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Sustainable Development Policy & Practice
Coverage of Selected Side Events at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20)

13-22 June 2012 | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Daily web coverage (click on the following links to see our daily web pages)
Events convened on Tuesday, 19 June 2012
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Local musicians entertained delegates during the day.
Energy day at Rio+20
From Responsibility to Investment: Accelerating corporate social participation through social enterprise
Robert Orr, Policy Coordination and Strategic Planning in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, moderated the opening session of Energy Day at Rio+20, which was convened under the theme “Achieving Sustainable Energy for All.”

Sha Zukang, Secretary-General of Rio+20, underscored the importance of energy in all three of the dimensions of sustainable development. He welcomed Energy Day as an opportunity to generate new ideas towards energy-related targets, and observed the opportunity for Rio+20 to secure high-level support and commitment to move towards ending energy poverty.

Sheila Oparaocha, Executive Secretary, ENERGIA, addressed issues related to gender and energy. She identified the need to, inter alia: align national energy policies with strategies for gender equality; scale-up targeted investments to explicitly address women’s needs, including for cooking, lighting, and communications; and implement social and environmental safeguards to minimize impacts on communities from large-scale energy sector investments.

Josette Sheeran, Vice Chairman, World Economic Forum, reflected on the barriers to sustainable energy developments. She reflected on the “patchwork” of policies that are inconsistent for unleashing new energy technologies as well as distortions on energy supply and demand levels, including subsidies towards fossil fuels.

Commitments to Action

Moderating the session on Commitments to Action, Chad Holliday, Co-Chair of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Group on Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All), said the SE4All Initiative has had over 50 countries and 19 industry groups committing themselves to the initiative and received US$ 50 billion in commitments.

Robert Bernard, Microsoft, said Microsoft has decided not only to be carbon neutral, but also to impose a carbon fee on anyone at Microsoft whose actions have negative carbon emissions implications.

Pham Hoang Mai, Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment, announced the launch of Vietnam’s green growth strategy, Hoang Mai said the Vietnamese goal is to double the share of renewable energy in the national energy mix by 2020.

Caio Koch-Weser, Vice Chairman, Deutsche Bank, discussed the Bank’s scalable Global Energy Transfer Feed-in Tarrifs Program or GET FiT concept of public-private cooperation, aimed at “topping up” and improving investor certainty for developing countries’ renewable energy feed-in tariff. He described the pilot project, which was implemented in Uganda and outlined the DESERTEC concept of North African renewable energy for Europe.

Emmanuel Limido, President of Centuria Capital and World Institute for Renewable Energy (WIRE), outlined the WIRE initiative, which is a public-private partnership dedicated to filling the gap between available financing and the level of financing needed for project implementation of clean energy in the Mediterranean and African regions.

David Karabelnikoff, Co-Founder, First Alaskans Network, described the First Alaskans Network as a collaborative platform aimed at technology and knowledge transfer to build capacity for Alaskan indigenous professionals to work on sustainability and renewable energy.

Financing for Energy and Sustainable Development

This session was moderated Andrew Steer, World Bank’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, focusing on obtaining public and government funding to meet the 2030 energy goals.

Noting the high predictability and competitiveness of wind energy in Brazil, Elbia Melo, President, Brazilian Association of Wind, stressed the importance of technology advances for lowering wind energy’s price. Melo underscored that public policies and subsidies must be provided to renewable energy before markets can make them competitive, thus leading to their increase in the national energy mix.

Oluniyi Robbin-Coker, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Energy, suggested that the private sector has more interest in energy generation than distribution. Noting that less than 22% energy investments come from the private sector in developing countries, he stressed the importance for governments to guarantee long-term private investment through the use of power purchase agreements.

Considering the six-fold increase of the clean energy market since 2004, Michael Liebreich, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bloomberg New Energy Finance, deplored how little of this market’s cash flow is going to least developed countries. He warned that the private sector will not step in to finance energy access for the poor without governmental policies to remove barriers, such as prohibitive tariffs.

Steer drew attention to an International Financial Corporation report, which revealed that the poor are still spending US$ 37 billion to obtain low-quality, non-renewable energy.

Country-Level Actions for Energy Access

Moderating this session, Veerle Vandeweerde, UNDP, spoke of a possible turning point at Rio+20 with sustainable energy commitments currently made by many countries.

Sulton Rahimov, Tajikistan’s First Deputy Minister of Melioration and Water Resources, highlighted that a limiting factor in his country’s energy supply has been electricity generation using hydropower during winter, and stressed that hydropower potential needs to be taken advantage of, in addition to increasing investment in solar and wind power development.

