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Stockholm Environment Institute's
Global Dialogue
A Forum on Our Sustainable Future
19-21 June, 2000
Expo 2000, Hannover, Germany

Global Dialogue

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Coverage of Tuesday, 20 June
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On Wednesday, 21 June 2000, Global Dialogue participants met in three plenary sessions: the youth vision Plenary on “preparing future decision makers”; a synthesis Plenary of work achieved in the five workshops and to discuss the World Summit 2002; and a closing Plenary to address the platform for the future.

Arno Rosemarin, (right), Communications Director, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) SEI is the organizer of the Global Dialogue on Natural Resources, The Sustainability Challenge.

Youth Vision Plenary

The Youth Visionary Plenary was convened by UNEP, CDG, Volvo Cars and SEI to explore education and training systems to deliver the interdisciplinary skills, know-how and information needed by young people to make informed decision to manage natural resources sustainably, with emphasis on possible synergies between academia and business in preparing young professionals for this task. 

In an opening statement, Bernd Schleich, Managing Director, Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft, said globalization provides the private sector with a unique opportunity to contribute to sustainable development, which can be promoted through education and training.

Leone Samuels, (right), Youth Representative if the Youth Preparatory Retreat, delivered the Vision of Future Decision-makers. 

Debra Colodner, (right), Director, Colombia University Earth Semester, spoke of the role of university in the addressing sustainability. She said higher education could take a lead in environmental issues through partnerships and dialogue and highlighted the mutually beneficial business/university partnership with Volvo.
Petter Halling, (right), from Volvo spoke on partnerships between the private educational institutions.

Dawn Rittenhouse, (right), DuPont Corporation, said DuPont supports interdisciplinary approaches and lifelong learning. She stressed the importance of cross-cultural activities and understanding of social impacts of projects. On partnerships, she stressed the need for corporate interaction with universities. On future challenges, she emphasized the importance of creating business models that increase the economic powers of the developing countries. 

Jakob von Uexkull, (right), Chaired the Plenary.


Lunch hosted by SEI.

Synthesis Plenary

A synthesis Plenary chaired by Claude Fussler, Director, Stakeholders Relations, WBCSD, was organized to resume work achieved in the five workshops.

Norbert Henninger, (right), Senior Associate, World Associate Institute, on people and ecosystems.
On Ecosystems 21, Helmut Woehl, GTZ Senior Advisor in Namibian Desertification Control Programme, Windhoek, outlined the main findings of the workshop and pointed out, inter alia, that there are no blue print solutions for the sustainable management of ecosystems and that programmes and projects need to be tailored to the specific situation.
On Energy 21, Frank Rittner, Programme Manager, GEF-Washington, highlighted findings advocating integration of cleaner energy objectives in energy market reform, a level playing field for all energy sources, stable regulatory frameworks for independent de-central power producers, incentives for investments in cleaner solutions to accelerate markets providing win-win solutions. He underscored the need to unleash the potential of the common wisdom of all cultures and gender around the world and stressed raising the level of education and promoting informed decisions.


On Water 21, Malcolm Mercer, (left), , Director of IUCN Canada, said the workshop had focused on conflicts and challenges, the regional agenda and the role of the private sector. He outlined key points, including: application of an ecosystem approach, inter alia, integrated land and water management; need for political will; establishing partnerships, especially with the private sector and NGOs; and expanding current activities.

On Forests 21 Ola Ullsten, (left), World Commission on Forests for Sustainable Development, said the workshop had emphasized the urgency to act on the forest crisis, highlighting the need to overcome obstacles linked: education; consumer demands on products; governance; and partnerships between government, the private sector, NGOs and civil society.

On Markets 21, Peter White, (left), Procter & Gamble for Corporate Sustainable Development, said the workshop had discussed in length ways for markets to deliver sustainability. He said the workshop had further addressed, inter alia: the value of the commons; effective governance; the need for additional consideration of human rights, labour and the environment; corruption, especially in developing countries; and shared responsibility.

He said panelists conferred on what markets should deliver, including quality of life, eco-efficiency, sustainable consumption, eco-sufficiency and choice, for people to improve their own lives.


Closing Plenary

The closing plenary session, broadcast live, was moderated by Sabine Christiansen (Germany). She invited panelists to present their views on sustainable development and natural resource management. Julia Marton-Lefèvre (Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD), USA) welcomed the younger generation’s interest in environmental issues. Erich Stather (State Secretary, German Ministry for Technical Cooperation and Development) said it is important to define the right model for development and to create partnerships. On globalization, Mohamed T. El-Ashry addressed sustainability and highlighted the role of private sector investment in sustainable development initiatives, dependent on an ability to incorporate long-term perspectives. Björn Stigson acknowledged current inequalities in the global distribution of wealth and advocated support for suitable private and public sector approaches to sustainable development. He identified a need to articulate the issues of sustainable development in business terms and said it is important to set the right incentives.

Jacob von Uexhull (Right Livelihood Award Foundation, Sweden) stressed that globalization has resulted in growing human inequalities and said the private sector and governments are not fulfilling the Rio commitments. Fritz Fahrenholz (Shell, Germany) said developing countries are falling apart and root causes of poverty need to be addressed. He said the public and the media have the power to force transnational corporations concerned about their image to perform sustainably and emphasized globalization as an opportunity for communication and dialogue. Monica Greifahn (MP, Social Democratic Party, Germany) stated that current standards of globalization are based on virtual rather than real values and pointed out the interrelatedness of cultural and environmental values and policies.

Interview of Mohamed T. El Ashry by Violette Lacloche (Sustainable  Developments)

Mohamed T. El Ashry, CEO and Chairman, GEF, said the goal of sustainability had not been reached but that a lot of progress has been made.

Björn Stigson, (right),  WBCSD, said there are many examples illustrating progress and that issues must be translated in business terms.


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