In June of 2012, heads of state, business leaders, and civil society will converge in Rio de Janeiro for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (also known as the Earth Summit, or Rio + 20). This meeting will mark the twentieth anniversary of the 1992 Earth Summit, which galvanized a generation of environmental activists. This meeting was the birthplace of the UNFCCC, and many partnerships were forged and promises made. Rio + 20 will be an occasion to reflect of the accomplishments and failures of the environmental movement in the past two decades, and to forge ahead with innovative solutions and partnerships for the next twenty years. Young people, especially, have a large stake in the outcome of this meeting. After all, it is us who will have to…
International Conferences and Organizations FES850
UNITAR is hosting a series of workshops in the Rio+20 preparation forum. This time the workshop’s objective is to reflect upon the role of environmentally sound technologies for sustainable development.
Feature speakers will concentrate in presenting diverse proposals regarding technologies and their role in the Rio+20 main themes. Special guests’ participation will range from the contribution of technologies in sustainable development and a government summit for proposals on ICT technologies to advance sustainable development solutions. Selected partners’ cutting edge solutions will address research, implementation, transfer and deployment of “green” technologies facing the challenges of sustainable development. Up to date discussions regarding economic development, poverty alleviation and…
Dr. Hussein Farah is the Director General of the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) based in Nairobi, Kenya. It is an inter-governmental organization with 18 member states that provides geo-information for environment and resources management in eastern Africa.
Dr. Farah has a PhD in Water Resources Surveys from the University of Wageningen and the International Institute for Aerospace Surveys and Earth Sciences in The Netherlands. He also holds a master’s in geography from the University of Waterloo, Canada and bachelor’s of science in surveying and photogrammerty from the University of Nairobi. He has extensive experience in land surveying and mapping for environmental management. Dr. Farah has lead the RCMRD for six years.
The Ring of Fire is ablaze with the new carbon trading schemes sweeping around the Pacific Rim. New Zealand is home to the first mandatory trading scheme outside of the EU, and the governments of both California and Australia have recently approved trading programs that will become operational in the coming years. Japan, which is pulling out of the Kyoto agreements in 2012, has been proposing the widespread adoption of bilateral carbon offset mechanisms for countries no longer part of those agreements, and at the municipal level, both Tokyo and Saitama are experimenting with urban carbon markets. Meanwhile, China and South Korea have plans to scale out national emissions trading schemes by 2015 as well.
The UN delegates are bracing themselves for a long night — and possibly morning — as the world awaits concrete deliverables from Durban. Christiana Figueres, at a high level side event on UN coordination last Wednesday, suggested that the UNFCCC process was the attempt of 200 governments “to write a global business plan,” and that “unlike the private sector that needs all the details clarified before they will act, the governments here are moving despite the risks towards the public good.” Ms. Figueres was also confident that the legacy of Durban would be the adoption of an operational plan for the Green Climate Fund. It is expected that the fund will need to rely on private-public partnerships in order to achieve its target of 100 billion dollars of new funds (beyond regular aid budgets) for developing countries engaged in climate-compatible development by 2020.
THE PRIMAL SCREAM
Environmental leadership exercises for teenagers involve games. There is a game where 20 teenagers attempt to stabilize a giant seesaw with only one person allowed to speak. There is a game where students attempt to steal a toy from behind the back of the leader and move it over a line 100 feet away without the leader identifying the thief. There is a game that involves each group member walking across a rope 2 feet off the ground. These games are designed to build unity, teach cooperation, consensus, teamwork and communication skills.
Yet one of the most effective games teaches none of these important values. Dubbed “Primal Scream” the game starts with all participants staring at the ground. On the speedy count of three, they…
By: Hayley Fink and Grant Tolley
The United States says over and over that it wants to “fully operationalize the Cancun Agreements”. The US negotiators phrase their position as if to say: we need to finish what we started last year; we need to do this right, before we can move on. Sounds reasonable.
But does full implementation of the Cancun Agreements preclude the adoption of a legally binding agreement? By focusing on Cancun, the US downplays its position on mitigation commitments in Durban. While the Cancun Agreements represent progress on a variety of issues and solidified voluntary mitigation pledges from Copenhagen (which are not legally binding), these actions do not ensure that the world will reduce emissions at the extraordinary rate