From Green Economy for Business to Preventing Future Famine: Highlights of UNEP Press Events at Rio+20 Wed, Jun 13, 2012

Rio de Janeiro, 13 June 2012 - From setting forth the business case for the green economy to strengthening the ecological basis of food security, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and its partners...

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Rio de Janeiro, 13 June 2012 - From setting forth the business case for the green economy to strengthening the ecological basis of food security, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and its partners are hosting more than a dozen media launches and events at Rio+20.

Delegates at Rio+20 will focus on the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and building the institutional framework for sustainable development. UNEP is continuing its leading role in the green economy dialogue through the events listed below (all times local).


Thursday, June 14

Report Launch - Building an Inclusive Green Economy for All

Despite global development progress, some 1.3 billion people are living on less than $1.25 per day, with 900 million facing hunger. Efforts to tackle poverty are being compounded by the continued degradation of ecosystems and the effects of climate change, to which poor communities are often most vulnerable.

Building an Inclusive Green Economy for All from the Poverty-Environment Partnership, of which UNEP is a member, will set out the major opportunities for reducing poverty, promoting economic growth and ensuring environmental sustainability through the transition to a green economy.

Time                                       Venue

13.00-13.30                             UN Media Centre, Pavilion 3, Riocentro


Kitty van der Heijden, Ambassador for Sustainable Development, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Netherlands;

Peter Hazlewood, World Resources Institute.

Saturday, June 16

Report Launch - GEO-5 for Local Government

A raft of transformative and inspiring policies by local government, which can assist in creating a sustainable 21st century, are spotlighted in a report to be released by ICLEI - Local Government for Sustainability and UNEP.

Global Environment Outlook 5 (GEO-5) for Local Government cites dozens of policies, from Cap and Trade systems in Tokyo to environmental management in Windhoek, Namibia, that show transformative action at a local level can feed into global goals and slow or halt environmental degradation. The report makes recommendations that can support the work of local government and help transfer their successful policies to other cities and countries.

Time                                       Venue

09.00-10.30                             Belo Horizonte


Margarita Astrálaga, Regional Director, UNEP Regional Office for Latin America & the Caribbean;

Simon Upton, Environment Director, OECD;

Konrad Otto-Zimmermann, Secretary General, ICLEI.

Report Launch - The Business Case for the Green Economy:

Businesses are set to leverage benefits worth hundreds of millions of dollars, from significant savings and high return on investment to new jobs and growth opportunities, should they make the transition towards a resource efficient green economy.

The report uses compelling economic and scientific data and a wide-ranging collection of real-life case studies to demonstrate the advantages for the financial bottom-line of the green economy in action.

Time                                       Venue

13.00-13.30                             UN Media Centre, Pavilion 3, Riocentro


George Kell, Executive Director, UN Global Compact;

Mark Lee, Executive Director, Sustainability;

Steve Waygood, Chief Investment, Aviva.

Sunday, June 17

Report Launch - Inclusive Wealth Report 2012

There has been growing recognition that countries must look beyond the traditional macroeconomic yardsticks of Gross Domestic Product and the Human Development Index to include the various components that make up the productive base of a country to promote sustainability.

The Inclusive Wealth Report 2012, a joint initiative by the United Nations University's International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (UNU-IHDP) and UNEP introduces the Inclusive Wealth Index. This index measures the wealth of nations by looking into a country's full-range of assets, including manufactured, human and natural capital, and aims to encourage governments to consider the total value of their productive base, including natural resources.

Time                                       Venue

11.30-12.00                             UN Media Centre, Pavilion 3, Riocentro


Professor Anantha Duraiappah, UNU-IHDP Executive Director; 

Pushpam Kumar, Chief of Ecosystem Services Economics Unit, UNEP;

Dr. Pablo Munoz, Science Director Inclusive Wealth Report 2012, UNU-IHDP.

Monday, June 18

Launch of Global Initiative for Resource-Efficient Cities and Related Reports

With over half of the global population now living in urban areas, cities are increasingly facing the challenge of ensuring decent standards of living for their inhabitants, despite growing pressures on natural resources and ecosystems.

UNEP will unveil a new initiative to support cities worldwide in efforts to introduce measures that can spur inclusive economic growth and reduce poverty, while ensuring sustainable levels of consumption and production.