On Zambia’s renewable energy progress, Geoffrey Musonda, Zambian Energy Department, elaborated on a master plan to develop large and small hydropower plants to improve energy transmission and access, specifically in rural areas, underscorinh the inadequate budget allocation for renewable energy and urged for more support from the international community.

Susan McDade, UN Resident Coordinator, Uruguay, invited participating countries to use the UN country presence for promoting a sustainable energy dialogue space across ministries, in addition to seeking the alliance of regional banks, civil society, and the World Bank.
Christoph Frei, Secretary General, World Energy Council, emphasized skills and finance as critical energy issues to be addressed through the public-private partnerships, saying that no international organization alone can solve this. Frei urged for creating a substantial financial scheme and getting the policy frameworks in place.


Petter Nore, Director, Norwegian Agency for Development Corporation, stressed the importance of political backing from local governments and an integrated multi-stakeholder approach to accelerate the sustainable energy process.

Irene Muloni, Ugandan Senior Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, shared sustainable energy initiatives in Uganda, saying economic development will accelerate if the sustainable energy issue can be solved.

Sustainable Energy Solutions: Efficiency and renewables

Christine Lins, Executive Secretary, REN21, moderated this panel. Martin Lidegaard, Danish Minister of Climate, Energy and Building, noted that both Denmark and the EU have set ambitious renewable energy and energy efficiency targets, but face two challenges: finance; and modernized energy systems to integrate renewable energy into the market.

Steve Sawyer, Global Wind Energy Council, said the world cannot solve its energy problem simply by increasing supply, but efficiency increases are needed to decrease energy demand. He urged governments to provide a clearer signal they want renewable energy sources by halting subsidies to fossil fuels.

Jan-Willem Scheijgrond, Philips, discussed the en.lighten initiative, which aims to help developing countries make the transition to efficient lighting. He urges all developing countries to sign onto the initiative, and added if all households changed to efficient lighting some 640 mid-sized power plants need not be built.

Tamko Hamza, Office of the Ghanaian Vice President, said his government was committed to policies that promote renewable energy. Hamza said Ghana’s target is to have 10% renewable energy sources in the Ghanaian energy mix by 2020.

Marta Bonifert, Executive Director, Regional Environment Center, Hungary, discussed the Global Fuel Economy Initiative, lauding its results in reducing lead and sulphur content in fuel and called for refocus on increasing fuel efficiency.

Asked about promoting research and development (R&D) through more flexible intellectual property rights (IPRs), Sawyer responded it was likely to decrease R&D. He characterized the discussions in the Rio+20 negotiations on weakening IPRs as misguided, and urged, instead, creating proper market conditions to investment.

Asked by the moderator to name key points to reach the SE4All goal, Bonifert replied partnership and capacity building from cradle-to-grave, Hamza underscored the importance of government commitments, financing and partnership, Lindegaard urged building on existing projects and institutions, and the greater use of smart systems, Scheijgrond emphasized building trust among stakeholders, probably through the UN, and Sawyer urged setting an ambitious target, such as 100% electricity through renewable energy by 2050, and “repeating the target until it becomes reality.”

Energy Enabling the MDGs: Water and food security

In this session, on the relevance of the agriculture-energy nexus for the MDGs, moderator Alexander Müller, Assistant Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), called on panelists to reflect on what must be done to put theory into practice at local, national and international levels.

Susan Reichle, USAID, emphasizing the links between agriculture and energy, stressed: the need for partnerships between government, civil society, financial institutions, and the private sector; agriculture-energy nexus opportunities for business and investment; and transformative change through scaling-up technological and institutional innovations.

On scaling-up innovation, Greg Murray, Chairman of CleanStar Mozambique, remarked that synergies between food and energy production can drive environmental restoration rather than destruction, and rural development rather than rural decline. Murray said experience proves these synergies shatter the fallacy of tradeoffs between energy and food, citing CleanStar Mozambique’s investments in sustainable cookfuels that benefit rural producers and urban consumers alike.

Christian Friis Bach, Danish Minister for Development Cooperation, said the nexus between water, food and energy introduces tough policy challenges regarding standards and regulations for ensuring sustainable biofuels, guidelines for protecting against land grabs, and incentives for getting prices that are low enough to promote energy access yet high enough to foster energy efficiency.

Simon Trace, CEO, Practical Action, indicated that energy access can support food security through increasing yield and production, easing labor-intensive processing, reducing food waste, and adding value for economically-viable livelihoods. In addition to cookfuels and electricity, Trace remarked that mechanical energy is the under-appreciated “Cinderella of energy access.”

