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).
One Earth organized a successful side event at the UN’s 19th Commission on Sustainable Development in New York on May 9, 2011, on the topic “A North American Approach to Sustainable Consumption and Production”. The idea behind the event was to have civil society, governments and other stakeholders present their latest efforts to promote sustainable patterns of consumption and production in Canada and the United States.
Vanessa Timmer, One Earth Executive Director, facilitated the event, and Emmanuel Prinet, Policy Director, presented the North American Actor & Activity Map on Sustainable Consumption and Production (see February 22nd, 2011, news item). Other speakers included: Holly Palen, Senior Policy Analyst, Sustainability Directorate, Environment Canada; Derry Allen, Counselor, Office of Strategic Environmental Management, Office of Policy, US EPA; Hilary French, Programme Officer, UNEP RONA, USA; and Jeffrey Barber, Executive Director, Integrative Strategies Forum.
A whole network of actors has built around SCP, whether this work is undertaken by government and its agencies, the business sector and industry associations, not‐for‐profit organizations and grassroots community groups – individually or through various forms of collaboration. They work on, for example, redefining progress and the measure of true wealth and prosperity, local self‐reliance, socially responsible investment, green public procurement, industrial ecology, life‐cycle analysis, extended producer responsibility, corporate social responsibility, cradle‐to‐cradle design, eco-labelling, sustainable consumption research, sustainable lifestyles and zero waste. The report gives more detail on the work being done across the system. Having a model of the system is a good starting point to discuss the interrelationships, for example between consumption and needs / values.
Email emmanuel at oneearthweb (dot) org for more information. With thanks to Lisa Hemmingway (Backyard Creative) for her design work on this project, and to Nichole Borgal for the cover page.
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).
On 12 January, One Earth and the City of Vancouver co-hosted a dynamic workshop to explore strategies and actions to arrive at a ‘one planet’ Footprint, with a 2020 target of reducing Vancouver’s per capita footprint by 33%. Participants included members of Vancouver’s Lighter Footprint Committee and other community leaders, thinkers, practitioners and creative communicators. The workshop started with a future visioning exercise led by strategic foresight specialist and One Earth Senior Associate, Nicole Anne Boyer.
We identified common patterns and differences, as well as the most powerful levers of change. This informed group feedback on Vancouver’s Greenest City actions in each of 10 goal areas. We discussed engagement strategies and tactics that will move Greenest City implementation more broadly out in to the community, as well as enable the City to implement the actions that they are most responsible for (http://www.talkgreentous.ca/). We were joined by Stina Brown, graphic facilitator, who captured the dialogue in graphic visualizations. The workshop piloted elements of a future visioning and cultural change process being undertaken at the North American scale within One Earth’s Rethinking the Good Life project.
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 Director Vanessa Timmer is speaking at the De-Growth Conference in Vancouver on the 1st of May. The De-growth conference builds on similar conferences that have been held in Paris and Barcelona, and examine what a viable economic, social and ecological system will look like. ”The evidence is overwhelming that unlimited industrial growth is no longer possible. Our challenge now is to find ways to shrink the overall size of the economy without creating unemployment and poverty.” Vanessa’s presentation focuses on applying our knowledge of social change to inform the de-growth movement, and on sharing One Earth’s projects and United Nations activities.
One Earth is leading the theme, "Rethinking the Good Life", at this year’s Media That Matters conference (Hollyhock on Cortes Island, BC, May 19-23). MtM is one of North America’s most unique and intimate media gatherings for traditional and new media — four days of open dialogue, trend-spotting and transformative ideas. For One Earth’s theme: What if we reinvented how we consumed and produced things in a way that enriches all aspects of our lives—our ecologies, economies, and social life? What would this future reality look like? What would it take to make this happen? These are critical questions we must answer. How can we engage media to co-create and communicate this new story?
You can read the NGO and Youth reports for the CSD-18 (May 2010), CSD-19 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting (March 2011), the Second Preparatory Committee for Rio+20 (PrepCom 2), and CSD-19 (May 2011) here: http://rcen.ca/public-participation/engo-and-youth-delegates-to-the-un-commission-on-sustainable-development
For more information on the Commission on Sustainable Development, please visit http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/csd.html.
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