Back 31.10.2011

European experts contributed to global sustainability challenges

The Rio +20 Regional Workshop for Europe organised in Finland addressed the need for concrete sustainability targets and the role of experts in developing knowledge on sustainable development.

The Rio +20 Regional Workshop for Europe, organised 12–14 October in Helsinki, brought together scientists and policymakers from Europe to discuss the main themes of Rio +20 Summit from the point of view of the European scientific and technological community. The themes of the workshop were a green economy in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development, institutional framework for sustainable development, as well as new and emerging challenges.

The final statement of the conference is yet to be finalized in the coming weeks but the draft version includes several recommendations. They emphasize Europe’s and North America’s responsibility in contributing to global sustainability challenges, concrete targets that should be translated into international and national law, addressing issues of population and lifestyle in dealing with urbanization, and the need for better interdisciplinary and innovative research in addressing complex and partly interconnected crisis’s such as the food, climate, energy and water crisis.

“To tackle the global sustainability challenges and reach the ambitious recommendations of the workshop, the world needs bold political commitment and concrete solutions that really work and can be monitored. The role of experts is essential when looking for such innovative and tangible sustainability solutions that also combine knowledge of different actors such as the research community, corporate world, authorities and the non-governmental sector ”, says Gaia’s Senior Consultant Alina Pathan, who attended the workshop as one of the 60 participants invited to attend the workshop.

The workshop organised in Helsinki was one of the five regional science and technology workshops that are taking place in 2011. Overall, the workshops form an integral part of ICSU’s (International Council of Science) and UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) preparations for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio +20 Summit arranged in June 2012. The positions of the Rio+20Regional Workshop for Europe will give input to the European intergovernmental Regional Preparatory Meeting, which will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 1 to 2 December 2011 and furthermore to the Rio+20 Summit.

Background of the Rio+20 Regional Workshop for Europe

The Rio+20 Summit homepage

For further information:

  • Pasi Rinne, Chairman of the Board, Gaia Group, tel. +41 79 472 6909,