The subsequent discussion explored sustainable agricultural expansion, cross-sectoral governance, tradeoffs between organic and conventional agriculture, and challenges to securing domestic finance.

Energy Enabling the MDGs: Health and women’s empowerment

Maria Neira, World Health Organization (WHO), moderated this session. Margaret Chan, Director General, WHO, emphasized the connection between reliable energy access, women and health issues and stressed that while improved access to reliable energy can be a great convenience at the household level, it is a matter of life and death at the health institution level.

Kandeh Yumkella, Director General, UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), emphasized the universal problem of women bearing the brunt of lack of energy access, and underlined the potential rise in productivity for countries if women had access to mechanised household appliances.

Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director, UN Women, underlined the linkages between women’s empowerment, decentralized affordable energy access, and health outcomes, citing impacts such as: complications in child birth; no access to emergency obstetric care; and an increase in violence against women and girls due to a lack of street lighting.

Presenting on the use of a small mobile solar application to provide power to health-care workers, Laura Stachel, Co-Founder and Executive Director, WE CARE Solar, showed powerful images from rural areas in Africa showing the difference made through relatively small amounts of additional electricity to provide life-saving care.

Leslie Cordes, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, highlighted some of the reasons for upscaling clean cooking facilities, including: availability of new technologies to improve efficiency; cleaner fuels and improved new clean cook stoves; improved better data on health and gender impacts of these stoves; and the ability to better measure and monitor improvements.

Phillipe Meunier, Director, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, underscored the importance of mobilizing public opinion in putting women and health issues at the centre of the sustainability platform, together with the cross-cutting issue of access to reliable energy sources.

Energy Monitoring and Planning for Sustainable Development

This panel, moderated by José Goldemberg, University of São Paulo, explored the value of energy monitoring and planning for implementing clean energy technology.

Hans-Holger Rogner, International Atomic Energy Agency, reflected that energy planning is not about predicting the future but analyzing and evaluating a portfolio of possible futures for the benefit of public communication, investor confidence, and efficient resource allocation. Rogner highlighted that planning is a requisite for informed decision making amid market uncertainty, and thus must invest in monitoring systems to check the assumptions and goals of energy plans against continually changing realities.

Mauricio Tolmasquim, President, Empresa de Pesquisa Energética, Brazil, said that hydropower and ethanol have proven critical to Brazil’s low-carbon past, and will play a role in its low-carbon future, alongside an even more rapid expansion of wind power and other renewable energy sources.

George Prime, Minister of Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs, Grenada, underscored the vulnerability of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to fossil fuel induced climate change and their committment to achieving energy security through domestic investments in wind and geothermal energy.

Thani Al Zeyoudi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, United Arab Emirates (UAE), highlighted his country’s efforts to build on its expertise in the oil and gas industry with major new domestic and international investments in clean energy, including the UAE’s goals for building the first commercial-scale carbon and capture storage facility in the Middle East and achieving 25% of energy demand through nuclear power by 2020.

Miguel Fernandez, Bolivia’s ENERGETICA, the need for energy planning to engage stakeholders and civil society for locally-appropriate decisions, projects, and investments.

Local Actions to Advance Sustainable Development

Dolf Gielen, IRENA, moderating the session, opened by noting the key role of cities in energy use and generating carbon emissions, which is due to increasing population and urbanization. Sigurd Heiberg, Chairman, UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), echoed Gielen, saying “we essentially have to accommodate the equivalent of one Rio de Janeiro every month for the next 40 years.” He stressed that efficiency must be pursued throughout the chain, and not just at end-use.

Jim Walker, The Climate Group, focused how information technology (IT) can drive the push toward energy efficiency, mentioning The Climate Group’s 2008 general report on how smart cities, grids and buildings can produce substantial energy savings, and its current efforts to identify what city leaders need to do to start the transformation towards smarter cities.

Josh Henretig, Microsoft, declared that humanity has just begun to scratch the surface of IT’s potential to transform cities. He described Microsoft’s experiments to monitor energy use and carbon emissions in real-time on its campus, which had helped the company reduce energy use by 17%, noting this could be applied to cities. He also explained Microsoft’s new internal energy monitoring and carbon fee initiative to create accountability for energy use.

RA Rajeev, Thane City’s Municipal Commissioner, India, described his city’s efforts, including: requirements for solar water heaters; tax incentives for retrofitting; promotion of renewable energy use and energy efficiency in public buildings; solar air conditioning; and induction lighting on streets and public areas.

Following Gielen’s question on what to recommend to the UN Secretary-General in the SE4All Initiative regarding cities and buildings, Rajeev suggested requiring net metering, Walker mentioned IT, solar water heating and insulation, and Heiberg urged the UN Secretary-General to convene top experts to consider incentives and building standards that allow new efficiency technologies to enter the scene at low switching costs.

