Green Grabs explained: radio interview with Melissa Leach

Last week, our director Melissa Leach was interviewed about green grabs – the appropriation of land for environmental ends – by Brent Bambury of the Canadian station CBC Radio. Here’s a direct link to the interview, and you can stream the audio below, after the jump. Green grabs: appropriating nature – STEPS Centre website

Harnessing diversity across the global innovation system: a key challenge post Rio+20

By Adrian Ely, Head of Impact and Engagement, STEPS Centre Technology and innovation feature prominently in what looks likely to be the final outcome document from Rio+20, however the diversity of new ideas that can contribute to sustainable development remains underappreciated. Mark Stafford-Smith, co-chair of the ‘Planet Under Pressure’ conference that was held in London…

Opening up Sustainable Development decision-making at the UN?

By Adrian Ely, in Rio de Janeiro The Rio+20 conference has been enriched by a process to engage civil society  the Rio+20 Dialogues forSustainable Development.  While innovative and pioneering approaches like this should be encouraged, there is much room for improvement in the future. The Rio Dialogues were initiated in April by the Government of…

The slippery nature of ‘water grabbing’

Large-scale land acquisitions for agricultural investment, popularly known as ‘land grabbing’, have recently attracted headline attention.  But the implications of these land grabs for water resources have stayed out of the spotlight until now.  A special issue of the journal Water Alternatives, with a focus on water grabbing, contains 14 new articles which draw on…

Video: listening to different views on sustainability

To mark the week of the Rio+20 conference, our funders ESRC have produced a series of short films looking at what social sciences are contributing to environmental research across a range of areas – from consumer habits and employment, to poverty and global development. “Sustainable world” features STEPS Centre director Melissa Leach, explaining how the…

Where is the green economy? Audio interview with Tim Jackson

Here’s a treat for those looking for Rio+20 listening material: an interview with Prof Tim Jackson (author of Prosperity without Growth), talking about the future of the green economy. The interviewer is Adrian Ely, Head of Impact and Engagement at the STEPS Centre. Where is the green economy? An interview with Professor Tim Jackson by…

Transforming innovation for sustainability

A radical new approach to science and innovation is urgently needed to steer us within planetary boundaries and secure human wellbeing, fostering diverse types of innovation and empowering the grassroots creativity of poorer people. As the world gears up for the Rio+20 Earth Summit, many are pinning hopes on a set of sustainable development goals…

Press release: Single-track sustainability ‘solutions’ threaten people and planet

Fostering grassroots innovations and empowering the creativity of marginalized groups can boost sustainability The targets, indicators and approaches being used to pursue progress towards sustainable development at Rio+20 are counter-productive, say scientists in a new paper. Goals focussing on one-track scientific solutions to the most urgent sustainability problems fail to respond to the uncertainty and…

Press release: Green grabs: the dark side of the green economy

Green’ market initiatives are increasing poverty. Local ecosystem stewardship must be nurtured instead. ‘Green grabbing’ –  the rapidly-growing appropriation of land and resources in the name of ‘green ’ biofuels, carbon offsetting schemes, conservation efforts  and eco-tourism initiatives – is forcing people from their homelands and increasing poverty, new research has found. Ecosystems being ‘asset-stripped’…

Influencing the Rio+20 outcome document

By Melissa Leach The STEPS Centre submitted a position paper to the Rio+20 zero draft preparation process, in which we argued that science, technology and innovation have essential roles to play in sustainability. But science is not enough: A radical new approach to innovation is urgently needed giving far greater recognition and power to poorer people’s own…