Meeting in Rio Will Promote an Exchange of Ideas on Sustainability
On the cusp of Rio+20, thisÂ yearâs top sustainability meeting, the International Institute for Environment
and Development and several other organizations willÂ be hosting an information-sharing event on June 16 and 17 in Rio deÂ Janeiro. The event is called Fair ideas, and itâs designed as a platform forÂ anyone involved in making the world more sustainable and sociallyÂ responsible, from researchers to practitioners.
20 years ago, the original Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro catalyzed effortsÂ for a sustainable planet, although the world took a different course thanÂ intended. Economic power has shifted, corporate influence has grown andÂ political will has faded. Therefore, a concentrated effort to put the worldÂ on a track to sustainability is required.
âThere is a real need to take stock of what we have learnt and to examineÂ how this can be most usefully applied to new contexts,â IIED said. TheÂ organization says it believes in two imperatives: the reduction of globalÂ resource consumption, including by the worldâs poor majority; strengtheningÂ of local accountability and agency, recognizing that better livelihoods andÂ environments critically depend on effective local governance andÂ organisations.
The four main themes to be discussed at Fair ideas will be ShapingÂ Sustainable Development Goals, (pointing to practical ways in which theÂ goals could work for specific countries and sectors), Urbanisation ThatÂ Improves Lives (to identify examples of good practice and share ideas forÂ promoting wider change), Business Models for Sustainability (to highlightÂ examples that break the mould from a range of sectors, which can beÂ replicated and learnt from), and Transforming Economic Systems for PeopleÂ and Planet (to showcase experiences in transforming systems to both reduceÂ ecological footprints and more equitably distribute benefits).
The two-day event will take place between the final preparatoryÂ negotiations and the summit itself. The organizers will take its keyÂ conclusions into the summit itself, and follow up discussions there. IIEDÂ expects more than 2,000 people over the course of the two days. Amongst theÂ organizations that have already confirmed their presence at Fair ideas areÂ the International Institute for Sustainable Development, DevelopmentÂ Alternatives, the DELiVER coalition, Costa Rican and Nepalese governments,Â the STEPS Centre, the Stockholm Resilience Centre, the Poverty Environment
Partnership and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies.Â Brazilian organizations include Instituto Ethos, Vitae Civilis and FundaÃ§Ã£oÂ Amazonas SustentÃ¡vel, as well as the PUC.
Fair ideas will comprise a mix of plenary sessions, panel discussions,Â seminars, workshops and networking events focused on the four key themes.Â IIED also plans a strong media presence and will work closely with leadingÂ sustainable development journalists from around the world in the run-up to,Â and at, the event. To register go here.
Image credit: IIED