UNEP will also launch two related reports. The first analyzes the underlying drivers of environmental change affecting cities and strategies for overcoming such challenges. The second will provide a review of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and its possible application for city-based projects. 

Time                                       Venue

13.00-13.30                             UN Media Centre, Pavilion 3, Riocentro


Aguinaldo Ribeiro, Minister for Cities, Brazil

Sylvie Lemmet, Director, UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics;

Ambassador Masahiko HORIE, Special Assistant to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan;

Eckart Wuerzner, Mayor of Heidelberg, EC Covenant of Mayors and Committee of Regions representative;

Herbert Bautista, Mayor of Quezon City (Metro Manila, the Philippines);

Raf Tuts, Coordinator, Urban Planning and Design Branch, UN-HABITAT.

Tuesday, June 19

Launch of Principles for Sustainable Insurance

A transformational set of Principles for Sustainable Insurance - to be launched by the UN Environment Programme and the Insurance industry, the single largest global industry with over US $24 trillion of assets - promises to green the sector and deliver insurance tools for risk management in support of environmental, social and economic sustainability.

The Principles provide a holistic and strategic approach to the management of risks and opportunities associated with issues that range from climate change, extreme weather events and natural disasters to water scarcity, food insecurity, pandemics, human rights and labour standards.

Time                                       Venue

08.00-09.00                             Sofitel, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro


Chief Executives from the Insurance Industry.

Launch of UN Water Status Report

The UN will present results from a major survey - specifically produced for Rio+20 - on the progress of world governments towards reforming the use and management of freshwater resources.

Amid increasing demands on the world's water supply from climate change, urbanization and other factors, the survey provides an in-depth status report on how far countries have come in designing and implementing much-needed reforms to national water plans.

The UN-Water survey - coordinated by UNEP - tracks progress towards integrated water resources management as well as highlighting successes and recommending new measures to help tackle pressures on water resources.

Time                                       Venue

13.00-13.30                             UN Media Centre, Pavilion 3, Riocentro


Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator;

Michel Jarraud, UN-Water Chair.

Wednesday, June 20

Launch of The International Sustainable Public Procurement Initiative

Over 50 countries and organizations are set to join a new UNEP initiative to fast-track a global transition to a Green Economy by harnessing the market-shifting power of government and local authority spending.

The International sustainable Public Procurement Initiative aims to scale up the level of public spending flowing into goods and services that maximize environmental and social benefits.

A range of legal and policy instruments to enable the integration of environmental, economic and social criteria in public procurement has been adopted by countries around the world, from OECD members to emerging markets in Asia and South America. Such measures have the potential to transform a number of economic sectors and re-enforce the emergence of more sustainable products.

Time                                       Venue

13.00-13.30                             UN Media Centre, Pavilion 3, Riocentro


Izabella Teixeira, Minister of Environment, Brazil;

Janz Potocnik, Director of the Environment Commission, EC;

Bruno Oberle, Director, Swiss Environment Federal Office.

Report Launch - Avoiding Future Famines

The world urgently needs to focus on the ecological foundations that support food production to help ensure food security for current and future generations, according to a new UNEP report.

Avoiding Future Famines: Strengthening the Ecological Basis of Food Security through Sustainable Food Systems aims to increase the focus on the resource base and ecosystem services that prop up the whole food system, which are being undermined by intensive human activity such as overfishing and unsustainable water use. The report issues recommendations on storage systems and new food standards to reduce waste, dietary changes and the redesign of sustainable agriculture systems.

Time                                       Venue

13.30-14.00                             UN Media Centre, Pavilion 3, Riocentro


Joseph Alcamo, UNEP Chief Scientist.

Thursday, June 21

Press Conference on Benefits of Switch to Energy-Efficient Lighting

UNEP's en.lighten initiative will launch detailed market assessments of the environmental and economic potential of a switch to efficient lighting for over 130 countries, with savings estimated at $110 billion. In tandem, en.lighten is releasing a new global map that provides an overview of efficient lighting policies around the globe. 

Time                                       Venue

13.00-13.30                             UN Media Centre, Pavilion 3, Riocentro


Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada, Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, Mexico;

TBA, Senior Representative of The Global Environment Facility;

Everton Mello, CEO of OSRAM Brazil;

Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public & Government Affairs,  Philips Lighting.


