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Editor's Note: Looking Ahead: Climate and UNCSD on the Horizon 

Issue #174 | 31 August 2011

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

As the 2011 Northern summer comes to a close, we are planning for a very busy final four months of the year.

As in recent years, climate change negotiations will again receive a great deal of attention during the final months of 2011. Three weeks of negotiations – the first week of October in Panama City, Panama, and two weeks beginning at the end of November in Durban, South Africa – as well as numerous formal and informal meetings will seek to build on the agreements reached last December at the conclusion of the Cancun Climate Change Conference. Of particular, and more immediate, interest to many following these negotiations will be the 11-13 September meeting of the Transitional Committee for the Green Climate Fund, which was called for in the Cancun Agreements to develop and recommend for approval to the Durban Climate Change Conference a number of operational documents for that Fund.

The regional preparations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) will also take place during the next four months, beginning with the UNCSD Regional Preparatory Meeting for Latin America and the Caribbean, from 7-9 September in Santiago, Chile. The 20 September UNGA High-Level Event on Desertification will also feed into the UNCSD process, as will many other consultations, to develop inputs to the compilation document before the 1 November deadline for submissions, and to plan for and build on the preparations for the June 2012 event.

At IISD Reporting Services, we will be fielding teams to the UNCSD regional preparatory meetings, the Panama and Durban Climate Change Conferences and many more meetings. We are also working on a number of enhancements to and partnerships related to our knowledgebases. In particular, today marks the beginning of a special partnership between IISD and the SIDS Unit of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, to feed up-to-date information on the sustainable development of SIDS to SIDSnet, as part of its revitalization.