Bogdan Glogovac is a biologist with two master’s degrees in ecology and marine biology who decided to take a more active part as educator and trainer in areas such as sustainable development, (social, economic, environmental), global warming etc. Now he is a part of an innovative project Ducky aimed at inspiring people to be more proactive in environment protection. Glogovac explains why Ducky is a fun way to acquire some good environmental habits as well as what was his impression of the recently held Out of the Box week.
Sustainable development still seems like a notion that requires clarification in order for the general public to fully understand its importance. Where do you see your role as someone who is dedicated to the promotion of sustainability and environmental issues?
I see myself as a medium between scientific research and a broader public. Or to put it simpler: as a translator of scientific language into plain and simple words, or actions. Even though it seems clear, sometimes this is a very hard thing to do. For example, sustainable development already sounds kind of complicated. These two words are used so many times in recent years, but I’m afraid not so many people know their true meaning: sustainable– continuous, feasible; development – improvement, progress. Do you want continuous improvement? Well, who doesn’t? Ok, so let’s see how to reach it and what it is. I believe this kind of simplification already does a trick.
How important is it for people to understand that environmentally friendly economy can be profitable and a driver for the entire society?
Probably what drives me the most in the work that I do is a fact that everything is connected. And it doesn’t take a big research to demonstrate this fact. All the people understand that if you, for example, save energy, you will save the environment and your wallet. What is the most important is to keep focus on this, to be aware of this, to think about it and finally to do it in practice. Environmentally friendly economy is profitable, but only if we want it to be. The demand will always dictate the supply. And it is a fact that solar energy resources are getting significantly cheaper, year after year. The same concept can be applied on any other industry.
Can you tell us a bit about the platform you’re working on “Ducky”? What does it mean to be “Ducky”?
Ducky.no is an online platform made to quantify and visualize climate activities in order to spread knowledge and motivate people towards environmental-friendly habits. We believe that climate research data can be transformed and simplified for everybody to understand in a fun and interactive way. Ducky is actually a British term which means: to be nice. But also, little ducklings will always follow their mother, so in a way, we are trying to provide a place where people can share inspirational climate activities so that others could, just like little ducklings, follow their example and feel inspired. We believe that actions speak louder than words, thus we are putting environmental activities as the focal tool to engage and inspire Ducky users. Having a profile on www.ducky.no, you can connect with your family, friends, or colleagues, see what they do with regards to environment, support them, be challenged or challenge them to do even more.
You were present during the OTB week, can you share some impressions?
Oh, I loved it. I think Out of the Box is on its way to become very important organization. I had the opportunity to meet many interesting experts from different areas of expertise. Possibilities for future networking are great, but what is probably the most important to me is that I came back home with a smile on my face, looking forward to meet other OTB people again and again. Logistics and accommodation were well organized, and if I could have the possibility to evaluate event in overall from 1-5, it would be 5 for sure.
What are your impressions on the COP in Paris? Any news toward reaching more environment friendly and sustainable societies?
Now this is a very sensitive question. We can say that a deal to attempt to limit the rise in global temperatures to less than 2C has been agreed at the climate change summit in Paris. We can also say that China and India have agreed on proposals and that leading worlds’ economies, including USA, Russia and EU, stood together to take responsibility and help developing countries in fighting global warming. Investment of 100 billion dollars a year has been approved in climate finance for developing countries by 2020, with a commitment to further finance in the future. This will certainly bring more jobs, PhD positions and climate related investments which is the best economic implication of COP21.
However, wise people once said that history is a teacher of life. If we look at the previous World Climate Change Summits and their follow up, we don’t see much progress. I can only hope that the world leaders have learned a lesson from their former mistakes and that this time they stay persistent in their decisions. Or as Nick Cave would say: “Practice what you preach”.
Why do people still take environmental issues for granted?
Seems like water can endlessly flow from the tap. We all have cell phones and when we go to the store, we see many fish products on the shelf. No problem, right? In this way, it is very easy to take things for granted. But what about the things we actually don’t see? It is difficult to imagine that there is only 1% of accessible drinking water on the planet. And how about rare minerals in our cell phones? Or the over fished/nearly extinct species of tuna? This is definitely a challenge for the future. To visualize the importance of resources we use. To simplify the truth in order to amplify the knowledge and awareness. Things are messed up. We “care” about pandas, or polar bears that we probably have never seen in our lives. On the other hand, drinkable water we simply take for granted, since we see it in a tap every day. And in many countries, fish is considered as endless stock of “fruit” in the ocean. We must understand that we can’t just take from the nature all the time. Sometimes we must give something in return. And the first step to do so is to become aware of it.