Energy Actions to Stimulate Innovation and Leverage Private Capital for Sustainable Energy Solutions

Opening the session on “Actions to Stimulate Innovation and Leverage Private Capital for Sustainable Energy Solutions,” moderator Amb. Carlos Pascual, U.S. Department of State, introduced three areas for discussion: economic and technical assistance to developing countries to promote clean energy and energy access; public-private partnerships in high-impact areas and energy technology innovation; and financial mobilization and development of innovative business models for expanded trade and investment in clean energy and energy access projects.

John Pershing, US Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change, underscored the importance of partnerships with other countries and the private sector to achieve sustainable energy for all, saying he welcomed language in the Rio+20 outcome document on energy as it explicitly refers to all three elements of SE4ALL: access, renewable and efficiency.

Donald Steinberg, USAID, discussed USAID programming in sustainable development, low emissions development strategies, and clean energy technologies, including the agency’s programme on “Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development.” He underscored the need for programmes to empower marginalized populations including youth, women and the displaced to serve as planners, implementers and beneficiaries.

John Morton, Vice-President, U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), discussed OPIC’s expanded lending and coverage for renewable energy investments and new products that reduce financial risk and leverage private capital.

Rick Duke, US Department of Energy, presented on the activities that the Department of Energy has undertaken to further energy technology partnerships and clean energy development through the Clean Energy Ministerial process.
Kris Balderston, US Special Representative for Global Partnerships in the Office of the Secretary, discussed progress on the Global Cookstove Alliance, which uses a market-driven approach.


Financing Actions to Scale Up from the Ground

Suleiman Al-Herbish, Director General, OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), emphasized OFID’s mission to eradicate poverty through its Energy for the Poor Initiative. He said OFID has committed US$ 1.2 billion since 2008 to support energy projects in some 30 countries since 2008, and that scaling-up will be announced shortly.

Martin Hiller, Director General, Rural Electrification Enterprise, (REEEP), spoke on the importance of bottom-up sourcing of intelligence on energy markets in developing countries, through the use of local sources. He cited examples of projects in: Ethiopia, where sustainable cooperative societies provide communities with renewable and efficient technology; and Cambodia through private rural electrification projects.

Alban Jacquin, Schneider Electric, discussed the “BipBop” approach through: funding local energy entrepreneurs; innovative energy access solutions; training young people on electrical skills to ensure local competencies to maintain, develop and sell these solutions.

Damian Obiglio, ex-CEO, Jamaica Public Service Company, focused on private sector investment in the energy sector in developing countries. On factors deterring investment, he mentioned electricity theft and non-payment. On elements attracting investment, he listed: policies recognizing electricity as a good and service with a cost; laws characterizing electricity theft as a crime; and penalties for electricity thefts. Obiglio concluded that the solution to energy theft was a combination of education and energy-efficient installations.

Pham Hoang Mai, Director General, Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment, focused on his government’s solutions for all household energy, including: institutional arrangements to promote rural electrification; financial mobilization; and promotion of renewable energy for remote rural areas.

Michelle Gyles-McDonnough, Resident Coordinator, UNDP Barbados and the OECS, presented the approach of UNDP Barbados to advance energy efficiency and to support renewable energy development, including: identification of alternatives through assessment of existing policies and legislation; verification of the economic viability of selected alternative energy sources; and commercialization of the feasibility studies. Her ending note was “energy will power development and will power the future.”

Launch of the Global Energy Assessment

Opening the Special Session of the Launch of the Global Energy Assessment (GEA), Kandeh Yumkella, Director General, UNIDO, stressed the role of energy in solving various global challenges.

Pavel Kabat, Director/CEO, IIASA, underscored the importance of cooperation among sectors that is demonstrated in the GEA.

Ged Davis, Co-President of the GEA, elaborated on the GEA’s approach, aspirational goals, organizational structure and findings. Among other aspects of the GEA, he summarized its aspirational goals as: stabilizing global climate change to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels; enhancing energy security by diversification and resilience of energy supply; eliminating household and ambient air pollution; and universal access to modern energy services by 2030.

Wolfgang Walkdner, Austria’s State Secretary to the Foreign Ministry, drew attention to the need for cross-sectoral work on energy and sustainable development and highlighted the value of the GEA to this end.

Nguyen Thien Nhan, Deputy Prime Minister to Vietnam, elaborated on progress made by Vietnam towards sustainable energy goals.

