4th CSD Annual Conference on
Sustainable Development
Oct 18-19, 2019
4th CSD Annual Conference on
Sustainable Development
Oct 18-19, 2019
4th CSD Annual Conference on
Sustainable Development
Oct 18-19, 2019
4th CSD Annual Conference on
Sustainable Development
Oct 18-19, 2019

4th CSD Annual Conference on Sustainable Development

Unpacking Sustainability, Resilience and Equity 

The 4th CSD Annual Conference on Sustainable Development 2019, organized by CSD-ULAB, will bring together local and international experts from across the globe to explore the latest and most pressing issues relating to the Sustainable Development Agenda.  The focus of this year’s conference is on unpacking some of the key issues that pose as challenges in achieving sustainability.

The changing climate of our current world poses challenges to practically every domain of human society, from agriculture to urban planning. It remains unclear, however, how measures taken to strengthen the capacity of society to adapt to a warming world can simultaneously carry forward the wider Sustainability Agenda enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals.

First among these concerns is the need to promote equitable outcomes, ensuring that the poorest and most marginalized groups, including women and minorities, can access the resources they need to reverse the entrenched exclusion that continues to make them the most vulnerable to a changing climate. This is among the most wicked of wicked problems, and constitutes a vital and wide ranging research agenda for the decades ahead, both in Bangladesh and across the world.

This years conference sessions include addressing resilience and equity, identifying pro-poor technology and innovation in coastal development, exploring circular design solutions for sustainable production, health and well-being of urban communities and understanding the data gaps in addressing specific SDG goals.

Objectives of the Conference: 

  • To serve as an incubator for current research results and to facilitate the uptake of these new results into practice at the local, national and international policy level;
  • To highlight the latest findings and debates surrounding how we can actually embed sustainability in institutions, the wider agrarian question in the changing climate, resilience and gender, and developing more reliable information on Bangladesh’s efforts to achieve SDG 13 (climate change).
  • To identify key knowledge gaps and solutions;
  • To promote collaboration and partnerships, and
  • To stimulate uptake of the science into policy and action

This interdisciplinary conference has a clear focus on public policy impact, identifying cutting edge research with clear and urgent implications for the current national and international policy debate. There is a strong emphasis on fostering collaboration between crosscutting disciplines such as anthropology, urban planning, climate and natural sciences, and economics/business studies.


Advisory Board

Professor Imran Rahman

Special Advisor (Board Of Trustees) & Dean, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)

Dr. Samiya Selim

Dr. Samiya Selim, Director and Associate Professor, Center for Sustainable Development, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (Conference Convenor)

Prof. Dr. Vally Koubi

Professor, ETH Zurich and University of Bern, Switzerland

Dr. Haseeb Irfanullah

Part-time Visiting Research Fellow | Center for Sustainable Development (CSD)

Dr. Saleemul Huq

Director of the International Centre for Climate Change & Development (ICCCAD)


Associate Professor, Sociology of Development and Change Group at Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR)


Senior Lecturer Course Director for MSc Environmental Sustainability and Green Technology, Keele University


Programme Director for BSc/MSci Natural Sciences Lecturer in Environment and Sustainability School of Geography, Geology and the Environment Keele University


Social Scientist, Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), Germany.


Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology Professor in Social Policy and Criminology Postgraduate Taught Admissions Lead University of Birmingham

Zoe Robinson

Professor of Sustainability in Higher Education, Director of Education for Sustainability , Keele University

Plenary Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Prof. Dr. Vally Koubi

Professor, ETH Zurich and University of Bern, Switzerland

Closing Speaker

Chief Guest

Ms. Habibun Nahar, Closing Chief Guest

Honourable Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka

Mr. Md. Abul Kalam Azad, Inaugural Chief Guest

Honourable Principal Coordinator (SDG Affairs), Prime Minister's Office, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Call for Abstracts

How to make cities truly livable?

More than half of the world’s population live in cities and this is expected to increase to sixty eight percent by 2050. In Bangladesh, more than thirty five percent of the population is living in urban settings. Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, is one of the most densely populated cities of the world and problems like urban heat stress, lack of green spaces, air and water pollution, heart and lung diseases are prominent here. Therefore, enhancing urban livability has become a matter of great concern not only for urban planners, policy makers but also for urban researchers and academicians. Livable urban environments integrate physical and social well-being parameters to sustain a productive and meaningful existence of city dwellers. “Sustainability” and “sustainable development” are concepts that closely aligned with the term “Livability” and sometimes used reciprocally. 

