Environment Centre
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What is CU Environment Centre

The Charles University Environment centre, was founded as a part of Charles University in 1992. It conducts environmental research and provides environmental expertise and information for students, university staff and for the general public. The centre collaborates with parliamentary bodies, state administration, non-government organizations and many academic and research institutions both locally and abroad. CUEC consists of the three units: sustainable development indicators, environmental economics, and education and information for sustainable development.

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Hák, T., Janoušková, S., & Moldan, B. (2016). Sustainable Development Goals: A need for relevant indicators. Ecological Indicators, 60, 565-573.

At the UN in New York the Open Working Group created by the UN General Assembly proposed a set of global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which comprises 17 goals and 169 targets. Further to that, a preliminary set of 330 indicators was introduced in March 2015. Some SDGs build on preceding Millennium Development Goals while others incorporate new ideas. A critical review has revealed that indicators of varied quality (in terms of the fulfilment certain criteria) have been proposed to assess sustainable development. Despite the fact that there is plenty of theoretical work on quality standards for indicators, in practice users cannot often be sure how adequately the indicators measure the monitored phenomena. Therefore we stress the need to operationalise the Sustainable Development Goals’ targets and evaluate the indicators’ relevance, the characteristic of utmost importance among the indicators’ quality traits. The current format of the proposed SDGs and their targets has laid a policy framework; however, without thorough expert and scientific follow up on their operationalisation the indicators may be ambiguous. Therefore we argue for the foundation of a conceptual framework for selecting appropriate indicators for targets from existing sets or formulating new ones. Experts should focus on the “indicator-indicated fact” relation to ensure the indicators’ relevance in order for clear, unambiguous messages to be conveyed to users (decision- and policy-makers and also the lay public). Finally we offer some recommendations for indicators providers in order to contribute to the tremendous amount of conceptual work needed to lay a strong foundation for the development of the final indicators framework.

Our recent publications

Weinzettel, Jan; Wood, Richard. Environmental Footprints of Agriculture Embodied in International Trade: Sensitivity of Harvested Area Footprint of Chinese Exports. Ecological Economics. March 2018,  145, pp. 323–330. Available for limited time here. Permanent link.

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Alberini, A., Bigano, A., Ščasný, M., Zvěřinová, I. (2018) Preferences for Energy Efficiency vs. Renewables: What Is the Willingness to Pay to Reduce CO2 Emissions? Ecological Economics. Permanent link.

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Kapitulčinová, D., Atkisson, A., Perdue, J., Will, M. (2017) Towards integrated sustainability in higher education – Mapping the use of the Accelerator toolset in all dimensions of university practice. Journal of Cleaner Production. Permanent link.

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Dlouhá, J.,  Henderson, L., Kapitulčinová, D., Mader, C. (2017) Sustainability-oriented higher education networks: Characteristics and achievements in the context of the UN DESD. Journal of Cleaner Production. Permanent link

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Dlouhá, J., Pospíšilová, M. (2017). Education for Sustainable Development Goals in public debate: The importance of participatory research in reflecting and supporting the consultation process in developing a vision for Czech education. Journal of Cleaner Production, Permanent link

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Janda K., Málek J., Rečka L. (2017) Influence of renewable energy sources on transmission networks in Central Europe. Energy Policy, Vol. 107, September 2017, pp 524–537 dostupný zde/available here

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Mulà, I., Tilbury, D., Ryan, A., Mader, M., Dlouhá, J., Mader, C., ... & Alba, D. (2017). Catalysing Change in Higher Education for Sustainable Development: A Review of Professional Development Initiatives for University Educators.  Permanent link

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Helena Medková, David Vačkář, Jan Weinzettel: Appropriation of potential net primary production by cropland in terrestrial ecoregions, Journal of Cleaner ProductionVolume 150, 1 May 2017, Pages 294–300 - available online.

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