Thursday, 19 July 2012

Sustainable Development is more than the Environment

SLOGA, the Slovenian NGDO platform, has organized on May 23rd 2012, in cooperation with partners and in the light of the upcoming Conference of the United Nations (UN) on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the conference »Sustainable development is more than the environment: Rio+20 and its implications for developing countries«. The event has been designed to increase the visibility of the process of preparations for Rio+20 and its importance for developing countries (DCs).

Slovenian and international preparations for Rio+20, reflecting the government and the NGO perspective, were presented by the following guests: Janos Tisovszky (Director of UN Information Service in Vienna), Ksenija Škrilec (Head of Sector for global challenges), Hélène Debbari (Representative from Eurostep), Živa Gobbo (President of Focus Association for Sustainable Development) and Eyachew Tefera (Director of Institute for African Studies).

After an introduction to the basic purpose and key expectations of the UN from Rio+20, as well as on the Slovenian preparations and official position for Rio+20, NGO representatives commented on the preparations for Rio+20 from their perspective as European development and environmental NGOs.

Mr. Tisovszky of the UN defined as the most important strategic goal, a combination of environmental, economic and social aspects of sustainable development and added to this equality and the fight against poverty. In addition, he stressed the importance of young people and of ensuring the resistance of the population to various global crises. Mrs. Škrilec also considered that is important to include gender and to find long term solutions. Mrs. Debbari continued that equality and development represent goals of sustainable development, but the current situation in the world is far away from the concept of sustainability. Mrs. Gobbo believes that the Rio+20 process on climate is not sufficiently binding, because some developed countries (including Slovenia) do not recognize their responsibilities in this area. The problem is the lack of concrete steps towards a green economy or sustainable development, therefore the solution is seen in a broader understanding of sustainability. Mr. Tefera, who had focused on the issues of sustainable development in developing countries, pointed out the lack of pragmatism and the need for critical evaluation of the MDGs process.

After the conference SLOGA formed with other interested NGOs, a common line for a position on the Rio+20 and forwarded it to the Slovene MFA (Ministry for Foreign Affairs).

In the photo: participants of the conference on Sustainable Development.

Information provided by Mojca Krisper Figueroa, SLOGA

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