Bill Rees and Vanessa Timmer are in China as One Earth is a core partner in the Second Biennial Global Research Forum on Sustainable Production and Consumption conference Global Transitions to Sustainable Production and Consumption Systems. It is a forum to present and discuss new research outcomes from the Asia-Pacific region as well as from Latin America, Africa, Europe, and North America. This conference provides a unique opportunity for Chinese and Asian SPaC researchers and practitioners to join together with the others in the global community. The conference will take stock of new issue framings and explore emerging research questions. The scope will cover local and global issues and interconnections across scales, connecting regions and researchers. The Conference Program (Agenda) can be downloaded here (PDF).
Bill Rees "wowed the crowds" at the recent Fresh Outlook Foundation's SustainABLE Communities conference, November 25 - 28, 2013, in Kelowna, British Columbia. Bill was voted (for the 7th consecutive year!) the most popular conference speaker. In his 2013 presentation, he shared "the most important things he's learned during 43 years as an ecological economist". Watch a video of his talk, below!
For information on the SustainABLE Communities conference, including the detailed programme, list of speakers, etc., click here: http://freshoutlookfoundation.org/events/2013bsc/. For a list of speaker presentations, click here: http://freshoutlookfoundation.org/resources/bsc-presentations/.
The One Earth team was in Rio for the United Nations conference. While in Rio, One Earth Director and UBC Professor Emeritus Bill Rees and Global Footprint Network President Mathis Wackernagel were awarded the Kenneth E. Boulding Award and the Blue Planet Prize for their work co-creating the Ecological Footprint. Since, Bill Rees’ article, The Way Forward: Survival 2100, was published in the Solutions Journal. Read his article here.
Bill notes key steps to be taken in the coming decades – systemic, economic – and explores how our unique human capacity can support this transition. He writes, “Four critical intellectual and emotional qualities distinguish people from other advanced vertebrates. Humans have:
One Earth Initiative designed and delivered the 2nd North American Sustainable Consumption Workshop from 31 January – 1 February 2011 in Ottawa. The goal was a multi-stakeholder dialogue promoting bi-national collaboration on green building, as an important application of international sustainable consumption and production efforts. This dynamic and action-oriented meeting was hosted by the Governments of Canada and the United States as well as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The workshop involved more than 80 experts in green building and sustainability from Canadian and U.S. government, industry and non-government organizations, as well as United Nations representatives. The agenda can be viewed here. Speaker presentations can be downloaded. You can also view photos from the workshop here. One Earth wrote three of the four background papers: #1: “Sustainable Consumption and Production” (PDF 888 kb); #2: “Green Building Key Topics” (PDF 184 kb); #3: “Existing Canada – U.S. Collaboration on Green Building” (PDF 324 kb). UNEP produced the fourth paper on International Processes on SCP (PDF 123 kb).
One Earth Director Bill Rees set the stage for an international panel on Eco-Footprints and Solid Waste at the United Nations, during a side event hosted by One Earth with UN-Habitat, Worldwatch Institute and UNEP. At least 65 delegates came to hear from the speakers during the UN’s 18th Commission on Sustainable Development. Erik Assadourian, Director of Worldwatch Institute’s 2010 report, launched it here: State of the World 2010: Transforming Cultures from Consumerism to Sustainability.
UN Habitat’s Nairobi-based programme manager Graham Alabaster showed how waste has a different context in developing countries, which was brought to bear by speakers Mwalim Ali Mwalim and Cesar Castaneda, from the governments of Zanzibar and Nicaragua respectively. In developing countries, consumer goods – including those being produced from or for foreign markets – are causing problems in their landfills, for instance because of toxics. Juliet Schor – co-Founder of the Center for a New American Dream – wrapped up the panel by talking about “conspicuous waste” where as products become cheaper and cheaper, there are rising levels of waste, as seen in the garment industry. The side event was called: Eco-Footprints and Solid Waste: Making Tracks to Achieve Sustainable Patterns of Production and Consumption. The pamphlet is here.
Emmanuel Prinet, Vanessa Timmer and Bill Rees are taking part in the UN Commission on Sustainable Development meeting (2-14 May 2010), which includes a focus on sustainable consumption and production (SCP). Emmanuel, selected by the Canadian Environmental Network (RCEN), is the official nongovernmental organization (NGO) representative on the Canadian delegation. He and Vanessa are engaged in shaping the NGO position on SCP, and Vanessa is presenting in the inter-governmental plenary on behalf of the NGOs in the Interlinkages dialogue. Bill Rees is part of a high-level expert workshop on the green economy and sustainability with the UN Division on Sustainable Development. Bill is also speaking at the United Nations as part of a side event which One Earth is co-hosting on “Eco-footprints and Solid Waste: Making tracks to achieve sustainable patterns of production and consumption” with the Worldwatch Institute, UN-Habitat and UNEP.
One Earth was a partner in the Gaining Ground conference (Resilient Cities: Urban Strategies for Transition Times, Vancouver, Oct 20-22), helping cities manage transition times. North American cities are facing transformational challenges in sustainability, economy, and urban management, leaving them scrambling to comprehend and manage the shift toward ecological practices and greater resilience.
The conference advances thinking on innovation in sustainability governance and best current practices for managing sustainable urban systems; capturing opportunities in the green economy; building widespread sustainability collaborations that engage the community level. Bill Rees presented a keynote address in which he outlined a vision of a self-reliant, self-producing eco-regional city states which differ fundamentally from the parasitic modern city.
One Earth hosted a workshop building on this keynote presentation entitled “Rethinking the Good Life in Cities” which featured Bill, Vanessa and Nicole from One Earth as well as Vincent Tan (VP, Ayala Land) and Mariken van Nimwegen (Graphic Recorder). The workshop addressed the question: how can we redesign our cities to be regenerative and resilient with healthy, vibrant communities, economies and lifestyles? It also explored ‘how’ we can work more effectively on complex, systemic issues like transforming our cities, including some cutting-edge methods and ‘social technologies’ currently being tested in the field.
Find out what One Earth is doing to further its mission.