How to advance sustainable development

By Devex Editor 14 May 2012

Rio+Solutions is a global conversation about the key challenges expected to feature prominently at Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development June 20-22, 2012.


This conversation is about the solutions to those challenges. And, we want to hear them from you, the development professional.


“What can we do to jump-start the sustainable future we all want?” asks Sigrid Kaag, U.N. assistant secretary-general and assistant administrator with the U.N. Development Program’s Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy. “Here are some ideas. At the outset we will need to make sure that future development solutions are inclusive, sustainable and resilient. To these ends, integrating the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development will be key. We need to reconsider a wide range of policy instruments ranging from energy policies, employment strategies, and the promotion of socially responsible, green investments. Addressing the gradual phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies, redirecting investments into green jobs, and having sound social safety net policies will be steps that would need to be taken. With the support of the private sector, we can ensure these efforts are profitable, sustainable and inclusive. Civil society engagement at all levels is critical in mobilizing support and ensure the voices of citizens are heard and taken into account!”


Being part of the conversation is easy. Here are three ways you can participate:


  1. Read the articles below, and watch out for more guest opinions in the coming days from some of the world’s greatest thinkers and doers on issues such as sustainability and the green economy.
  2. Discuss. You can be part of the conversation by sharing your thoughts on the Devex Facebook page or Tweet to hashtag #RioPlusSolutions.
  3. Share Rio+Solutions content with your own networks to keep the conversation going.


Here are just some of the leading thinkers and doers who have commented on Rio+Solutions:


The future with mHealth

By Alain Labrique, director of the Johns Hopkins Global mHealth Initiative

Mobile technologies have revolutionized how health care is delivered around the globe. The aid community can better harness their power. Read more.


The future we want is corruption-free

By Lisa Ann Elges, program manager for the climate governance program at Transparency International

It’s hard to figure out how much money is being spent on climate change initiatives - and what it is being spent on. That needs to change. Read more.


What Rio+20 means for foreign aid

By Rebecca Webber, correspondent for Devex

All eyes this week are on Rio, where world leaders will attend the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development. For the aid community, the partnerships struck on the sidelines may prove as seminal as the summit’s official declaration. Read more.


Small gadgets, big impact: Fighting poverty through innovation

By Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen, CEO of Vestergaard Frandsen

Climate change, health and development are inseparable. Read more.


Help ensure the ‘future we want’ is a bright one

By Dave ‘Phoenix’ Farrell, bassist and backup vocalist for Linkin Park

The solutions are here, now let’s ensure there’s political and financial will to implement them. Read more.


A hopeful start for our oceans

By Fabien Cousteau, founder of Plant A Fish

Hope is the entire reason our species has survived beyond all odds, and it could be our oceans’ savior if we use it as fuel for immediate action. Read more.


Health workers are change agents

By Pape Gaye, president and CEO of IntraHealth International

The sustainable development of prosperous communities isn’t possible without adequate health care. Read more.


The future women want

By Nanette Braun, chief of communications and advocacy at U.N. Women

Sustainable development should reduce women’s poverty and lower the harmful impact on health and the environment. Read more.


From relief to resilience

By Rajiv Shah, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development

As we maintain our enduring commitment to humanitarian assistance, we can use it to achieve long-term results. Read more.


Catastrophes and climate change: Innovations in index-based micro(re)insurance

By Alex Bernhardt, founder and manager of Guy Carpenter’s GC Micro Risk Solutions group, and Simon Young, CEO of CaribRM

Despite its various detractors and setbacks, microcredit remains an incredibly valuable tool in the international economic development tool chest. Read more.


Let’s not make the same mistakes again

By Caleb McClennen, director of marine conservation at the Wildlife Conservation Society

Mismanagement has long plagued fisheries in the waters of industrialized countries, and production in developing countries has begun to fill the gap. Read more.


The necessary allies: Jobs and environment

By Bill Drayton, CEO of Ashoka and chair of Get America Working

The single most effective way to increase jobs and protect the environment is to eliminate payroll taxes and substitute taxes on materials, energy, land and pollution. Read more.


Water: The means to end poverty

By Barbara Frost, chief executive of WaterAid

Water is fundamental to human progress, and it plays a critically important role in food security, economic growth, resource scarcity and climate change. Read more.


Supporting food security through remote sensing technology

By Michael Anthony, head of microinsurance and food security at Allianz Reinsurance

Using data from space to analyze matters on Earth has become more common lately. Here’s one public-private partnership that’s using such data for the common good. Read more.


Food security, climate change and global resource scarcity

By Stephen O’Brien, U.K. parliamentary under-secretary of state for international development

Ensuring the planet produces enough food for all in a sustainable way will be a real challenge, and climate change will hamper our efforts if it is not tackled. Read more.


Marrying rights-based and market-based approaches to sustainable food

By Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance

The size and power of global markets serve to scale up sustainability certification’s positive impacts. Read more.


Cities will determine success after Rio+20

By Shin-pei Tsay, director of cities and transportation in the energy and climate program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Since the first Rio conference on sustainable development 20 years ago, the world population has become majority urban. Read more.


Sustainable energy for all: A worthy goal

By Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The subject of sustainable energy has relevance to every sector of the global economy and every section of human society. Read more.


The business case for going solar

By Carl Pope, former executive director and chairman of the Sierra Club

The key to low-carbon development in the emerging economies — and to energy access and development for all — is to get the numbers right, and invest our resources for leverage. Read more.


Sustainable energy solutions from the grassroots

By Harish Hande, co-founder of Selco-India

Why wait for longer-term centralized energy access solutions for the poor when smaller-scale, decentralized solutions can be implemented now? Read more.


Sustainable development is not possible without sustainable energy

By Kandeh K. Yumkella, UNIDO director-general and co-chair of the U.N. secretary-general’s High Level Group on Sustainable Energy for All

Delivering sustainable energy to all requires partnership among governments, the private sector and civil society. Read more.


Rio+Solutions: UN Foundation and Devex launch sustainable development campaign

How do we provide energy, health care and other services to people around the world as the population grows and resources dwindle? It’s a challenge that will be front and center this June at Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Read more.


Tell us what you think! Comment below or tweet to @devex with #RioPlusSolutions, and catch up on other Rio+Solutions content here or on Facebook.


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