SDG Short Course I on Sustainability and Environmental Management of Geothermal Resource Utilization and the Role of Geothermal in Combatting Climate Change held in El Salvador 4-10 September 2016.
A “SDG Short Course I on Sustainability and Environmental Management of Geothermal Resource Utilization and the Role of Geothermal in Combatting Climate Change“ was held in El Salvador during September 4-10 in cooperation with LaGeo S.A. de C.V. As the name implies, the course is the first in a new series of short courses held in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The course was therefore devoted to environmental topics that are important in geothermal development.
The first day covered the concept of sustainability in the context of geothermal development and presentations were given by participants on the environmental processes that need to be undertaken in geothermal development in their home countries. On Tuesday, the coverage included the nature and assessment of geothermal resources, phases of geothermal development, legal and regulatory framework, environmental planning and permit processes, and EIAs. Environmental management and monitoring was the theme of Wednesday, while Thursday was used for to a field trip to the Berlin geothermal power plants, with due attention given to LaGeo‘s support program for the local community, including youth education and practical skills training. On Friday, general and site-specific social considerations that need to be heeded in geothermal development, and the role of geothermal in combatting climate change were addressed. Over the week, the participants also engaged in project work, having selected among 5 possible topics, and they reported on their findings on the Saturday.
This year, the short course was an integral part of the Geothermal Diploma Course for Latin America, which is held at the University of El Salvador (UES) from August to December. The Diploma Course is funded by the Nordic Development Fund and managed cooperatively by LaGeo, UNU-GTP, and UES. The 29 students of the Diploma Course attended the Short Course along with other participants specifically invited for the Short Course. In total, 68 participants took part, which is a record number from the initiation of the El Salvador workshops / short courses in 2006. The wide geographical representation bears witness to the large geothermal potential found within the LAC region, most of which has still not been utilized.
The larger part of lecturing and instruction was in the hands of experts from Iceland and El Salvador, with participants contributing as well. A special guest lecturer was invited from Kenya, Dr. Pacifica F. Achieng Ogola, Director of the Climate Change Department of the Kenyan Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development. Dr. Ogola lectured on social aspects of geothermal development and climate related topics, as well as supervising project work. A long distance lecture was also given from Iceland by Irma Khoirunissa on social considerations in geothermal development in Indonesia.