In June 2012 the international policymaking community, scientists, the private sector, NGOs and other groups gathered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon touted it as, “...one of the most important global meetings on sustainable development in our time.” 20 years after the historic Earth Summit in 1992, the so-called Rio+20 Conference focused on two themes: a Green Economy in the context of sustainable development poverty eradication; and the institutional framework for sustainable development.
IHDP contributed to the issues on the Rio+20 agenda in various ways. It was one of the organizers of the major international conference “Planet Under Pressure” that provided scientific leadership towards Rio+20. IHDP launched the first Inclusive Wealth Report (IWR) at the Summit, to astounding resonance from the international media and decision-making community. A joint initiative with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the report inspired a lively discussion at the conference and after. It was mentioned in hundreds of news outlets, and was download more than 160,000 times over the first three weeks after its launch.
Regarding sustainable development as one the central Earth Summit issues, the work of one of IHDP’s core projects is particularly relevant: the Earth System Governance Project. The urgent need for more effective governance systems is a challenge for the ESG that defines Earth System Governance as the interrelated and increasingly integrated system of formal and informal rules, rule-making systems, and actor-networks at all levels of human society (from local to global) that are set up to steer societies towards preventing, mitigating, and adapting to global and local environmental change and, in particular, earth system transformation, within the normative context of sustainable development.
Additionally, IHDP was represented by its executive director, Prof. Anantha Kumar Duraiappah at the Forum on Science, Technolog and Innovation for Sustainable Development, and by Science Officer of the Secretariat, Dr. Pablo Muñoz at the 12th Biennial Conference of the International Society for Ecological Economics.