UNEP will also host numerous side events at its Pavilion in Athletes' Park. Full details are available at the following link:

There follows a list of other selected highlights:

Saturday, June 16

Launch at UNEP Pavilion of Siemens Exhibition 'Technology in Action', Followed By 'Students for Sustainability' Debate

Siemens launches the exhibition Technology in Action, organized in cooperation with Siemens Stiftung. NGOs and social entrepreneurs from across the globe will present initiatives and solutions, such as water-purification systems,access to electricity in isolated regions and actions directed at the health area, such as medical care for Indians in the Amazon.

Shortly after the exhibition, six student teams from four continents will discuss innovative solutions for concrete sustainability deficits with a panel of experts including Joseph Alcamo, UNEP's Chief Scientist, and Jennifer Morgan, Director of Climate and Energy Program, World Resources Institute, Washington DC.

Time                                                   Venue

1500, then 16:30                                 UNEP Pavilion, Athletes' Park


Barbara Kux, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG;

Ulrike Wahl, Managing Director of Siemens Stiftung;

Matthew Gubb, Director of UNEP's International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC).

Sunday, June 17

Inspire, Invest, Innovate: Discussion on Business Case for the Green Economy

Businesses, governments and financial institutions meet to discuss ways in which the private sector can assist in speeding up the transition to the Green Economy, building upon the results of the UNEP report released the previous day.

Time                                                   Venue

09.00-15.30                                         Windsor Barra Hotel


Jochen Zeitz, CEO Sports & Lifestyle Group, Chief Sustainability Officer PPR, Chairman of the Board of PUMA;

Yoon Seung-joon, President, Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute;

Marcelo Takaoka, President, Brazil Sustainable Construction Council.

Presentations from 'Technology in Action' Exhibition

Exhibitors will present their eleven projects, as outlined in launch event above, and hold workshops and presentations for the audience over the following days.

Time                                                   Venue

11.00                                                   UNEP Pavilion, Athlete's Park


Ulrike Wahl, Managing Director of Siemens Stiftung;

Paula Cardenau, Representative of Ashoka Latin America.

Opening of World Congress on Justice, Governance and Law for Environmental Sustainability

Despite the evolution of a large body of environmental law in recent times, only limited progress has been made towards achieving internationally agreed sustainable development goals.

The World Congress on Justice, Governance and Law for Environmental Sustainability will focus on actions needed to overcome the barriers that are impeding the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and other commitments.

Key issues to be addressed at the event will include: tackling the fragmented nature of current environmental governance, exploring relationships between human rights law and environmental law and improving public participation and access to justice.

Time                           Venue

16.00                           Supreme Court of Rio de Janeiro / Palácio da Justiça do Estado do Rio de Janeiro - Fórum Central

Av. Erasmo Braga, 115 - Centro / CEP: 20020-903 - Rua Dom Manuel, 37, Centro


Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court;

Chief Justices of Brazil, Malaysia and Argentina.

Monday, June 18

Side Event: 'Marine litter - preventing our oceans from becoming dumps'

UNEP will host a discussion forum between the plastics industry, advocates, governments and international organizations ahead of the creation of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter, which aims to protect human and environmental health through the reduction and management of marine litter.

Time                                       Venue

10.00-11.45                             Banco de CAIXA - Almirante Barroso auditorium


Vincent Sweeney, GPA Coordinator, UNEP;

Jane Lubchenco, Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US;

Doug Woodring, Co-founder/Director, Oceans Recovery Alliance;

Steve K. Russell, Vice President - Plastics Division, American Chemistry Council;

Mr. Nelson Andrade Colmenares, Coordinator, Caribbean Environment Programme.

For media enquiries and to confirm attendance, please contact:

Nick Nuttall, UNEP Division of Communication and Public Information Acting Director and Spokesperson, Tel. +55 11 6593 8058, +254 733 632 755, e-mail:

Shereen Zorba, Head, UNEP News Desk, and Tel. 254 788 526 000, or e-mail:

Amanda Talamonte (UNEP Brazil) on Tel. +55 61 3038 9237 or Email

UNEP Newsdesk (Nairobi) on Tel. +254 20 762 3088 or Email

Alejandro Laguna,

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