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Stockholm Environment Institute's
Global Dialogue
A Forum on Our Sustainable Future

19-21 June, 2000
Expo 2000, Hannover, Germany


Introduction (from the SEI WWW pages)

The next World Exposition, EXPO 2000, will be held from 1 June to 31 October 2000, in Hanover, Germany. The central theme of EXPO 2000 "Humankind, Nature and Technology" is set to draw international attention to the cause of sustainable development.

During the Hanover World Exposition a series of ten "Global Dialogues" will be held, each three days long, each focused on a unique aspect of sustainable development. As a group, the Global Dialogues are intended to complement the EXPO 2000 sustainable development theme by serving as a forum for debating and communicating ideas that may contribute to the realisation of a sustainable future. The Global Dialogues will involve a cast of thousands and, most importantly, address some of the most pressing concerns facing humanity today.

The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) has been invited by EXPO 2000 to be the organising partner for the first of the ten Global Dialogues. The Global Dialogue, “Natural Resources: The Sustainability Challenge,” is intended to showcase and build upon the current state of knowledge concerning natural resources and their usage. This aim will be promoted through a series of workshops, symposiums, working meetings and presentations. Stakeholders from across the world and from all sectors of society will be involved.


Natural Resources: The Sustainability Challenge will focus on current "challenges and opportunities" relating to resource use at global, regional and local levels. Linkages will be made between the Global Dialogue and ongoing natural resource related initiatives, including global conventions, regional agreements, and local institutional arrangements.

The Global Dialogue will bring together experts and decision-makers from around the world in an effort to contribute to the realisation of a sustainable future. An array of unique platforms for participant interaction will be provided by the Global Dialogue to enable the sharing of solutions. Located amid the dynamic setting of EXPO 2000, the Global Dialogue programme will inclue:

  •   three high-profile public awareness events that will have live links to other regions of the world;
  • three plenary workshop sessions;
  • fifteen parallel workshop panels;
  • shared knowledge network sessions with the concurrent World Engineers’ Convention; and,
  • three full days of thematic display.

  The components of Global Dialogue will be orchestrated to provide compelling content for mass communication. The themes of knowledge, innovation and exploration will be used to inform a message of inspiration and hope. Specific areas of focus will be freshwater resources, forestry resources, renewable energy, and sustainability. Cross-cutting issues to be covered will include such as scenarios for resource futures, sustainability indicators, sustainable development indicators and knowledge mapping. Natural Resources: The Sustainability Challenge will attempt to enable thought and action on a grand scale at the dawn of the third millennium.

  Two take home messages will be intrinsic to the Global Dialogue: 1) everything is linked, and 2) natural resource security and human security go hand in hand. It is hoped that these messages can be conveyed such that natural resource stakeholders - representing civil society, business and government - will understand that they share both common interests and common responsibilities.


The lead-off Global Dialogue will showcase and build upon the current state of knowledge concerning natural resources and their usage. Substantive challenges and opportunities relating to resource use at global, regional and local levels will be profiled. A positive, but critical, solutions-oriented approach will be used to present natural resource issues to a global audience. The Global Dialogue will serve as a forum for appraising and discussing human social values at the dawn of the third millennium.

  The Global Dialogue will:

  • Identify and communicate the natural resource challenges and opportunities facing the world today;
  • Discuss options to improve the use, distribution and conservation of our natural resources in line with the objectives of sustainability;
  • Promote technological efficiency and innovation to meet the increasing demands on renewable natural resources;
  • Share sustainability success stories by presenting best practices and leading practitioners;
  • Help with defining the agenda for Earth Summit 2002;
  •   Communicate to governments, business and the public tangible ways in which they can help move natural resource production and consumption patterns towards sustainability; and,
  • Advance the concept of a "global partnership for sustainable development" by enabling enduring personal interchange among individuals and organisations connected through the Global Dialogue.

For additional information: Cecilia Ruben, SEI,

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