• Lead-organizer: United Nations University (UNU)
  • 13:30 - 15:00
  • Date: 15 Jun 2012
  • Room: T-6

Global Governance Mechanisms for Boosting Green Innovation

Organizing partners

United Nations University (UNU)


It is expected that the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development will lead to stronger political commitment by countries, major groups and international organizations for forging a credible institutional framework for a more sustainable development across the globe. Policies and action plans need to be formulated to steer the mainstream economy towards a greener path that can address the twin challenges of climate change and eradication of poverty. However, we need more innovation capacity to generate tools and mechanisms to transform broad concepts into practical results for the implementation of such commitments. This side event will discuss how we can develop international mechanisms to boost the capacity of societies to innovate in order to achieve the goals of sustainable development.

Detailed programme

The United Nations University (UNU) is committed to contributing innovative solutions to key emerging issues of global concern in the area of sustainable development. Based on UNU?s experience, the capacity of societies to innovate locally is essential to generate viable global solutions. Thus, within the scope of the two main themes proposed for the conference, the speakers will discuss two points related to innovation should be highlighted during Rio+20.

The first point is to create mechanisms to identify and generate Innovative Solutions, both technological and institutional, that will have large positive impacts on societies. Those innovations have to cut across sectors and regions and lead to radical impacts on the way our societies use environmental resources and distribute its benefits. Incremental small changes towards sustainable development are still important, but only with more radical changes can we achieve suggested international goals, such as reductions in greenhouse gas emissions or preservation of biodiversity, in order to avoid future unsustainable paths. Thus, besides the effective implementation of individual projects and programmes, innovative initiatives with much larger impact are necessary.

The second point is to create governance mechanisms that facilitate the dynamic exchange of knowledge and resources locally and globally to generate and diffuse the innovative solutions we need for radical changes. We have to create mechanisms that facilitate the development of local innovation capacities in order to scale up innovations. As many of the solutions to global concerns emerge at the local level, we require local and global efforts to create the capacity to innovate locally and spread those innovations globally to those who need them. Local groups must be able to adopt the best technologies for their local needs, absorb new technologies and create the institutional mechanisms to increase their benefits. Thus, we need to understand global mechanisms that facilitate the diffusion of knowledge and resources to enable the development and dissemination of good local solutions to other localities in a fair, effective and efficient manner.

The speakers will also discuss the viability of an international forum or agency on sustainable innovation that could coordinate the efforts to govern, promote, identify and diffuse sustainable innovations, both technological and institutional, which would be essential to accelerate the implementation of the sustainable development agenda.

Session Agenda:

Chair: Prof. Govindan Parayil, Vice-Rector of the United Nations University (UNU) and Director of the UNU Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS), Japan

Speakers (10-12 minutes each)
? Professor Cristovam Buarque, Senator of the Brazilian Congress and head of the Rio+20 Senate Commission, Brazil & Member of the UNU Council
? Professor Paulo Alcantara Gomes, President of the Rio de Janeiro?s Technology Network (REDETEC) and the State Education Council, and Member of the UNU-IAS Board
? Professor Jakob Rhyner, UNU Vice Rector in Europe and Director of the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), Bonn, Germany
? Dr. Timothy Afful-Koomson, Environmental Policy Fellow at the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA), Accra, Ghana
? Dr. Jamal Hisham Hashim, Research Fellow at the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
? Dr. Josť A. Puppim de Oliveira, Assistant Director and Senior Research Fellow, UNU-IAS, Japan

After the event UNU will host a book launch and reception in the UNU booth in the Athlete?s Park, (TBC)

Launch of book Green Economy and Good Governance for Sustainable Development: Opportunities, Promises and Concerns (UNU Press).
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