ICSU-UNESCO Regional Science and Technology Workshops


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ICSU-UNESCO Regional Science and Technology Workshops

  1. 1. Science and Technology for Rio+20 ICSU-UNESCO Rio+20 Regional Science and Technology Workshops Asia and the Pacific Africa Latin America and the Caribbean Arab States Europe and North America www.icsu.org/rio20/regional-workshops
  2. 2. Background Dates and locations of the ICSU-UNESCO regional science and technology workshops Region Date Location Asia Pacific 16 – 18 April 2011 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Africa 30 May – 1 June 2011 Pretoria, South Africa LAC 3 – 5 August 2011 Mexico City, Mexico Arab States 12 – 14 October 2011 Cairo, Egypt Europe 12 – 14 October 2011 Helsinki, FinlandThe concept of sustainable development brings together economic, social and environmental challenges,developed and developing countries, governments, businesses and civil society, scientific knowledge andpublic policy, and present and future generations. It has created the awareness that the environment andsocial and economic development are facets of the same agenda.The United Nations Rio+20 Conference will take place 20–22 June 2012, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.Coming 20 years after the original Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and 10 years after the 2002 WorldSummit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, Rio+20 (also known more formally as the UnitedNations Conference on Sustainable Development 2012) will bring together high-level policy-makers fromacross the world. The aim is to secure renewed political commitment to sustainable development, to assessthe progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the sustainable development agenda,and to address new and emerging challenges.The ICSU-UNESCO Regional WorkshopsICSU and UNESCO recognised the need to enhance the input from the science, technology and innovation(STI) community into the Rio+20 process, and to account for region-specific priorities and concerns. ICSUand UNESCO therefore organised five regional science and technology workshops in 2011 (for Asia and thePacific, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), Africa, the Arab States, and Europe and North America).Participants at the Regional WorkshopsEach workshop had between 40–80 participants, primarily coming from countries in the region. Participantswere made up of:ƒƒ Natural scientists, social scientists and engineers, including young scientists and engineers;ƒƒ High-level policy-makers/ government representatives;ƒƒ Representatives of civil society (‘Major Groups’ in UN terminology), including business and industry, farmers and indigenous peoples;ƒƒ Co-sponsors.Results and RecommendationsThe workshops were designed to provide input for the five Rio+20 intergovernmental Regional PreparatoryMeetings (RPMs) being held in the run up to the Rio+20 Conference by the five regional UN Economicand Social Commissions (ECA, ESCWA, ESCAP, ECE, ECLAC) in their respective regions. The results andrecommendations of the workshops have now been presented by our delegations at these meetings, andhave informed ICSU and UNESCO’s inputs for the Rio+20 Conference. 2
  3. 3. Aims of the Regional Workshopsƒƒ To give natural scientists, social scientist and engineers from the different regions the opportunity to prepare joint positions and concerted input for the Rio+20 RPMs, in collaboration with policy-makers and other key actors.ƒƒ To provide a platform for a science-policy dialogue at the regional level.ƒƒ To provide a platform for a multi-stakeholder dialogue with other ‘Major Groups’ (civil society stakeholders), including business and industry.Overall Objectives of the Regional Workshopsƒƒ To ensure that the best available natural and social science is integrated into policy recommendations resulting from the RPMs and Rio+20.ƒƒ To incorporate specific regional concerns and priorities into the global agenda of Rio+20.ƒƒ To identify where support is needed by the STI community, at national and regional levels.ƒƒ To highlight the major contributions from STI to sustainable development.ƒƒ To identify the roles of civil society and the private sector in STI activities at regional, national and local scales, and their needs from the STI community.Duration and AgendasEach regional workshop lasted three days, with keynote presentations, plenary discussions and break-outgroup sessions.The workshops addressed the main themes of Rio+20:ƒƒ Green Economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication;ƒƒ the institutional framework for sustainable development.The workshops also assessed new and emerging challenges and priority issues.OrganisersThe regional workshops were jointly organised by ICSU’s and UNESCO’s regional offices, except the Europeand North America workshop which was organised by the European Group of ICSU National Members. Allworkshops were held in cooperation with the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO), theInternational Social Science Council (ISSC) and regional stakeholders.Additional InformationFor additional information on the regional workshops, including:ƒƒ reports and recommendationsƒƒ agendasƒƒ participants listssee: www.icsu.org/rio20/regional-workshopsContact:ƒƒ Gisbert Glaser (ICSU Senior Advisor): gisbert.glaser@icsu.orgƒƒ Alice Abreu (ICSU’s Rio+20 Regional Coordinator): alice.abreu@icsu.orgƒƒ Peter Bates (ICSU Science Officer): peter.bates@icsu.org 3
