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Columbia University Coalition for Sustainable Development

Columbia University Coalition for Sustainable Development (CUCSD) was created to provide Columbia University students with the opportunity to engage in high-level sustainable development related meetings such as the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), in Rio de Janeiro. CUCSD serves as a platform for students to collaborate amongst themselves to make use of these opportunities. By attending these international forums, our members represent CUCSD in multilateral negotiations, share their work with field experts in sustainable development, mobilize their peers in impacting international policies, and apply their experience in their academic and professional work. In addition, students are able to help disseminating information and innovations in Sustainable Development at Columbia University.

CUCSD Was officially recognized by the Columbia University Interschool Governing Board (IGB) In March of 2012

CUCSD members


M.S. Sustainability Management Columbia College Sustainable Development Master International Affairs Energy and Environment BA Political Science and Social Anthropology Political Science International Politics

Public Administration Economics-Philosophy-Sustainable Development Ecology Evolution and Environmental Biology Earth & Environmental Engineering Environmental Science and Policy


At the All-Ivy Environmental and Sustainable Development Career Fair

At the US/Canada Citizens Summit for Sustainable Development Yale University

At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development 3rd Intercessional meeting

Official Organizer of NY+20

CUCSD CUCSD In the Social Media in the Social Media

received almost 100 hits during the Yale Summit and its Facebook received a Rockstar Status

CUCSDs blog

Van Jones likes


Jairo Garcia

(CUCSD Co-Founder Advisor Executive Board)

Jairos most recent research titled New Approaches in Graduate Education for Sustainable Development: Modalities of Fi el d Trai ni ng i n the Master s i n Development Practice Programs will be published as a chapter in the book Sustainable Development at Universities: New Horizons. Jairo has been invited to present this paper at the World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities, a parallel to the UN Rio+20 conference. Jairo also serves as the liaison between the Earth Charter International and Columbia University.

Jairo is pursuing a Masters of Science degree in Sustainability Management at Columbia University. He is the VP of Academic Affairs of the Student Association, Intern and Teaching Assistant at the Earth Institute, and Co-Founder and Member of the Executive Board of GlobalEdTech, an NGO specializing in the research and development of ICTs for institutions implementing on-line educational programs to promote sustainable development. Jairos Doctoral Dissertation was focused on education for sustainable development at universities in Costa Rica. He graduated with Phi Delta Kappa International Honors. He has published a half dozen peer-reviewed papers in the area of education for sustainable development and has presented at many international conferences such as AASHE, IESALC-UNESCO, LACCEI, HICE, and ISDRC. Jairo has actively participated with the I n t e r n a t i o n a l E nv i r o n m e n t a l G ove r n a n c e Stakeholders at UNEP, providing input for the creation of the institutional framework for sustainable development in preparation for the UN Conference Rio+20.

Esperanza Garcia
(CUCSD Co-Founder President)

Esperanza was a consultant for the M i l l e n i u m D e ve l o p m e n t G o a l Awa r d s Committee, honoring the efforts of governments & civil society in their contribution towards the achievement of the UNMDGs. She was a journalist for UNICEF & South-South and served as a negotiator & official delegate for the Philippines at the UN Climate Change Conference in COP15 '09 & COP16 '10. Esperanza has received awards on youth leadership and is invited to speak at international conferences, including UN, on the importance of young peoples engagement in global affairs and environmental sustainability. Her work has been published in several books and magazines including Unipro's "30 top Filipinos under 30" and Swedish magazine "Heroes of Today."

Esperanza is pursuing a Masters of Science degree in Sustainability Management at Columbia University. She is Co-Founder & Member of Executive Board of the International Youth Council which has provided educational resources & leadership opportunities to young global leaders. She blogs at Ecohope. She was born & raised in Cebu, Philippines and is a single mother of a 6 year old. She has studied renewable energy at Yale University summer school and worked as a consultant for South-South News, which works with UN agencies in helping South-South countries develop programs. She founded the Philippine Youth Climate Movement awarding climate heroes & raising climate change awareness in Philippine schools. She served as a consultant for the Philippine Senate Climate Change Committee. She worked as consultant for Friendship Ambassadors Foundation, where she focused her efforts in organizing the Youth Assembly at the United Nations attended by hundreds of young global leaders.

(CUCSD Co-Founder Vice-President)

Ben Rattenbury

Ben is a UK Fulbright Scholar at SIPA focusing on environmental and economic policy, specifically in relation to climate change. Prior to SIPA Ben worked to develop civil society across Europe, particularly in former communist countries, with the support of the EU, the UN and British Foreign Office. During this period he was a special adviser to the European Commission, DG Enlargement, on their civil society promotion strategies, while in his spare time he was Executive Director of Tenteleni, a grass-roots NGO sending 100 volunteers to participate in education projects across sub-Saharan Africa annually.

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