Hasan Mahmud, Bangladeshi Minister of Environment and Forestry, outlined measures made by the Government of Bangladesh towards sustainable energy. He noted the government goal of providing electricity to all citizens by 2021 and elaborated on projects towards sustainable energy including the distribution of compact fluorescent light bulbs and introduction of solar-water heating.

Don-Koo Lee, Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Forestry, commended the GEA for its comprehensive analysis on how to transform energy systems.

José Goldemberg, Co-President of the Council of GEA, elaborated on the solutions identified in the study, which show that developing countries do not have to follow the same path used by industrialized countries towards development, but can rather “leapfrog” using clean energy technologies.

Energy Day at Rio+20 closed at 9.29pm.
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L-R: Robert C. Orr, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Strategic Planning, Executive Office of the Secretary-General; Josette Sheeran, Vice President, World Economic Forum; and Sheila Oparaocha, Executive-Secretary, ENERGIA
Josette Sheeran, Vice President, World Economic Forum
Sheila Oparaocha, Executive-Secretary, ENERGIA
Robert C. Orr, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Strategic Planning, Executive Office of the Secretary-General
L-R: Pham Hoang Mai, Vietnam Ministry of Planning and Investment; Chad Holliday, Co-Chair of the Secretary-General’s High-level Group on Sustainable Energy for All & Chair of the Board, Bank of America; Caio Koch Weser, Vice Chairman, Deutsche Bank; Robert Bernard, Chief Environmental Strategist, Microsoft; Emmanuel Limido, President, Centuria Capital and WIRE; and David Michael Karabelnikoff, Co-Founder, First Alaskans Network
Aimée Christensen, Sustainable Energy For All
Chad Holliday, Co-Chair of the Secretary-General’s High-level Group on Sustainable Energy for All & Chair of the Board, Bank of America
Pham Hoang Mai, Vietnam Ministry of Planning and Investment
David Michael Karabelnikoff, Co-Founder, First Alaskans Network
Robert Bernard, Chief Environmental Strategist, Microsoft
Caio Koch Weser, Vice Chairman, Deutsche Bank
Elbia Melo, President, Brazilian Association of Wind
Michael Liebreich, CEO, Bloomberg New Energy Finance
Andrew Steer, World Bank’s Special Envoy for Climate Change
Oluniyi Robbin-Coker, Sierra Leone’s Minister Energy
Participants during the discussion.

Panel on Country-Level Actions for Energy Access.
Panel on Sustainable Energy Solutions: Efficiency and renewables.
Panel on Energy Enabling the MDGs: Health and women’s empowerment.
Panel on Energy Monitoring and Planning for Sustainable Development.
Panel on the Launch of the Global Energy Assessment.

The Landscape: Transformative action through cross-sectoral coordination
Organized by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF)
This side event focused on landscape approaches to integrate sustainable land management practices in the agriculture and forests sectors.

During opening remarks, Roberto Cavalcanti, Brazilian Ministry of Environment,
spoke about recent developments in the Brazilian forest sector, including efforts to rewrite the Forest Code and make commitments to reforest degraded areas.


Monique Barbut, CEO, GEF, highlighted investment in 300 forest projects in the past 20 years with a total of US$ 1.6 billion dollars dispersed, stressing the need for investment in countries with less forest coverage, which the GEF aims to provide funding through the Sustainable Forest Management programme.

Rachel Kyte, World Bank, elaborated on the governance aspects of sustaining forests and the need for “viable integrated solutions that work for people on the ground.” She identified components of the landscape approach, including: secure land tenure; appropriate pricing regimes to ensure the rational resource use; appropriate regulation to avoid pollution and run-off; and communications and information infrastructure.

Eduardo Rojas-Briales, FAO, introduced the CPF, which aims to promote sustainable management of all types of forests and to strengthen long-term political commitment to this end.

Jan McAlpine, UNFF, introduced the CPF publication on “The Contribution of the Collaborative Partnerships on Forests to Rio+20,” concluding that sustainability is not achievable in forests unless there is collaboration across sectors and institutions.

Emmanuel Ze Meka, International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), underscored the importance of landscape restoration to maintain the social functions of forests and called for implementing landscape approaches to facilitate better planning, coordination and involvement of all stakeholders.

Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, CBD, identified the institutional maturity reached by the CBD through the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets for 2020 agreed upon at CBD COP10. Dias underscored the need to recognize better community-based approaches for biodiversity preservation.

Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary, UNCCD, stressed the essential role of forests in drylands. He noted that the majority of forest depletion is caused by farmland dispersion, and implored the international community to commit to land restoration through landscape approaches.

Tony Simons, Director General, ICRAF, highlighted the agroforestry benefits of considering global tree cover “inside and outside the forest,” including food security elements.

