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Editor's Note: Preparation Processes 

Issue #173 | 4 August 2011

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By: Lynn Wagner, Ph.D., Group Director, SDG Knowledge, IISD <>

The final half of 2011 is shaping up to be a very busy period, with formal and informal events convening in the lead up to the annual meeting of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties and preparatory meetings for the Rio+20 event filling the sustainable development calendar.

As in past years, a number of events will feed into the deliberations at the Durban Climate Change Conference, which will convene in November-December 2011 (see our calendar of upcoming climate-related events here). The South African Government has recently announced that it will convene several events, including: with Mexico, a “Leaders' Dialogue on Climate Change” on the margins of the 66th session of the UN General Assembly; a negotiator-level meeting and informal ministerial meeting in September 2011, in South Africa; a stakeholder meeting on 5 September; and a “Pre-COP” Informal Ministerial Consultation on 20-21 October 2011, in South Africa. Meanwhile, the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) has set the agenda for its September meeting: it will serve as a platform for African countries to further consolidate Africa's common negotiating position on climate change ahead of the Durban Climate Change Conference and will discuss Africa's preparations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) in 2012, with a special emphasis on international environmental governance.

The preparations for the UNCSD event may prove to be the largest, albeit unmeasured, outcome of the Rio+20 process. In this social media age, the UN's convening power has acquired additional reach and the number of actors involved with meetings, projects and research organized around the UNCSD's themes is growing. These activities and outreach will no doubt translate into continued attention being paid to these themes through a diversity of networks even after the Rio event is gaveled to a close in June 2012.

Our calendars of UNCSD- and climate-related events can be downloaded to your own electronic calendar and will be updated automatically as new events are announced, to help you keep up with all of the discussions taking place around the UNCSD and climate change themes. And our knowledgebases on climate change and sustainable development will help you keep up with some very busy months as the international community prepares for these upcoming events.