Sustainable urban environment, healthy communities and livability are closely connected because the built and natural environments where people live are characterized by social, economic, political and demographic characteristics of the inhabitants. Therefore, the determinants of urban livability, sustainable urban development and healthy communities are profoundly related, for instance, the accessibility to air and water pollution free environment, open and green spaces, proper health care, healthy neighbourhood relationship. Finally, this session on livable cities will focus on the below mentioned sub themes to answer the question “how to make any built urban environment whether a city or a town truly livable?”

Sub themes

  1. Green and open spaces for sustainable urban landscape planning
  2. Ecosystem Services for urban natural resources management
  3. Environmental pollution related health problems and adaptation
  4. Climate resilient cities and Urban Heat Stress
  5. Solution to air and water pollution

Objectives of the session

  1. Presentation of original research and case studies that identify environmentally sustainable and socially acceptable solutions on the above-mentioned sub themes
  1. Design a working paper/article that outlines “Determinant of Urban livability in Bangladeshi Cities: A Critical Review” Possible target Journals are: Sustainability, and journal of Environment, Development and Sustainability

Please submit your abstract Here by 20th September, 2019. If you have any questions, feel free to contact: [email protected]



Circular Design – How do you build sustainable institutions?

The concept of circular economy has direct connection with the sustainable development concept. It requires a balanced coordination with the economic, environmental, technological, and social aspects of a process. The definition provided by Ellen McArthur Foundation: Circular economy is an industrial system that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design. It replaces the ‘end-of-life’ concept with restoration, shifts towards the use of renewable energy, eliminates the use of toxic chemicals, which impair reuse, and aims for the elimination of waste through the superior design of materials, products, systems, and, within this, business models.

This session will address the overall question on how we can incorporate circular design and build sustainable institutes. Overall what are the challenges and opportunities in applying the principles of circular economy in Bangladesh? It will assess current practices at individual institutions and industry (e.g. on waste, energy, value chain) and how this fits in with SDG 12 targets on Sustainable Consumption and Production.  We will be hearing from experts who are working on recycling plastics and waste, renewable energy and in circular design in the fashion industry. 

Objectives of the session

Presentation of original research and case studies that:

  • Address circular design in Infrastructure, Social Consumption, Business and Industries
  • Identify current challenges of introducing Circular Design and other forms of sustainable practices
  • Explore Green Financing options for implementation of circular design in energy, waste and other sectors
  • How does SCP and Circular Design help achieve SDG 12 targets

We will be publishing a special issue in ‘Current Research in Environmental Sustainability’.

Please submit your abstract Here by 20th September, 2019. If you have any questions, feel free to contact: [email protected]


Potentials and pitfalls in pro-poor innovation development and uptake in coastal Bangladesh

Coastal regions of Bangladesh are among the most change-prone on earth. The country is a hotspot of climate change related dynamics with particularly strong effects on the coastal region and its people, the Bangladesh coast is the destination for well over a million refugees from neighbouring Myanmar who join large numbers of coastal people already below the poverty line and further impoverished through intruding salinity and other environmental changes. In addition, the economic growth of recent decades has enforced rather than alleviated economic inequalities (see World bank data on Gini coefficients). All this underlines the urgent need for responding and pre-empting poverty-generation.

Appropriate technical and social innovations are needed. Pro-poor innovation development is no easy avenue. Innovations tend to be developed and/or captured by those who already have resources. This session aims to bring together academics from different universities and disciplines, NGOs, diverse government ministries and agencies as well as interested private sector actors. Our common denominator is the desire to link and create synergies between our different types of involvement with pro-poor development.

Objectives of the session

  1. Present results, ongoing work and future plans on the theme of “pro-poor innovation development”
  2. Design a working paper/article that outlines “Principles, approaches, potentials and pitfalls in pro-poor innovation development and uptake in coastal Bangladesh” Possible target Journals are: Development and Change, Sustainability, other similar journals
  3. Draft the working paper with sections of all presenters at the conference (on October 19th morning)


Invited to the session are academics from different universities and disciplines, diverse government ministries and agencies, NGOs as well as interested private sector actors.

Please submit your abstract Here by 20th September, 2019. If you have any questions, feel free to contact: [email protected] 


Unpacking SDG 13 targets – What data do we need to fulfill these targets?