Ibrahim Thiaw, UNEP, addressed how forests can propel the transition to a green economy and noted that the UNEP Green Economy Report finds that an additional investment of 0.034% of global GDP each year could raise the value-added in the forest industry by US$ 600 billion in 2050.

Stewart Maginnis, IUCN, addressed the potential of landscape approaches and the livelihood potential of forests and trees. He highlighted the “ambitious but achievable” target set in the Bonn Challenge to restore 150 million hectares of deforested and degraded lands by 2020.

On the topic “Integrating Forests into Landscapes at the Country Level,” Don Koo Lee, ITTO, spoke about the opportunities to realize economic, environmental and social sustainability in forests. He elaborated on the: changes in the Korean forests; new paradigm of using forest resources; integration of people and forests into landscape using the Baekdu-daegen Mountains; and lessons learned regarding sharing forests.

Tim Rollins, Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration, stated his optimism regarding landscape restoration as a way forward.
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L-R: Rachel Kyte, Vice President of Sustainable Development, World Bank; Monique Barbut, President and CEO, GEF; Eduardo Rojas-Briales, CPF Chair and Assistant Director-General Forestry Department, FAO; Jan McAlpine, Director, UNFF; and Roberto Cavalcanti, Secretary of Biodiversity and Forests, Ministry of Environment Brazil
Rachel Kyte, Vice President of Sustainable Development, World Bank
Monique Barbut, President and CEO, GEF
Jan McAlpine, Director, UNFF
Eduardo Rojas-Briales, CPF Chair and Assistant Director-General Forestry Department, FAO
Roberto Cavalcanti, Secretary of Biodiversity and Forests, Ministry of Environment Brazil
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L-R: Stewart Maginnis, Global Director, Nature-based Solutions and Rights Group, IUCN; Tony Simons, Director General, ICRAF; Emmanuel Ze Meka, Executive Director, ITTO Secretariat; Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary, UNCCD; Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, CBD Executive Secretary; and Ibrahim Thiaw, Vice Chair CPF, Director, Division of Environmental Policy Implementation, UNEP
Pema Gyamtsho, Minister of Agiculture and Forests, Bhut
Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary, UNCCD
Tony Simons, Director General, ICRAF
Emmanuel Ze Meka, Executive Director, ITTO Secretariat
Ibrahim Thiaw, Vice Chair CPF, Director, Division of Environmental Policy Implementation, UNEP
Stewart Maginnis, Global Director, Nature-based Solutions and Rights Group, IUCN
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Don Koo Lee’s presentation
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Don Koo Lee, International Tropical Timber Organization
Participants during the side event.
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More Information:
http://www.un.org/esa/forests/
Contact:
Mita Sen <sen@un.org>
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Sustainable Development Goals: From ‘silo thinking’ towards an integrated approach. Insights from the European Report on Development
Presented by the EC
This event presented the new European Report on Development (ERD), "Confronting Scarcity: Managing water, energy and land for inclusive and sustainable growth,” which examines the constraints on and interactions between water, energy and land.

Robert Watson, UK’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on behalf of Caroline Spelman, UK Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, lamented inadequate progress in the last 20 years on issues including poverty, climate, and biodiversity. He stressed the need to integrate policies from the national to the global level if global challenges are to be addressed effectively. Watson emphasized that there is no dichotomy between economic growth and a safe environment, and said the UK’s perspective is that food, water and energy security should be the three themes of the SDGs. Underlining the importance of sustainable agriculture, Watson said that methods for increasing production should be accompanied by decreasing environmental footprints. He noted the centrality of the non-market value of ecosystem processes, and called for the need to commit to natural capital accounting.

Speaking on behalf of Janez Potočnik, EC Environment Commissioner, Arnold Jacques De Dixmude, EU, endorsed the importance of the ERD and said that it shows clear evidence that environment and development are interlinked and cannot be tackled in isolation. He said that being resource efficient is no longer a choice, and stressed the need to proactively transform economies and develop greener sources of growth and jobs. He also noted the Report calls for a radical change in the use of water, energy and land, and said this is consistent with the EU message for Rio+20 to deliver strong commitments for effective actions by both developing and developed countries. Mentioning the EC’s “Agenda for Change,” De Dixmude pinpointed agriculture and energy as sectors for sustainable growth in developing countries. He urged for goals and targets on key topics including energy, water, land, oceans and resource efficiency.

