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Post Rio + 20: Where Do We Stand 21 Months Later? 4/3/14

The term "Sustainable Development" first appeared in the 1987 report "Our Common Future," prepared by the Brundtland Commission. Sustainable Development was endorsed as the basis of a new model of development at the first United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, known as the Earth Summit, which took place in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Twenty years later, the Rio + 20 Conference produced an Outcome Document called the "Future We Want," which articulates essential commitments necessary for Sustainable Development.

The need for a sustainable future has remained a constant for the past quarter century and has propelled a deeper understanding of the principles and practices that will enable such a future. Indeed, understanding and implementing sustainable practices is even more crucial today in the face of global climate change.

This diverse panel will discuss the changes that are emerging, guided by the Rio + 20 Outcome Document, "The Future We Want." The panelists will describe recent institutional changes at the UN, including the establishment of the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the designation of the UN Environment Assembly as the governing body of UNEP, the General Assembly Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, and the Expert Committee on Sustainable Development financing. The panelists will also discuss the role of stakeholders, problems with the Means of Implementation and financing strategies for sustainable development, and climate adaptation. The panelists will explore the challenges of building a positive, enabling environment for rule-based business and investment, as well as for the expression of the civil society perspective.

Panelists: Americo Beviglia Zampetti, Head, Economic, Trade and Sustainable Development Section, European Union Delegation to the UN; Felix Dodds, Independent Consultant on stakeholder engagement in the sustainable development process and Writer; former Executive Director of Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future; Louise Kantrow, Permanent Representative to the United Nations for the International Chamber of Commerce and Coordinator, Global Business Alliance for Post 2015; David O'Connor, Head, Policy and Analysis Branch, United Nations Division for Sustainable Development

Moderator: Nicholas A. Robinson, University Professor for the Environment and and Gilbert and Sarah Kerlin Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law, Pace Law School

Sponsored by: Committee on International Environmental Law, Mary L. Lyndon, Chair; Asian Affairs Committee, Mark R. Shulman, Chair

Co-Sponsored by: Environmental Law Committee, Jeffrey Gracer, Chair; European Affairs Committee, Catherine Tinker, Chair; Task Force on Climate Adaptation, Stephen L. Kass, Chair; United Nations Committee, Ulysses Smith, Chair

Download event materials here: Slides from Felix Dodds (pptx), Slides from Louise Kantrow (ppt).

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Innovations in Climate Adaptation: Through the Lens of Cities 10/7/13
Climate change is placing increasing strain on the infrastructure and resources of cities around the world. Rising sea levels, increases in heat waves, and more frequent and intense weather events demand broad adaptation initiatives and new attention to long-term resilience. As home to more than half of the world's population, cities are becoming the first responders to climate change and are taking a leadership role in addressing its impacts. This panel will discuss adaptation initiatives being implemented in cities around the world, and New York's role within this global movement.

Download materials from the event here.

mp3 audio