IUCN Meeting Discusses New Paradigm for Sustainable Development

18 March 2011: The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) held a gathering on 18 March 2011, at its headquarters in Switzerland, to discuss “how to collectively generate a constructive development paradigm that reflects the ways in which the world has changed in the 20 years since the Rio Earth Summit," in the words of Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General.

The discussions will inform IUCN's recommendations to the UN Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Global Sustainability (GSP). Participants included IUCN member organizations, Commissions and Secretariat, experts on sustainable development from various organizations and sectors, and representatives of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Secretariat of the GSP.

Participants argued that: the world's current economic model cannot lead to sustainable development, but the resources do exist for the world to develop sustainably and for society to be transformed; and eradicating poverty and creating sustainable livelihoods are key to achieving sustainable development.

The discussions will form the basis for recommendations on implementing sustainable development in the 21st century. The recommendations will be made available to the GSP to help prepare its final report to the UN Secretary-General, at the end of 2011. The document also will be distributed to IUCN's members, in particular to governments, to help them prepare their own input to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20). [IUCN News Release]