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IISD Reporting Services (IISD RS) is producing daily reports and daily web coverage from selected side events at the Second Informal-Informal Meeting. To download our reports, please click the HTML/PDF icons below.
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Sustainable Development Policy & Practice
Coverage of Selected Side Events at the Second Round of ‘Informal-Informal’ Negotiations on the zero draft of outcome document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20)

23 April - 4 May 2012 | UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
DAILY WEB COVERAGE

Rio+20
Coverage on Tuesday, 1 May 2012
The Rio+20 banner outside the United Nations building.
Sibelius Monument, by Eila Hiltunen. A gift from the Government of Finland.
 
Scientific Policy Messages on the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources

Organized by the Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN, the South African Department of Environmental Affairs, the Danish Ministry for the Environment and UNEP
 
Ernst von Weizsäcker, Co-Chair, IRP, lamented that resource efficiency is consistently eaten up by more consumption.

Sangwon Suh, University of California, Santa Barbara, spoke of the executive order in the US to reduce life-cycle greenhouse gas emmisions.

Ashok Khosla, Co-Chair, IRP, introduced the IRP, and its role in generating answers that can guide sustainable decision-making.
 

This side event discussed the policy relevance of scientific work and how to bridge the gap between science and policy-making.

Minister Plenipotentiary Peter Silberberg, Permanent Mission of Germany, commended the International Resource Panel (IRP) for their work on research innovation, technology transfer and informing policy makers.

Henrik Hagen Olesen, Danish Ministry for the Environment, underlined the importance of natural resource use and resource efficiency to sustainable development. Ashok Khosla, Co-Chair, IRP, moderating the event, called on negotiators to look at resource use as a major component of environmental side effects.

Ernst von Weizsäcker, Co-Chair, IRP, called for decoupling well-being from Gross Domestic Product (GDP), GDP from resource use, and resource use from environmental impacts, and remarked that there has been no absolute decoupling from domestic material consumption.

Thomas Graedel, Yale University, explained the challenges posed by metals’ recycling, including complexity of multiple uses, and few end-of-life recycling rates for many metals.

Sangwon Suh, University of California, Santa Barbara, stressed that efforts should be made to translate and operationalize “life-cycle thinking” towards supporting sustainable policy imperatives. He also urged for the science behind life-cycle assessment to be further improved.

Participants discussed, inter alia: the possibilities of substituting different metals; trade-offs between different technologies; and hazardous waste management by developing countries on behalf of developed countries.

Joseph Alcamo, UNEP Chief Scientist, commented on the huge potential for recycling, consumption reduction, life-cycle analysis and resource use improvements aimed at informing policy makers, which should be built into sustainability agreements.

 
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L-R: Ernst von Weizsäcker, Co-Chair, IRP; Ashok Khosla, Co-Chair, IRP; Thomas Graedel, Yale University; Sangwon Suh, University of California, Santa Barbara.

 
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More Information:

http://www.unep.org/resourceefficiency/

Contacts:

Janet Salem <janet.salem@unep.org>

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People and the Planet: The priorities for Rio+20

Organized by the Royal Society of the UK, and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA)
 
Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, UNFPA, noted that when addressing population issues, aging populations and migrations should also be considered.
John Sulston, University of Manchester and Royal Society Fellow, noted the importance of science in a social context to address the sustainability challenges being faced.
Amb. Philip Parham, Deputy Permanent Representative of the UK to the UN, underscored the importance the British Government places on the recommendations from the report.
 

This event discussed the recently released report from the Royal Society of the UK, titled “People and the Planet: Priorities for Rio+20.”

John Sulston, University of Manchester and Royal Society Fellow, outlined the process undertaken to produce the report, saying that wide-ranging consultations were held over 21 months. Using case studies from Niger, Ghana and the UK, he outlined key recommendations from the report including that: there is an urgent need to bring people out of extreme poverty; material consumption needs to be stabilized then reduced in both developed and emerging economies; population and environment must not be treated as separate issues; governments must realize the potential of urbanization; and primary and secondary education should be made universally accessible. He emphasized the need for further collaboration between governments to develop socio-economic systems that are neither dependent on, nor drive, material consumption. He also urged governments to accelerate the development of comprehensive wealth measures that take human well-being and natural capital into account.

