Students:Robert Ach-Hübner 2

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Hello! My name´s Robert. I am 23 and I come from Brno. I am in the first year of my master studies of Economic Policy and International Relations at Masaryk University. My hobbies are music, singing and playing guitar, sports or reading newspapers:)

Regarding my expectations about the spring school, I hope to learn more about ways of incorporating aspects of sustainability into my daily life. Also, I´d like to discover more about the economic dimension of sustainability. For example, I wonder if market forces are able to ensure a decent level of sustainability once some crucial resources become scarce, or if we have to find completely new ways in order to make good living conditions for further generations.

I´d like to tell you about a project in Brno which is called CIVITAS ELAN. It is a part of series of projects focused on promoting more sustainable transportation in the city. The three particular aims set for the project include 1) optimization of energy consumption of public transport vehicles 2) introducing of three electro-minubuses 3) extension of possibilities of transportation of bicycles in public transport vehicles. Other projects from this series are called Trolley, CIVITAS 2MOVE2, CH4LLENGE and aim to promote using public transport instead of cars, cycling etc.


In the following lines I would like to present what I found to be the most interesting topic that I have learned about at the Spring School and also to reflect on it in terms of my current studies and future career.

Many topics appealed to me during the Spring School. However, I would like to point out the issues of water and decoupling. These topics relate to my studies the most.

As regards water, the relationship to my discipline (International Relations and Economic Policy) is closer than it might seem to be. The conflicts over water resources are quite widely acknowledged as a very significant thread in the future. There are many over-populated countries with lack of the vital liquid. The worldwide consumption of water grows and probably will grow further. Jordan, as presented by Andrew Barton, is one of the examples of gravity of the situation. We might find other examples in other Middle Eastern countries, Africa or Latin America. I believe that there are technologies at hand (and they will develop further in the future) which are able to make the water management much more efficient in (not only) the problematic areas. However, the problem is that it will probably be too expensive for the affected countries to introduce such technologies in the large scale. It is possible that they will grow economically and will be able to develop better water management. Yet, economic growth is usually accompanied with even higher demand for resources, water included.

Potential conflicts over water might threaten stability of whole regions (e.g. Middle East or East-Nord Africa) and affect badly the whole world. Thus, it is in interest of all nations to cope with this thread. In order to succeed in this effort it is essential to cooperate and address the issue on local, regional and also on global level. Therefore, this complex topic constitutes a major issue in current International Relations discourse.

The issue of water scarcity leads me to the problem of decoupling as it will be necessary, at least to certain extent, to achieve decoupling in water management (e.g. more crops with less water). The lecture on decoupling was very useful in general, as it showed how statistical data may be lead to major misperception if wrong indicator is used. This may happen unintentionally or intentionally and may have serious consequences. Thus, the lecture taught me not to take even proper statistic data as good evidence automatically. I find such approach very useful not only for my future studies.

I found the Spring School interesting not only due to the knowledge I gathered but also thanks to meeting remarkable people, gaining beneficial experience or practicing my English. Therefore I believe it was very rewarding experience and I am very glad to be able to participate in it.