Life Science Universities and the Sustainable Development Goals

4. June 2018
Vincent-Paul Sanon talking into a microphone with a poster next to h im
Our APPEAR scholar Vincent-Paul Sanon presented a poster at the GCUA workshop on Sustainable Development Goals and the role of Life Science Universities.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly to shift our world on to a sustainable and resilient path. Achieving such a plan requires the collaborative partnership of all countries and stakeholders, including universities. Thus, from 16-18 April 2018, a workshop was organized by the Global Challenges University Alliance (GCUA) at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU). The aim was to adopt a position paper regarding the role of Life Sciences Universities to implement the SDGs in teaching and research and on the political and societal level. Prior to the workshop, our APPEAR scholar Vincent-Paul Sanon participated in two lectures for a background research on the SDGs. During the event with two other students he presented a poster about the SDG process at BOKU: especially

  1. how SDGs are reflected at BOKU;
  2. their meaning for scientists and students;
  3. their impact in terms of policy change or paradigm shifts.

The students interviewed 6 professors and 10 students from different institutes, who are already familiar with the SDGs. The results show that, the research topics are linked to at least one SDG, however, the SDG number 2 and 15 are dominant. The lectures are the main SDGs communication channels at BOKU and the most important way to raise awareness about the SDGs. Additionally, students and professors pointed out the necessity to apply the SDGs in the daily life through behavior change, organize workshops/events, improve the cooperation between departments and connect them to their related SDGs.

Vincent-Paul Sanon is a PhD Student from Burkina Faso, at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU). His doctoral studies are embedded in the project Sustainable Management of Water and Fish Resources in Burkina Faso (SUSFISH-plus). His topic is “Traditional fisheries practices in transition: Dynamics and implications in Burkina Faso”. It is a continuation and a deepening of his master thesis which has been published in 2015 “Gouvernance et institutions traditionnelles dans les pêcheries de l’Ouest du Burkina Faso”. For his bachelor’s degree he researched on health issues, namely the contribution of communication for behavior change to the fight against malaria. After his master’s degree, and before starting his doctoral studies he worked in two research projects to evaluate interventions in the health system in Burkina Faso. Vincent-Paul was responsible of social sciences research in the Project e-PCIME with the Center Muraz, 2015-2017. In the second project he was the research assistant of AGIR-S/D – CHUM interventions community and equity in health (2014-2017). In 2012 Vincent-Paul also taught rural sociology at the Catholic University of West Africa/ University Unit in Bobo-Dioulasso.