  4. 4. Overarching Recommendations and Key IssuesThe participants at the five regional workshops asserted the importance of such regional meetings for theSTI community, their commitment to STI for sustainable development, and their aspirations for Rio+20.The following overarching recommendations and key issues were highlighted during the discussions in allof the regions:ƒƒ The Rio+20 outcome must be commensurate with the urgent need to move humanity to a sustainable path of development.ƒƒ Human induced global environmental change is occurring at an increasing rate and intensity across all regions. Fundamental changes in the human drivers affecting the Earth system and actions to enhance the resilience and decrease the vulnerability of human communities are essential.ƒƒ Current economic patterns are responsible for many of the interlinked and growing social, environmental and economic crises unfolding across all regions. Economic sustainability, human development, poverty eradication and environmental sustainability must be addressed in an integrated fashion.ƒƒ The last 20 years have seen at best incremental movements towards sustainable development. Renewed global political commitment to sustainable development is vital.ƒƒ Concrete and challenging targets should be set that can be translated into international and national law.ƒƒ The natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, engineering and technology communities have a fundamental role to play in developing systems of knowledge, defining targets, implementing solutions and monitoring progress for sustainable development.ƒƒ Commitments are needed to large-scale investments in targeted transdisciplinary research that addresses the integrated environmental, social and economic pillars of sustainable development. Social and technological innovations for sustainability should be the goal. 4
  5. 5. iStockphoto © Nikadaƒƒ Strengthening science-policy links at national, regional and global levels is essential in efforts to improve the institutional framework for sustainable development. Science advisory mechanisms should be built into all levels of decision making, at national, regional and global scales.ƒƒ Targeted capacity building is needed within the scientific community, with a focus on developing countries and gender equality issues.ƒƒ The scientific and technological community must improve cooperation with other parts of civil society, the private sector, governments and intergovernmental bodies. Research agendas should be defined through broad-based, participatory approaches involving those in need of scientific information.ƒƒ It is important to work closely with local communities and indigenous peoples when planning research activities, development interventions or education programmes, to account for their specific cultures and knowledge.ƒƒ Formal, informal and non-formal education should be recognised as key mechanisms in addressing sustainable development issues for the medium and long term, and they should have a strong science-base.ƒƒ Rio+20 is a forum at which governments should recognise, enhance and map out the crucial relationship between policy-making and science, technology and innovation.ƒƒ Rio+20 should be a fundamental milestone in the development of a new contract between science and society. 5
  6. 6. Asia and the Pacific 16 – 18 April 2011, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia www.icsu.org/rio20/regional-workshops/asia-pacific Organised by ICSU’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, and the UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific in Jakarta.Alongside the Overarching Recommendations, the following recommendations are among those highlightedby the scientific and technological community from the Asia and the Pacific region during the three-dayworkshop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia:Sustainable development and Green EconomyThe Asia and the Pacific region, with more than More public funding support for Green Economyhalf of the worlds population and two thirds of research and development (R&D) is vital, but itthe worlds poor, has a major stake in sustainable needs to be applied strategically.development and poverty alleviation. Its rapidgrowth in economic output and its rapidly growing Members of the scientific community need to haveshare of global scientific research put it in a good freedom in the conduct of science, need to carryposition to achieve these goals. out and disseminate their research responsibly, and need to be accountable for their work. This isThe people of the region, and indeed all people on especially important in respect to science relating tothe Earth, face two major challenges: sustainable development. Responsible and ethical conduct of research is an important requirement of1. The continued use of the Earth and its ecosystem scientists in their contract with society. as if it were an infinite source of resources and a boundless sink for our waste. The lack of public and political awareness of dealing with risk and uncertainty is one of the2. Resources are used in such a way that many features behind a lack of trust of science. Outreach people of the Earth, and especially in Asia and and educational campaigns must address risk and the Pacific, continue to live in extreme poverty. uncertainty and improve community understandingThe connection between the Green Economy and of them.poverty alleviation is not automatic. It must be Public communication, raising awareness andconsciously articulated and implemented. the education of all stakeholders about the GreenAction to move to sustainable development will Economy and new and emerging challenges arerequire changes in social values and practices, as an important responsibility of the scientific andwell as technical solutions. technological community.The construction of an appropriate sustainable Industry must work in partnership with the naturaldevelopment index that will become the true sciences, social sciences and the technologicalmeasure of development is a matter of high priority. community to make progress in the transition toThis index should take into account environmental, sustainable development.social and economic indicators. Women are key actors for delivering the conceptScientific data and information are central to and products of Green Economy and greenunderstanding environmental change and for technology into the family and society. A greatermonitoring societal progress towards sustainable participation of women in the scientific anddevelopment. Natural science, social science and technological workforce should be encouraged. Thetechnology therefore have a vital role to play in views of women on population growth need to bethe success of the Rio+20 process. Achieving this heard and supported.requires financial and political support. 6
  7. 7. © Peter BatesInstitutional framework for sustainable developmentAn improved position of science and technology in the international sphere. Institutions establishedin the hierarchy of international institutions and to encourage and oversee the move to sustainablenational governments is a necessary first step development need to cooperate and not compete.in giving science and technology a strongerfocus in international discussions, dialogues and The collection and sharing of data, information andnegotiations. knowledge is a major need of the STI community, and of governments at all levels. The manyThere is a great need to improve inter-ministerial international institutions involved with sustainablelinkages and collaboration in the national development need to coordinate their data systemsgovernment, and between equivalent organisations and make them compatible.New and emerging challenges for Asia and the PacificClimate change, ecosystem change and sound technologies such as integrated waterover-utilisation of resources and waste management, by assisting in urbanƒƒ Previously recognised challenges, including planning to reduce energy consumption, and climate change, ecosystem change and over studying and influencing social practices. utilisation of resources, have a heightened urgency because they have not been addressed. Sustainable energy ƒƒ Sustainable energy is key to sustainableUrbanisation development, and a sustainable and adequateƒƒ Urbanisation is a particularly relevant challenge energy supply is a major priority for the Asia and in the Asia and the Pacific region, as here the the Pacific region.  Achieving this will require urban population is growing at more than twice innovations in science and technology and the rate of the total population. In many cases changes in social practices.  Natural science, urbanisation is leading to health problems and social science, humanities, engineering and decreasing wellbeing. technology all therefore have a vital role to play in the delivery of sustainable energy.ƒƒ The STI community can help reduce urban ecological footprints by introducing ecologically 7
  8. 8. Africa 30 May – 1 June 2011, Pretoria, South Africa www.icsu.org/rio20/regional-workshops/africa Organised by ICSU’s Regional Office for Africa and the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Technology in Africa in NairobiThe African scientific and technological community met over 3 days in Pretoria, South Africa. Alongside theOverarching Recommendations, other recommendations and priority issues from their discussions include:Sustainable development and Green EconomyThe design and provision of market incentives Financial support/lending institutions should beand financing will be important for promoting strengthened to support local entrepreneurship andentrepreneurship and green projects, to levels that economy-of-scale projects in key economic sectorsare needed to accelerate transition from ‘brown’ to in Africa such as agriculture, energy, transportation‘green’ economy. and municipal services.The STI base should be improved at appropriate Initiatives must have regional context and relevancelevels (artisans, mid-level and advanced levels) to to succeed, and should be designed to account forsupport novel industrial operations that the targeted indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) of the AfricanGreen Economy requires in African countries. continent.Infrastructure to support STI and humanities Specific systems should be implemented to ensureresearch, such as research parks, technology that vulnerable groups such as women, youthincubation centres, library systems, data storage and the disabled are protected through theirand transfer centres, internet systems and laboratory socio-economic empowerment in Africa.support systems, need to be established in greaternumbers in Africa.Institutional framework for sustainable developmentConsidering that well-designed programmes can fail STI intellectual resources and facilities that areif not properly coordinated and monitored, efficient available within the African Continent should bemechanisms should be established to ensure good identified, through the development and integrationgovernance and accountability in both the public of databases and directories of African researchersand private sectors. and research-related organisations.Africa has been the object of numerous STI should be included as the primary enginedevelopment policies and action plans at all of Green Economy development through thelevels. These need to be analysed and harmonised, development and integration of National Scienceincluding: regulations/conventions, policies, market and Technology Policies (with adequate funding),incentives, educational and research support and creation of science advisory boards to providesystems, performance monitoring systems, and input into developments in every socio-economicenforcement systems. sector. 8
  9. 9. © ShutterstockPriority issues and emerging challenges for Africa:Food security Health securityƒƒ Land redistribution, transfer and acquisition have ƒƒ Africa bears the bulk of the global disease burden to be addressed if Africa is to benefit from the with the double tragedy imposed by emerging green (agricultural) revolution. (e.g. hemorrhagic fevers) and re-emerging (e.g.ƒƒ Indigenous seed and crop varieties that are TB, malaria) diseases. STI should be deployed to best-suited to African conditions need to be find solutions to these health challenges. identified, and their production increased to meet food security needs. Natural and human-induced hazards and disasters ƒƒ Africa is prone to a wide variety of escalatingBiodiversity and ecosystem loss natural and human-induced disasters such asƒƒ Deforestation, including clearing of forests for droughts, flooding, tropical cyclones, pests and other competing needs, is a key issue. diseases. It is therefore important that Africa adopt cost-effective policies to lower associatedClimate change and security risks and allocate appropriate resources toƒƒ Africa should prepare itself for adaptation to, hazards and disaster mitigation and preparedness. and mitigation of, the impacts of climate change, Desertification especially sea level rise along the coast of Africa, which could generate massive human migrations. ƒƒ The advance of the Sahara southwards and spread of aridity in most parts of Africa calls for STI andWater scarcity and use IKS interventions to address desertification.ƒƒ Africa should explore possibilities for alternative Human migration water resources such as groundwater, and application of STI in water harvesting ƒƒ Due to slow economic growth and development methodologies in the face of climate change and in rural areas, there has been increased migration increase in its population. from rural to urban or coastal regions, thus over-stretching basic infrastructure in those areas,Energy crisis and increasing poverty and pollution.ƒƒ Africa’s clean and renewable energy resources are enormous but there is a need for enhanced STI to The Africa regional workshop report is available in effectively tap this resource. English, Portuguese and French 9
  10. 10. Latin America 3 – 5 August 2011, Mexico City, Mexico www.icsu.org/rio20/regional-workshops/ and the Caribbean latin-america-and-the-caribbean Organised by ICSU’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, and the UNESCO Regional Office of Science and Technology for Latin America and the Caribbean in MontevideoRepresentatives of the scientific and technological community from the Latin America and the Caribbean(LAC) region met in Mexico City, Mexico. Alongside the Overarching Recommendations, specificrecommendations emerging from their discussions included:Sustainable development and Green EconomyNew or existing institutions, research and cultural, social, political and economic change;training programmes, and funding mechanisms personal, institutional-governmental, systemicshould be created or modified to support multi and structural change; and impacts on vulnerableand trans-disciplinary research in all fields of communities.the natural, engineering and social sciences andhumanities, recognising the full range of issues that Sustainable development indicators should beneed to be addressed for sustainable development developed, including social, technical, engineering,and poverty eradication. exact science and natural science dimensions.Policy and research on Green Economy should Investment is needed in higher education andaccount for the full implications of a transformation especially in graduate studies to enhance researchto a Green Economy at all scales, including: and development (R&D) capacities in LAC.Institutional framework for sustainable developmentSpecific mechanisms for providing STI advice analysing successful and unsuccessful practices inshould be developed in countries region-wide. the LAC region.These should be integral to governmentdepartments, parliaments and their corresponding Multistakeholder consultation and decision-makingcommissions, and the justice system. fora could be established at the local, national and regional level for the definition of ‘relevant’More policy and advocacy-oriented research research programmes for sustainable development.should be encouraged, with greater leadership from This would include participation of groups from thethe scientific community in the implementation of scientific community, social movements, other civilsolutions, and in communicating, advocating and society organisations and the government (includingawareness-raising. science advisors).Research on the science-policy interface A global fund for STI for sustainable developmentshould be increased, analysing the different could be established, with each nation contributingcultures of decision-makers, media and science the equivalent of at least 1% of its national defencecommunication, among other issues related to spending.social studies of science and technology, and 10
  11. 11. iStockphoto © LuomanPriority issues and emerging challenges for Latin America and the CaribbeanBiodiversity loss ƒƒ Building resilience to these natural risks (in theƒƒ LAC offers rich terrestrial, marine, coastal and framework of climate change) and related human fresh water ecosystem functions and services, displacements is essential. including highly diverse agro-ecosystems that contribute to global food security and abundant Urbanisation sources of fresh water. ƒƒ Rates of urbanisation in LAC are some of theƒƒ Reversing the rate of terrestrial, fresh water and highest in the world, constituting a major marine biodiversity loss is crucial. environmental and social challenge.ƒƒ Indigenous peoples should be recognised as key ƒƒ A systemic approach to urbanisation should partners in biodiversity conservation, as they live be developed, such as land use and territorial in and protect many of the remaining biologically planning, including urban and peri-urban rich lands in LAC. planning, based on continuous dialogue among all the stakeholders of society. This involvesManaging hazardous wastes organising interdisciplinary teams for the development of social and biophysical indicatorsƒƒ Managing hazardous wastes in all habitats (e.g. (of materials and energy fluxes). urban, industrial and agriculture areas located in temperate, subtropical and tropical areas) is Poverty eradication and cultural diversity essential, through the development of complete eco-toxicological approaches. ƒƒ The eradication of poverty is a major goal for the LAC region, especially for the poorest countries.Climate change ƒƒ The LAC region has high levels of culturalƒƒ Climate change mitigation and adaptation diversity, including large urban centres, capacities should be developed, recognising indigenous communities, women farmers and that richer nations have greater responsibility in diverse language groups – giving a challenge mitigation while developing nations will require and an opportunity to develop an intercultural greater efforts in adaptation. approach towards a more inclusive society.Natural disasters Other challengesƒƒ Due to its geological and meteorological ƒƒ Developing clean energy sources and sustainable characteristics and high rates of urbanisation agriculture. the LAC region is susceptible to human life loss, population displacement and infrastructure damage due to natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, volcanoes, hurricanes, storm surges and floods. 11
  12. 12. Arab States 12 – 14 October 2011, Cairo, Egypt www.icsu.org/rio20/regional-workshops/arab-states Organised by the UNESCO Office in Cairo and ICSURepresentatives of the STI community from the Arab States region met in Cairo, Egypt. Over 3 days ofdiscussions, they developed recommendations for Rio+20. Alongside the Overarching Recommendations,specific recommendations included:Sustainable development and Green EconomyThe STI community within the Arab States strongly ƒƒ Inclusion of indigenous, accumulated andrecommends a paradigm shift to coordinate implicit community knowledge and practices,and enhance the region’s efforts towards a through dialogue and research with localknowledge-based economy and sustainable communities.development. In order to carry out a comprehensive research agenda, capacity building is needed by theA coherent and long-term research agenda needs scientific community and different stakeholders,to be developed for sustainable development in with a focus on women and vulnerable groups.the Arab States, containing a portfolio of projects.Decision-makers should support this and make full More integration and communication betweenuse of the results. research efforts is needed in the region, to connect individual projects and generate an accumulation ofElements of this research agenda include: experience.ƒƒ Holistic, trans-disciplinary scientific approaches, In addition to North-South knowledge and which address the interconnections between technology transfer, there is a need for enhanced environmental, social and economic issues. technology and knowledge transfer between Arabƒƒ Solution-orientated scientific programmes that States. expressly serve community needs.ƒƒ Strategies to incentivise scientists to serve the Solutions and technologies from outside of the public through applied, practical, market-based, region need to be adapted to the environment and pro-poor and relevant research. cultures of the Arab States. This process can be an opportunity for capacity building in the region’sƒƒ Participatory processes through which scientific and technological communities, and for science agendas and projects are developed, local end-users. implemented and communicated including all stakeholders in any particular society or region.Institutional framework for sustainable developmentA more inclusive participatory approach There is need for an emphasis on citizenship rightsto governance is mandatory for an effective to being scientifically informed, so that the publicimplementation of sustainable development can make informed decisions and participate inpolicies in the Arab States, by formally integrating discussions on issues pertaining to new sciencescivil society into decision-making, and using new and technologies.communication technologies to generate dialogue,inclusion and democracy. Working more effectively with education ministries to integrate the concept of sustainableThe benefits of sustainable development and development into curricula in schools andscience at all scales need to be better recognised universities, and attention to informal educationby the public and governments, and communicated programmes, will be crucial.more effectively by the STI community. 12
  13. 13. iStockphoto © Tobias HelbigPriority issues and emerging challenges for the Arab StatesWater security ƒƒ International energy management standardsƒƒ Water scarcity, quality and management are key should be adapted for the region, management issues. strategies developed for energy efficiency and feed-in tariffs introduced to incentivise investmentƒƒ Innovative water management solutions should be in renewable energy. generated and disseminated to address resource efficiency and conservation. Natural disasters, climate change and conflictsƒƒ Community-based water management agreements over resources should be initiated to share quotas for water, ƒƒ STI-based climate change and disaster adaptation including trans-boundary agreements, and and mitigation strategies should be integrated community-based monitoring should be into countries’ economic, social and governance implemented. systems and firmly embedded into domesticƒƒ Water management policies should be improved, policy planning across the board. especially in the area of agriculture. Better and more efficient use should be made of irrigation, Biodiversity efficient drip irrigation should replace flood, and ƒƒ Efforts towards the valuation of ecosystem drainage water should be reused. services should be developed, enhanced andƒƒ Regulation and enforcement of pollution supported. Sustainable markets for natural prevention should be improved. resources (e.g. biodiversity and ecotourism) should be further enhanced.Food security, nutrition and safety ƒƒ The management of protected areas should beƒƒ Crop varieties that need less pesticides, less improved. fertiliser and less water, and can adapt to climate ƒƒ Education and awareness-raising programmes change, should be developed or better utilised. should be implemented for linking biodiversity toƒƒ Efficient and incentive-based sustainable society. agriculture should be promoted. ƒƒ Recognising and working with community-basedƒƒ Capacity building, education, training and traditional knowledge of biodiversity is essential extension services should be provided for for more effective and inclusive conservation farmers. management.ƒƒ Agro-food losses and waste need to be reduced throughout the Arab States, through improved Balanced rural-urban planning post-harvest techniques, reuse of ‘waste’ ƒƒ There should be a focus on urban planning and products, and better storage and transport. There sustainable land use. is a need to engage with agro-industry on this ƒƒ Green building codes should be adapted to the subject. region (e.g. lighting, cooling).Energy security and improved access ƒƒ Inclusive, small scale infrastructure solutions and services should be developed in rural areas toƒƒ Investment and R&D should be increased in reduce rural-urban migration. renewable and alternative sources of energy, noting the great potential of solar, wind and wave energy in the Arab States. 13
  14. 14. Europe and 12 – 14 October 2011, Helsinki, Finland www.icsu.org/rio20/regional-workshops/europe North America Organised by the Group of the European Members of ICSU, in cooperation with ICSU and UNESCOAlongside the Overarching Recommendations, the following recommendations are among those highlightedby the STI community representatives from Europe and North America, during their workshop in Helsinki,Finland: iStockphoto © Mustafa DeliormanliSustainable development and Green EconomyThe principle of common and differentiated global consequences of consumption patterns visible andresponsibility of regions and countries should be sustainability part of our shared culture.applied in the search for fair and effective solutionsto global challenges. A Green Economy needs effective monitoring systems, including the monitoring of societalThe ‘Green Economy’ concept should provide change and the integration of social developmenta useful starting point for helping to achieve objectives into the Green Economy agenda.sustainable development, in particular throughdecarbonising consumption, reducing the other Goals, targets and indicators agreed at Rio+20environmental impacts of consumption, and should sensitively account for the needs ofreducing consumption inequalities. indigenous people, and the special conditions characterising sensitive and vulnerable areas,Sustainable market structures, supported by such as the Arctic and the Mediterranean.appropriate institutions and regulations, need to Specific studies should be devoted to the analysisbe created to better reflect the status and value of conditions of local communities and theirof natural capital and ensure correct signals to adaptation to global change.socio-economic systems including information onscarcity, critical tipping points and tradeoffs. Universal access to education is a necessary precondition for achieving sustainableProcesses initiating social self-evolution and development.transformation should be encouraged by making the 14
  15. 15. Institutional framework for sustainable developmentAll international institutions should have a scientific rational debate on emerging scientific questionsadvisory body tasked with providing advice on and on new or emerging technologies such assustainable development matters; all national nanotechnology, carbon capture and storage, andgovernments should include scientists and science geo-engineering.advisors in their delegations to internationalmeetings relevant to sustainable development; and A research-based analysis of ways to strengthenscientists and science advisors should be included the role of global organisations for sustainablein the early phases of the development of policies development and the role of sustainablefor sustainable development, so that they are based development in existing global organisations suchon the best, up-to-date scientific evidence. as the WTO, World Bank and IMF should be carried out.Institutions and mechanisms that ensurecomprehensive and independent assessments and The Aarhus Convention of the United Nationsevaluations of policies, based on the best available Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE)scientific knowledge, must be deployed. These on access to information, public participationshould be available at all levels of governance, in decision-making and access to justice infrom the global to the local. The focus should be on environmental matters could be used as a modelparticipatory evaluations and assessments. for the development of a global convention or regional conventions.Participatory sustainability assessments shouldbe carried out in order to contribute to timely andPriority issues and emerging challenges for Europe and North AmericaConsumption and population ƒƒ More effort must be devoted to increasingƒƒ The most important emerging challenges for resilience, with infrastructures, systems sustainable development are related to the and technologies adapted to natural and unsustainable consumption of natural capital anthropogenic hazards and climate change. and the economic, social and environmental consequences of population growth and Food policy demographic change. ƒƒ Food policy needs to be better addressed within the research community using transdisciplinaryInterconnected issues approaches. These issues will not be solvedƒƒ Problems of waste, food, water and energy merely by technical solutions or by markets, security, climate change and ocean acidification, but require innovative research and stakeholder greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss, dialogues. ecosystem degradation and loss of ecosystem ƒƒ In particular the links between food security, services are symptoms of population issues and climate change, energy production, conservation unsustainable consumption. of biodiversity and water security have to beƒƒ These interconnected challenges must be tackled addressed in order to identify threats, trade-offs at the international, regional, national and local and solutions. Ethical aspects should also be scale if progress in sustainable development is to explicitly recognised. be achieved. Urbanisationƒƒ Research, technology and engineering focusing on recycling, efficient use of energy and natural ƒƒ In the context of urbanisation and cities, planning resources, limits on agricultural land and the for sustainable development has to be developed, consequences of resource degradation should be recognising issues of population and lifestyle. The increased. potential for lower carbon footprints, sustainable transportation and improved human wellbeingNatural hazards should be actively exploited.ƒƒ Vulnerability to natural hazards is increased as a direct consequence of population migration and growth, and unsustainable consumption. 15
  16. 16. About ICSU and UNESCOThe non-governmental International Council forScience (ICSU) represents the international sciencecommunity. With a global membership of nationalscientific bodies (120 members representing 140countries) and international scientific unions (31members representing 31 different disciplines)ICSU is uniquely placed due to its global coverageand interdisciplinary breadth. ICSU is one ofthe co-organising partners of the Scientific andTechnological Community Major Group for Rio+20,and therefore participates alongside governmentsand UN agencies in the Rio+20 Conference and itspreparations.www.icsu.orgThe United Nations Educational, Scientific andCultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialisedUN agency with unique transdisciplinarycompetencies in education, the sciences, cultureand communication and information. UNESCO isthe only United Nations specialised agency witha specific mandate to promote natural and socialsciences. It does this in close cooperation withits Member States and other partners throughoutthe world, in the interests of peace, humanrights and development. Since its foundation in1945 UNESCO has acted as a catalyst for theestablishment of many, now leading, scientificunions and bodies; initiatives with far-reachingimplications for sustainable human security andwellbeing.www.unesco.org