Imme Scholz, German Development Institute, and co-author of the ERD, noted that the management of water, energy and land is characterized by under-provision to users as well as increasing demand and pressures due to rising incomes and growing populations. She stressed the importance of the water, energy and land nexus, saying it is a developmental issue. She also emphasized the need to optimize across the water, energy and land nexus, rather than maximize one issue at a time, and concluded that the integrated nexus approach avoids perverse solutions and promotes innovative ones.

Dirk Willem te Velde, Overseas Development Institute, and co-author of the ERD, presented the example of Lake Naivasha in Kenya, showing how the coordination of stakeholders along with integrated thinking led to an innovative solution: a payment by downstream water users to upstream land users. He emphasized the importance of the underlying factors behind the achievement of SDGs, including: effective institutions; integrated thinking; appropriate capabilities; and the precise sector components of SDGs. He urged that the sectoral factions of the water, energy and land communities continue to talk after Rio+20, and do not retreat into silos.

Andrew Steer, Special Envoy for Climate Change, World Bank, said the report lays the framework for thinking about the issues and global challenges of water, energy and land scarcity. Comparing the effectiveness of disaggregated indicators for single elements such as sustainable agriculture and urbanization with the efficiency of an integrated indicator, he pointed to natural capital as an area for integration into national accounting.

Amb. Gyan Chandra Acharya, Permanent Representative of Nepal to the UN, emphasized the dependence on natural resources for the most vulnerable people living on rural areas, and stressed the need for a coherent and integrated approach for water, energy and land management, and its link with poverty alleviation.

In the ensuing discussion, participants commented on: the organizational architecture for deciding on the SDGs; human dimensions of sustainable development; and the role of education for achieving sustainable development.
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L-R: Imme Scholz, DIE; Dirk Willem te Velde, ODI; Arnold Jacques De Dixmude, EU; H.E Gyan Chandra Acharya, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Nepal to the UN; Robert Watson, Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK; and Andrew Steer, Special Envoy for Climate Change, World Bank
Arnold Jacques De Dixmude, EU
H.E Gyan Chandra Acharya, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Nepal to the UN
Andrew Steer, Special Envoy for Climate Change, World Bank
Imme Scholz, DIE
Imme Scholz’s presentation
Dirk Willem te Velde’s presentation
Dirk Willem te Velde, ODI
Participants during the side event.
Participants during the discussion.
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Oceans at Rio+20: Toward Implementation of the Rio Ocean Commitments
Organized by the Global Ocean Forum
The event, moderated by Richard Delaney, Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies, reported on the outcomes of Oceans Day at Rio+20, highlighting tangible commitments for oceans, coasts and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) made by the global ocean community at Rio+20. The event also highlighted the Rio Ocean Declaration, which addresses priority action items for the oceans both at and after Rio+20.

Amb. Neroni Slade, Secretary General, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, explained the purpose of Oceans Day, which considered opportunities and challenges of implementing the “oceans package” at Rio+20. He said that issues dealt with at Oceans Day included: climate change and oceans; integrated ocean governance; marine protected areas, marine pollution and the move towards the blue economy. He added that its outcomes included 12 Voluntary Commitments and the Rio Ocean Declaration.

Andrew Hudson, UNDP, discussed a recent UN report “Catalysing Ocean Finance,” which revealed that overfishing, hypoxia, and acidification are geometrically worsening, caused by market failures. He added that the failure of putting a price on carbon is leading to the acidification of oceans. Noting that funding for sustainable development and ocean governance already exists through the GEF, he deplored the lack of political will to make difficult choices to reverse exponential ocean degradation issues.

Lynne Hale, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), presented on climate and oceans, focusing on adaptation and DRR. She underscored that the management and defense of coastal communities is the most costly component of climate change adaptation. Hale added that coastal ecosystems conservation reduces vulnerability and creates blue economy jobs. She concluded by stressing the importance of climate change mitigation and implementing ecosystem-based adaptation strategies.

Manuel Cira, Coordinator, World Ocean Network, calling for more cooperation with governmental agencies and businesses, stressed the need for new funding mechanisms to sustain innovation and research, and emphasized the importance of new and innovative ways of using the ocean sustainably, rather than only changing operations to reduce marine pollution.

