HII Meets with European Leaders on Preparing for Rio+20: DPI/NGO Conference Day 1, Afternoon Session

In early September, 2011, Human Impacts Institute’s European Representative, Mariana Orozco, will be reporting from her work meeting with global leaders in environmental policy and sustainable development in preparation for the 2012 Rio+20 Earth Summit.

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After a series of workshops* on September 3rd, 2011, participants in the 64th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference reconvened for the first Roundtable, under the theme of “Shaping Sustainable Lifestyles and Livelihoods.”

The moderator, Sue Riddlestone, from BioRegional Development Group, outlined key targets in shifting global consumption patterns, including: Universal access to energy, the improvement of energy efficiency by 40%, and increasing the share of renewable energy as part of the global energy portfolio to 30%. It was also suggested that 2012 be the “International Year of Sustainable Energy for All”.

In a diverse panel of representatives, Jiangwen Long, from the China Association of Women Entrepreneurs, spoke of her own personal experience, and the importance of cooperation between NGO’s, governments and entrepreneurs in China. A representative of the European Volunteer Centre talked about the rewards and importance of volunteering. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz from the Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education, described how indigenous people already consume sustainably and have a deep connection to their environment. She urged all to learn from their traditions, to protect the land, respect mother Earth, and think seven generation ahead. She remarked how the answers lie not in universities or governments, but in local communities, and that local knowledge paramount to protecting ecosystems. And last, Daniel Bena from PepsiCo spoke of the actions his company is taking to work more sustainably, specifically the Pepsi Refresh project where they redirected advertising money towards grants in local communities.

Evening Activities included capacity building workshops on “How to Lobby”, regional meetings to prepare for Rio+20, and an informal draft declaration session. Attendees were then invited to a dinner offered by the city of Bonn.

By Mariana Orozco, 2011 Human Impacts Institute Environmental Leadership Intern and European Representative

*An overview of all workshops from a youth perspective will be available after the conference.

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