Resilience workshop: Mapping the conceptual boundaries of “Climate Change Resilience"

Resilience as a concept is widely used by practitioners and academics alike, and yet its precise definition remains ambiguous. Commonly viewed as “adaptive capacity”, it is generally applied to “communities” and their ability to respond effectively to both shocks and longer-term trends associated with a changing climate. On closer inspection, however, many “resilience” interventions at the programmatic level are virtually indistinguishable from long standing development practice, both in terms of approach (diversifying livelihoods) and identified outcomes (gender empowerment). As with human mobility, the specific aspects of “resilience” that are solely concerned with the physical impacts of climate change are unclear.

This working paper session aims to better understand the concept in a climate sensitive context where mobility is involved and explore the usability and efficiency of a resilience framework. 

The discussions at this session will aim to provide answers to the following questions:

– Does resilience framework provide more clarity to the migration-environment discussion?

– To what extent are long standing trends, including migration, subject to distortions due to the climate change and / or resilience lens?

– What are the risks of “climate change resilience” being employed as an additional narrative and set of operationalised practices to further marginalise poor people and communities as part of ongoing processes of “oppressive” or “reactionary” bricolage?

– What do academics and practitioners who are thinking around climate-related response and programming learn from the climate affected communities?

– Many organisations and coordination structures have ‘environment’ as a cross-cutting theme but how effectively does this meet the needs presented by today’s climate crisis?

Students in Action – How do you bring about behavioral changes?

It is widely accepted that behavior is a key factor to many social and health problems. Because these problems are rooted in human behavior thus solutions to deal with them also lie in human behavior. In this context, Youth activities can perform vital role to bring behavioral changes. Therefore, Investing in youth is an investment in our future. It is also fundamental for the successful implementation of the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Young people today are not just recipients of knowledge and values; they have become agents of change through their social awareness and knowledge in new technologies.

Their leadership in their own local contexts has shown to be remarkable, and we believe young people have the potential to design sustainable initiatives in their educational institutions, homes and communities. In order to build meaningful positive changes in behavior, it is essential to gain a thorough understanding of youth’s preferences, interests, background, lifestyle and culture. Through this workshop we will explore their needs and actions towards a healthy planet by ensuring a sustainable consumption pattern.

Going further, Sustainable Development Goal 12 – Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production patterns – and achieving its targets becomes a priority as it will enable young people to take their future into their own hands with dignity, freedom and responsibility. The challenge for young leaders then, is to design a new educational paradigm that integrates sustainability in lifestyle. Therefore, the aim of this session is to encourage youth to be a designer and design sustainable lifestyle related solutions that are a better fit for people’s lives. This session has been designed to promote importance of changing behavior through reduce waste generation and pollution, prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.

This session will be conducted two parts, panel discussion by experts followed by breakout group session where the selected participants from different universities will work in groups on SDG 12 targets and role of youth in achieving these targets:

  1. Panel session by experts working in the areas of sustainable consumption and production in urban spaces.
  2. Group session on the importance of behavioral change in reducing pollution, waste generation, and sustainable consumption.
  3. Presentation session of group findings

Who can attend: Undergraduate or Postgraduate Students from different Colleges and Universities

If you want to attend the workshop, send a short summary on the following topic (Word Limit: Max 500 words)

How behavioral change can ensure a healthy planet?

If you have any questions, feel free to contact: [email protected]

Deadline: 20th September, 2019 


The impacts of a changing climate will not be distributed equally. Those individuals and groups already marginalised by societal norms and laws are more vulnerable than others, with women and girls constituting the most important example. While facing disproportionately higher risks from a changing climate, women are also commonly seen as being essential to addressing the adaptation problem, with gender equality cited by both academics and practitioners as an essential objective if resilience goals are to be met.

This session will explore a number of facets of this problem, with papers presented on the following crucial topics: 

  • Women’s Decision Making on Climate Change
  • The role of Gender in fostering climate change resilience
  • Women and social capital, and how the fostering of social capital can enhance equity outcomes for women


Invited to the session are academics from different universities and disciplines, diverse government ministries and agencies, NGOs as well as interested private sector actors working on gender focused issues.

Please submit your abstract Here by 20th September, 2019. If you have any questions, feel free to contact: samiya.selim@ulab.edu.bd 



Please register for the 4th CSD Annual Conference on Sustainable Development to be held at ULAB, Dhaka on 18-19th October 2019


1. Opening call for abstract submission 15th August
2. Closing date for abstract submission 15th September
3. Notification of acceptance to authors 20th September
4. Registration opens 15th August



SUBCLASS  Amount  
 International Participants  USD 200   
 SAARC Participants  USD 150   
 Local Participants  BDT 2500  
 Student Participants  BDT 1500  
 Observers  BDT 1000  
 Student Observers  No Fee Required  







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