Ambassador Philip Parham, Deputy Permanent Representative of the UK to the UN, noted that the issues highlighted by the report are of crucial importance to the world’s population and its environment. He underscored the recommendations for “joined-up” policy approaches, addressing the specific challenges facing women and girls and the call for new forms of wealth accounting. He said the range of issues dealt with by the report are “striking,” but stressed the key message is that the close linkages between the issues are complex and said that how these are addressed will be vital to sustainable development.

Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, UNFPA, underscored that people are at the center of sustainable development. He provided an overview of the plight that many of the world’s poor face, specifically lack of access to water and energy, and food and income insecurity. He urged the empowerment of women and youth to assist in overcoming these plights. He stressed equitable consumption as key to ensuring the future sustainable development of the human population.

In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed: political will; linking aid to sustainability; advocacy of the issues discussed in the report; equal opportunities for boys and girls; and the issue of production in conjunction with consumption.

 
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L-R: John Sulston, University of Manchester and Royal Society Fellow; Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, UNFPA; Amb. Philip Parham, Deputy Permanent Representative of the UK to the UN.
 
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Related Links
UNCSD or Rio+20 resources
*Meeting website
*Zero draft document
*Compilation document

IISD RS resources
*IISD RS coverage of the First Round of ‘Informal-Informal’ Negotiations on the zero draft of the outcome document and Third Intersessional Meeting of the UNCSD or Rio+20, 19-23 and 26-27 March 2012, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
*IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at the First Round of ‘Informal-Informal’ Negotiations on the zero draft of the outcome document and Third Intersessional Meeting of the UNCSD or Rio+20, 19-23 and 26-27 March 2012, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
*IISD RS coverage of the Initial Discussions on the “zero draft” of the outcome document for the UNCSD or Rio+20, 25-27 January 2012, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
*IISD RS coverage of the Second Intersessional Meeting of the UNCSD, or Rio+20, 15-16 December 2011, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
*IISD RS summary report of the Economic Commission for Europe’s Regional Preparatory Meeting for the UNCSD or Rio+20, 1-2 December 2011, Geneva, Switzerland (HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS summary report of the UNCSD or Rio+20 African Regional Preparatory Process, 20-25 October 2011, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS summary report of the UNCSD or Rio+20) Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Asia Pacific Region, 19-20 October 2011, Seoul, Republic of Korea (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the UNCSD or Rio+20) Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Arab Region, 16-17 October 2011, Cairo, Egypt
IISD RS coverage of the Seventh “Environment for Europe” Ministerial Conference, 21-23 September 2011, Astana, Kazakhstan
*IISD RS coverage of the UNCSD or Rio+20 Regional Preparatory Meeting for Latin America and the Caribbean, 7-9 September 2011, Santiago, Chile
*IISD RS summary report of the UNCSD or Rio+20 Subregional Preparatory Committee for the Pacific Countries, 21-22 July 2011, Apia, Samoa (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS summary report of the UNCSD or Rio+20) Subregional Preparatory Committee for the Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, and South China Sea Countries, 7-8 July 2011, Mahé, Seychelles (HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS summary report of the UNCSD or Rio+20) Subregional Preparatory Meeting for the Caribbean, 20 June 2011, Georgetown, Guyana (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS summary report of the Keeping the Green Economy Blue: A Workshop in Preparation for the UNCSD or Rio+20), 29 April 2011, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Spanish: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the UNCSD or Rio+20, 7-8 March 2011, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the First Intersessional Meeting of the UNCSD or Rio+20, 10-11 January 2011, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Spanish: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the UNCSD or Rio+20, 17-19 May 2010, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Spanish: HTML - PDF)
IISD RS coverage of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), 26 August - 4 September 2002, Johannesburg, South Africa
*IISD RS coverage of the UN Conference on Environment and Development, 3-14 June 1992, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
*IISD RS archive of sustainable development meetings
*UNCSD-L - A mailing list for news on sustainable development policy
*Sustainable Development Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of International Activities Preparing for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development
*Sustainable Energy Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of Sustainable Energy Activities
*SIDS Policy and Practice - A Knowledgebase on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States
*Biodiversity Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing International Biodiversity Policy
*Climate Change Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing Global Climate Change Policy
*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
*African Regional Coverage
*Latin America and Caribbean Regional Coverage
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