During the ensuing discussion, Hudson noted a decrease in the frequency of large-scale oil spills, but a dramatic increase its traffic, and lamented the high incidence of salmon aquaculture that has reached critical proportions. On non-traditional partners in the protection of the ocean, Delaney lauded the US navy’s funding initiative to transform their vessel fuel use to renewable energy sources. Hale lamented the nonexistence of a model of action for policy making in the absence of scientific evidence and emphasized the urgency for innovative ideas. Slade, warning against taking the ocean for granted, underscored that even though humanity does not fully understand oceanic complexities it remains dependent on them, given that oceans are where the planet, people and prosperity unite.
L-R: Manuel Cira, Coordinator, World Ocean Network; Richard Delaney, Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies; Amb. Neroni Slade, Secretary General, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat; Andrew Hudson, UNDP; and Lynne Hale, The Nature Conservancy
Manuel Cira, Coordinator, World Ocean Network
Richard Delaney, Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies
Amb. Neroni Slade, Secretary General, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
Andrew Hudson, UNDP
Lynne Hale’s presentation
Lynne Hale, The Nature Conservancy
Participants during the discussion.
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The Global Atlas for Solar and Wind Energy
Organized by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
During this side event, high-level policy makers declared their support for IRENA’s Global Solar and Wind Atlas, and presented national work and commitments on the advancement of renewable energy. The event included a demonstration of the Atlas, an interactive, online tool for sharing and analyzing data on renewable energy and catalyzing planning, development and investment in renewable energy markets.

Adnan Amin, Director-General, IRENA, said the Atlas is expected to become the principle resource for renewable energy development, saying it is an important part of IRENA’s strategy to work with countries to promote renewable energy through knowledge sharing, capacity building, and international cooperation.

Martin Lidegaard, Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Building, strongly endorsed international cooperation with IRENA, referring to the outcomes of the 2012 Clean Energy Ministerial Meeting in London.

Victorio Oxilia Dávalos, Executive Secretary, Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE), pointed to IRENA as an excellent example of international cooperation, noting that one of the principle barriers to growth in renewable energy in Latin America is a lack of accurate and reliable data on renewable energy potential.

Dipuo Peters, South African Minister of Energy, reaffirmed her country’s international commitment to advancing renewable energy, citing South Africa’s Wind Atlas of South Africa (WASA) as an example.

Altino Ventura Filho, Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy, looked forward to technical cooperation with other countries through knowledge and technology sharing, particularly in the areas of hydropower and ethanol.

Hosni Ghedira, Masdar Institute, on behalf of United Arab Emirate’s Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy for Energy & Climate Change, announced a new solar power atlas to serve as a resource for the Global Solar and Wind Atlas.

Karsten Sach, German Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, referred to IRENA as a knowledge hub for sharing the expertise of national research centers and said it was especially important for countries to organize joint value by sharing data and methodologies for assessing renewable energy resources.

Steve Sawyer, Secretary-General, Global Wind Energy Council, stated that there is no question there are sufficient renewable resources to decarbonize the global economy. The challenge, he said, is to make the best use of those resources, and that the Atlas will prove valuable to this end.

Ron Benioff, US’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), underscored his agency’s technical support for the Atlas, noting four key contributions: timely and high-quality data provision; cooperative design of analytical tools; hosting data servers; and linking with related databases and outreach programs.

Paolo Frankl, International Energy Agency (IEA), said his agency stands ready to support the Atlas, calling it a sign of real leadership, progress, transparency, and open collaboration.

Following the presentations, there was a signing and exchange of a partnership agreement between IRENA and OLADE.
L-R: Steve Sawyer, Secretary-General, Global Wind Energy Council; Hosni Ghedira, Masdar Institute; Martin Lidegaard, Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Building; Adnan Amin, Director-General, IRENA; Dipuo Peters, South African Minister of Energy; Altino Ventura Filho, Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy; and Karsten Sach, German Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
Martin Lidegaard, Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Building
Adnan Amin, Director-General, IRENA
Dipuo Peters, South African Minister of Energy
Altino Ventura Filho, Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy
Steve Sawyer, Secretary-General, Global Wind Energy Council
Karsten Sach, German Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
Signing and exchange of a partnership agreement between IRENA and OLADE.
A view of the room during the side event.
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More Information:
http://www.irena.org/
Contact:
Nicholas Fichaux <NFichaux@irena.org>
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IISD RS resources
*IISD RS coverage of the World Congress on Justice, Governance and Law for Environmental Sustainability, 17-20 June 2012, Rio de Janeiro
*IISD RS coverage of Rio+20: Third PrepCom and the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), 13-22 June 2012, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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*IISD RS coverage of the Third Round of ‘Informal-Informal’ Negotiations on the zero draft of outcome document of the UNCSD, 29 May - 2 June 2012, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
*IISD RS coverage of the Second Round of ‘Informal-Informal’ Negotiations on the zero draft of outcome document of the UNCSD or Rio+20, 23 April - 4 May 2012, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
*IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at the Second Round of ‘Informal-Informal’ Negotiations on the zero draft of outcome document of the UNCSD or Rio+20, 23 April - 4 May 2012, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
*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
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*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
*SDG - 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
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