• Submitted by: Centre for Global Sustainability Studies (CGSS)
  • Topic: Sustainable development goals
  • Keywords:
  • Location: PENANG, MALAYSIA
  • Date of completion: 01 Nov 2015
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In Support of Rio+20 Future We Want
This initiative is in support of paragraph 246 of the Rio+20 outcome document, the Future We Want
Deliverables & Resources
Centre for Global Sustainability Studies (CGSS), Universiti Sains Malaysia


United Nations Univerity (RCE-Penang); UNESCO (UNDESD, Consultation, Publications, ); UNDP (Rio+20 national consultations, SDGs), Earth Institute of Columbia University (Masters in Development Practice); SEASN & APUCEN (University SD Networks); Ministry of Education and the Economic Planning Unit of Malaysia (ESD & SD implementation); NGOs, Industry and Community (Applied research, awareness and capacity building); Asia Pacific Network for Global Change Research (Research and Capacity building project implementation); Sustainable Development solutions Network (SDSN - National member); Future Earth Programme (active participant) and partnership with other Universities and researchers internationally.

Description/achievement of initiative

The major mission of CGSS is to promote education and research based capacity building for the implementation of sustainable development (SD) with a 'bottom billion' focus. Our teaching involves a first year SD course and a Masters level sustainability practitioners programme (MDP). Our research is geared to reducing the risk of communities and stakeholder groups towards achieving their SD goals by enhancing resilience through targeted projects and processes. Our projects have a direct impact on low income communities, business and schools. Knowledge based interactions with government and the policy community forms an integral part of our work.

Implementation methodologies

We work closely with other USM disciplines, Students, Stakeholder groups, Ministries and departments, UN system bodies, Global change networks and Universities. CGSS is the Secretariat to the University Sustainability Council, Chaired by the President, and we are a think tank, overall platform and a catalyst for sustainability implementation. Using the USM-APEX* (*Accelerated Programme for Excellence awardee of the then Ministry of Higher Education, 2008) Sustainability Roadmap, the Sustainability Policy of USM 2013, the APEX Phase I & II implementation logframe and the sustainability implementation guide, CGSS helps promote sustainability at USM. We have developed a unique Sustainability Assessment Methodology (SAM) and a set of indicator based Sustainability Worksheets to monitor and to assist in sustainability integration. SAM is currently being computerized. We coordinate a first year Sustainability course, the MDP graduate program, seek funding and support interdisciplinary research, transdisciplinary policy dialogue & research and cross-disciplinary sustainability stakeholder consultation, and engage with international partners. We work closely with local government, NGOs, industry, business and community groups to implement 'community based projects.

Our interest in SDGs is part of this wider and deeper engagement by design and by choice.

Deliverable Date
Formal and non-formal University courses, programmes and projects (on-going) 2009
Policy, Knowledge transfer and Networking services and products (on-going) 2009
Process, Basic, Action and Sustainability research projects (on-going) 2011
SD Indicators, SDGs development and engagement with UN OWG and Global change partners 2012-2015
Type Details
Financing (in USD) $500,000
Staff / Technical expertise Our Centre has about 15 staff at any given time + Sr. Fellows
In-kind contribution We organise conferences, training, outreaches, policy discussions, publications
Other, please specify We are heavily networked both within and outside USM, natioanlly and internationally
Copyright United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs