Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Solutions for a sustainable planet: International conference, 16–17 June 2012, Pontifícia Universidade Católica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

IIED will host a major international event immediately before the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) is held in late June 2012. ‘Solutions for a sustainable planet’ will present a set of recommendations for action drawn from 40 years of work on sustainable development. It will showcase the expertise and perspectives of practitioners and researchers from around the world working to make sustainable development a reality in a diverse range of contexts. It will provide space for dialogue on current and emerging challenges in moving towards sustainability. And it will enable alliances of willing actors to explore how they can work together towards agreed goals, benefiting from mutual learning and accountability.
Solutions for a sustainable planet include:
1. Means to pay for sustainable development.
2. Ways to live within planetary boundaries, particularly climate limits, while also addressing social and economic limits and aspirations.
3. Approaches for addressing rapid urbanisation.
4. A fair ‘green economy’ that helps to reduce poverty.
5. Tools and tactics to promote business models that move us towards sustainable development.
About the event
Working closely with partners in Brazil and with international networks and alliances, we will host a series of simultaneous meetings, presentations and discussions around the five key areas above, to generate commitment to act on key issues on the Rio+20 summit agenda. This will provide a space for a range of international networks and processes that can add important ideas, experience and momentum to the official event.
This conference is not primarily intended to generate joint advocacy positions: we believe there is a need to link practitioners, researchers and voices from the grassroots and from the global South with business and political leaders closer to decision-making, and to enable an innovative dialogue on key issues to make sustainability work for people and for the planet.
The sessions and events organised will tackle the interface between the two main focuses for the summit — ‘green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication’; and ‘the institutional framework for sustainable development’. We hope that this meeting will also enrich the official dialogue and negotiations co-ordinated by the UN in Rio.
Input to the summit: IIED will contribute inputs to the summit preparations around the five sets of ‘solutions’ above, and ensure that the analysis and recommendations for action are widely available. We will take on board comments and inputs from a wide range of perspectives.
Working partners: We aim to engage a wide set of organisations in leading and contributing to sessions during the conference. IIED staff will publish a detailed schedule by the end of February 2012, alongside a conceptual framework for the event. We will liaise with a range of Brazilian partners to ensure the event addresses issues of particular relevance to the country and draws on their experience and expertise.
Participation: ‘Solutions for a sustainable planet’ will be open to all participants. We will require advance registration so that we can plan for the numbers of attendees. Information on the process for registration will be published on our website (www.iied.org) in early 2012. Institutions interested in organising sessions directly related to the solutions above are welcome to contact Tom Bigg at IIED (Tom.Bigg@iied.org).
Venue: We are very grateful to Pontifícia Universidade Católica (PUC) for providing the venue for this conference, and for working closely with us in planning and delivering it. The facilities will include an auditorium for up to 600 people plus several lecture theatres and classrooms holding 30–250 people each. This will allow us to host a series of simultaneous sessions and include a wide range of issues over the two days. PUC is mid-way between the hotels of Zona Sul and the Rio Centro conference venue where the official Rio+20 summit meeting will be held.
Media: We plan to have comprehensive media facilities during the ‘Solutions for a sustainable planet’ conference. We will provide media briefings in advance and work with a broad spectrum of journalists and media outlets to ensure a range of outputs from our event are possible. Events will be live-streamed and simultaneously translated as required.
Further information: Information on ‘Solutions for a sustainable planet’, and IIED’s preparations for Rio+20, will be published on our website, www.iied.org, and will be regularly updated over the coming six months.
About IIED
IIED is a policy research organisation which focuses on sustainable development challenges and solutions, particularly in low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. By forging alliances with individuals and organisations ranging from urban slumdwellers to global institutions, IIED ensures that national and international policy reflects the agendas of marginalised people.
The organisation was formed in 1971, to contribute to preparations for the first Earth Summit in Stockholm the following year. IIED was closely involved in producing Our Common Future, the report of the Brundtland Commission in 1987. And we have actively engaged with both the 1992 Rio Summit and the 2002 Johannesburg Summit.
We believe the 2012 Rio Summit comes at a vital time for the world, and can play a key role in shaping future international co-operation as well as effective action at local and national levels to realise sustainable development goals. And, through ‘Solutions for a sustainable planet’, we look forward to helping shape a constructive contribution to this wider ambition.

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