available at: http://seasink.ufp.pt

Environmental Change, Social Vulnerability and Migration: summer academy

Hohenkammer Castle, Munich, Germany, 20-26 July 2008

Munich Re Foundation and United Nations University Environment and Human Security are happy to announce the second annual Summer Academy on Social Vulnerability. The summer academy provides around 20 outstanding PhD candidates from all over the world a platform to present and discuss their research with leading international experts and scholars in social vulnerability, as well as senior scientists from the United Nations University and Munich Re Foundation.

The theme of the 2008 Summer Academy will be “Environmental Change, Social Vulnerability and Migration”. The organizers invite qualified PhD candidates working on dissertations related to environmental change, migration and social vulnerability to apply for the 2008 Summer Academy. Applications are to be submitted online at www.ehs.unu.edu

Conference on Adaptation of Forests and Forest Management to Climate Change

Umeä, Sweden, 25-28 August 2008

The conference will focus on the current state of knowledge of on-going changes in climatic conditions in different regions of the world, and the implications of these changes for forest management and conservation.

Presentations and discussions will emphasise research, policies and practices that are needed to enable us to plan for and manage healthy, productive forests to meet future societal needs for forest products and the full range of forest goods and services. On-going research in various fields of forest and forest related sciences will be presented in parallel sessions of the conference.

The conference will welcome posters and papers and include presentations by selected keynote speakers who provide state-of-the art overviews of main topics in focus. Both invited and offered technical presentations will be given in concurrent sessions. Further details are available at: www.iufro.org/download/file/2192/104/umea08-1st-_annoucemt.pdf

International Disaster and Risk Conference, IDRC Davos 2008

Davos, Switzerland, 25-29 August 2008

After a successful IDRC Harbin 2007 conference, IDRC in its biennial process is back again in Davos. The conference will continue the dialogue between the different risk areas and their stakeholders, but also serves as a bridge between science, risk governance, technology perspectives, problem solving and capacity building. Further information is available at: www.idrc.info