Inspiration Keeps Me Going

Alexander Belyakov (ELP 2001) | Consultant to UN Agencies, Ukraine (in Canada)

This year is the 20th anniversary of the Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program, and I want to extend my heartiest anniversary wishes to everybody. It is really hard to believe how fast time flies!

Many life events demonstrated how valuable are skills from the UC Berkeley's certificate course in Sustainable Environmental Management and our alumni network. Learning about sustainable development from 2001, when I joined the first-ever cohort, still has a long-lasting effect on my professional activities.

We all have our milestones, so I would like to mention just a few of mine. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recently gave me an opportunity to serve their Subregional Office for Central Asia in Ankara, Turkey, as a Strategy Development Consultant. I am organizing a series of online multi-stakeholder consultation events and webinars. I also collect opinions and input from stakeholders and incorporate them in the Strategy for the Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions through the promotion of sustainable ruminants' production systems and pasture management practices in Central Asia.

The sooner the global pandemic ends, the quicker countries can recover. International organizations and practitioners could speed up this process by providing their expertise. I also joined this process despite all challenges of the last year.

At the beginning of the lockdown in many countries in March 2020, Springer Nature published my article "Community Engagement, Customer Engagement, and Changes in Behavior." In: Leal Filho W., Azul A., Brandli L., Lange Salvia A., Wall T. (eds) Affordable and Clean Energy. Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Springer Nature identified that some ideas in this publication are valuable for COVID-19 recovery and had made my text freely available to help fight the current pandemic. Later, this publication became one of the top downloaded entries of May 2020. With about three thousand downloads, the article continues to attract new readers.

I want to share my expertise with the international community and apply it to various organizations' Rosters of Experts. The Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations, confirmed my inclusion in the Expert Roster for the Technical Assistance for COVID-19 Tourism Recovery Project.

Additionally, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations included me in the Non-Staff Human Resources Roster in the land and water division. Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the OSCE Programme Office in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, added me to their International Experts at the Economic and Environmental Dimension. Earlier, the United Nations System Staff College took me on a roster of moderators on sustainable development.

In March 2021, the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) featured me in their "Member Spotlight" series: . This member-driven organization moves the sustainability profession forward by empowering others and defining professional excellence. As a Sustainability Excellence Professional and an ISSP member since 2015, I was delighted to see sustainability work receive more recognition worldwide. Inspiration from the Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program still keeps me going in my work for sustainable development.

Photo of Alexander Belyakov that says "International Society of Sustainability Professionals - Member Spotlight" and has a quote from him about SEP, then says "Consultant to UN Agencies and Sustainability Educator"