Bornand raised in the world’s largest emerging economy, I have experiencedfirsthand the dilemma faced by rapidly developing countries between high-speedeconomic growth and concomitant environmental issues. Things like wearing maskswhen going outside due to the periodic haze, changing personal lifestyle todrink only bottled water, watching the movies which depicted the cities inChina besieged by the waste made me feel the unease about the surroundingenvironment. Inspired by Gandhi’s quote which encourages the individual to bethe change he/she want to see, I determined to, instead of standing aside,major in environment and development in Japan to systematically learn theenvironmental technology and contribute my efforts to sustainable development. Given the aforementioned interests, I have soughtopportunities to build up my knowledge necessary to understand and resolveenvironmental problems during the studies in Japan and one-year exchangeprogram, which I undertook in Waterloo, Canada.
Knowledge of ecology andindustrial ecology offered me with an insight into the resilience of ecosystemsand its possible implications to the industry and society. Case studies andprojects from environmental management system and corporate sustainabilityallowed me to explore the driving forces and constraints for individualenterprises and actors to go green and transform environmental protection intocompetitiveness. Researches of energy and water governance helped me recognizethe importance of collaboration efforts among the state, communities and marketto use alternative technologies and policies achieve the transition to a moresustainable development model. Lectures along with labs and seminars whichapplied GIS technology, programming and remote sensing to spatial analysis andenvironmental planning equipped me with quantitative research skills. To apply the theoretical knowledge into practices, I havebeen working on my graduate thesis, analyzing critical factors of successfulbiomass utilization in Hita city, Japan.
The material-energy-financial flowanalysis and environmental impact assessment were first conducted to assess thetarget biomass plant which uses anaerobic digestion to recover energy fromagriculture waste, manure and municipality solid waste. Then, semi-structuredinterviews were applied to explore planning and adaptation of the certaintechnology to the local conditions and changing policies and its regionalenvironmental governance. The thesis was competed but some questions remained. Howthe scientific knowledge could be diffused, adapted to various context toachieve acceleration of sustainable development? How the leverage points likegoals, incentives, information flows can be restructured so that individualrational actions can add up to results that everyone desires? Questions likethese piqued my interest to pursue further studies and the MSc EnvironmentalTechnology at Imperial College is, therefore, a key to my aspirations. Theclearly structured courses, “learning-by-doing” case study and individualresearch project will provide me with a unique chance to be trained with moreintegrated knowledge, in-depth specialization, critical perspectives.
I firmlybelieve that systematic learning, rigorous training and practical techniques fromthis program are advantageous to me to pursue a career in environmentalconsultancy and make a substantial contribution to emerging globalenvironmental governance in a long run.