Origins and status of the Institute

ECPD International Institute for Sustainable Development, Urban Planning and Environmental Studies (The Institute) is part of The European Center for Peace and Development (ECPD). The Center was established in 1985 as a Regional Center of the UN University for Peace. The ECPD has two organs: 1. The Secretariat is based in Belgrade with Prof. Dr. Negoslav P. Ostojić as the Executive director. 2. The Academic Council is situated in Paris, its current President is H.E. Prof. Dr. Takehiro Togo.

The Institute’s headquarters are situated in Ljubljana, Slovenia – it is the first ECPD institution based in the country.

The ECPD today represents a unique institution in South-Eastern Europe. Its aim is to promote research and transfer of knowledge with an aim of preserving peace among nations. Its activities are mainly focused in the countries of the so-called Helsinki Europe, especially transition economies of Eastern Europe, but in addition it cooperates with other parts of the world as well.

The ECPD has during its existence already carried out numerous activities from the field of education (graduate, postgraduate and doctoral studies), research activities, international meetings (with leading academics, former and current heads of states and even Nobel Prize winners) and publishing activities.

Purpose of the Institute

The Institute’s aim is to continue the policy promoted by the ECPD and to additionally focus it on sustainable development as a way of not only preserving nature but also achieving a more harmonious cohabitation of people. The Institute sees sustainability as an improvement of quality of life in all dimensions – especially environmental and social. The Institute follows the doctrine of the ECPD that has interdisciplinary connected different areas of economic, technological and social development. The focus area especially important for the Institute is the management of natural resources pursued through technological and environmental programs which embrace the principles of sustainable development.

Objectives of the Institute

In accordance with these aims, the Institute has accepted a set of main strategic objectives it intends to follow in its work. The Institute’s main mission is to promote, advance and plan sustainable development policies, with an emphasis on urban environment planning at all levels (local, regional, national and international). It intends to actively cooperate in organization of educational and scientific activities (ranging from specialized post-graduate studies to scientific symposiums) from the field of sustainable development. The Institute also intends to promote positive actions regarding sustainable development including those found in Slovenia. In addition the Institute will foster international cooperation with scientific, technological, financial and political institutions, using wide array of connections Slovenia has gained during its successful presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The Institute’s activities

The Institute has developed an interdisciplinary program structure which includes the following activities:

  1. coordinating interdisciplinary research projects and scientific studies on sustainable development, renewable sources of energy, environment protection, urbanism, regional development, multicultural development and inter-ethnic relations
  2. introducing studies leading to new specialist postgraduate training in management, European and business law, finance and diplomacy in connection with issues of sustainable development
  3. organizing professional and expert science symposiums, round tables and seminars from the fields of environment, environmental science and urban planning
  4. publishing science anthologies and other publications from the field of the Institute’s activities
  5. targeting and persuading of policy makers and stakeholders on different levels from governments, businesses and NGOs

Structure of the Institute

Currently the Institute’s structure is being set up. It has an active Director and the activities are already underway to create the Institute’s Council. The Council, whose President is Dr. Boris Cizelj, will have approximately 11-15 members whose role is to adopt the work program and prepare other important acts (procedure manual). The Director is responsible for operations of the Institute, prepares its annual program of activities, budget, and is responsible for their execution.

President of the ECPD Academic Council H.E. Prof. Dr. Takehiro Togo has in the spring of 2009 appointed Mr. Janez Podobnik as the first Director of the ECPD International Institute for Sustainable Development, Urban Planning and Environmental Studies in Ljubljana.

Funding of the Institute

The Institute’s funding is based solely on its autonomous activities. These are funded from the following sources: donations and membership fees, commissions for the services from individual organizations, tuition fees for post-graduate, doctoral and post-doctoral studies. The Institute also intends to actively apply for funding from structural and other funds of the EU and other international organizations. The Institute will apply independently or in cooperation with ECPD headquarters in Belgrade or its operational units.

Ljubljana, October 2009

Upcoming International ECPD Institute events and activities: