The International Environment Forum held its 16th General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 18 June 2012, during the events surrounding the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). The General Assembly met at the Pousada Mansao Riocentro hotel, Camorim - Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. See the 16th General Assembly report.
Invitation to join and contribute to Rio+20 Dialogues on Sustainable Development
The Government of Brazil is convening a Dialogue series with the aim of bringing together civil society, the scientific community and academia to contribute ideas and suggestions on sustainable development. Conclusions and recommendations from the Dialogues will be conveyed directly to the heads of State and Government gathering for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development taking place in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on June 20-22. The public is now invited to vote on its preferences from 100 proposals drawn from 10,000 contributions. The third proposal under "Unemployment, Decent Work and Migrations" about managing enviromental migrations came from an IEF submission.
The national administrative body of the American Baha'i Community sent a third message on climate change in three years to all its members in March 2012 to raise awareness of the moral dimensions of this issue and to call for specific actions during Earth Week (22-29 April). It is collaborating with Interfaith Moral Action on Climate Change (http://www.interfaithactiononclimatechange.org/).
The global change research programmes of the International Council for Science (ICSU) organized a major science conference in London, England, on 26-29 March 2012 titled: Planet Under Pressure 2012: New Knowledge Towards Solutions. The conference aimed to provide scientific leadership towards the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development - Rio+20.
The Partnership for Education and research about Responsible Living (PERL) held its 2nd International Conference at the Technical University in Berlin, Germany, on 19-20 March 2012, on the theme "Beyond Consumption: Pathways to Responsible Living". The International Environment Forum is a partner in PERL and participated actively in the conference.
Among the many activities planned at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012, the secretariat is organizing SDlearning courses in the main conference venue for delegates and other participants, and proposals for courses were solicited from all accredited organizations (http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=147). IEF submitted a proposal for a course on Values-based Leadership for Sustainability - Concepts and Capabilities which is now on the official conference web site (http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?page=view&type=700&nr=120&menu…), where the public is invited to vote for their favorite course from the 69 proposed, with a deadline of 13 April 2012.
A new Bahá'í International Community statement on eliminating extremes of wealth and poverty has just been presented to the UN Commission for Social Development, and discussed at a UN panel session on 6 February 2012 (http://bic.org/home-stories/inequality-between-rich-and-poor-highlighte…). The statement provides initial considerations on a theme that should also be considered in the discussions on the green economy at the coming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012.
The UN Secretary-General's High-level Advisory Panel on Global Sustainability (GSP) released it's final report on 30 January with a launch event in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The 99 page report and a 25 page overview of it, along with a press release from the launch event, can be found at: www.un.org/gsp/report. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's statement from the GSP launch event can be found at: http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=5831.
On 10 January the UNCSD Rio+20 bureau released the zero draft of the outcome document for Rio+20, "The Future We Want": http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?page=view&type=12&nr=324&menu=…. This draft is based on hundreds of submissions from governments and civil society, including IEF, compiled at http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=115. It will serve as the basis for intergovernmental negotiations leading up to the conference in June, starting in New York on 25-27 January.
The IEF collaborated with the Baha'i International Community in the launching of action plans on climate change from the major religions at a celebration at Windsor Castle in 2009. One of the outcomes was a proposal from the Mayor of Jerusalem to create a network of pilgrimage cities, and this has now been launched with the aim of making pilgrimage a greener experience.