Rio+20 activities and resources

Following Rio+20, our work on science and technology for development continues. On this page:

New paper | High-Level Dialogue | Resource Centre | Media coverage | Press releases  | Green grabs | Activities | Events  | Blog | Hopes for Rio videos |  Newsletter

Transforming Innovation for Sustainability

A new paper, co-authored by the STEPS Centre, Stockholm Resilience Centre and Tellus Institute calls for a radical new approach to innovation, connecting global and grassroots innovation. The paper was published in Ecology and Society and discussed at a major panel debate in Rio on 16 June.

High-Level Dialogue on Global Sustainability

STEPS Centre director Melissa Leach was a High-level Participant in the High-level Dialogue on Global Sustainability: Tipping the scales towards sustainability – The Future We Choose, organised by the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability (GSP) Fundaçao Brasileira para o Desenvolvimento Sustentável and The Elders.

Based on key messages developed at the previous Nobel Laureates Symposia and the GSP report, the dialogues in Rio resulted in a declaration, The Future We Choose, consisting of a science-based message on global sustainability being presented to decision-makers, civil society and the media. This declaration highlights the importance of a science-based approach to sustainable development and the need for policy and decision-makers to acknowledge science if the world chooses a more sustainable path.

During the closed High-Level Dialogue on 17 June Melissa made contributions for the Declaration alongside others including Tarja Halonen and Jim Leape. Melissa contributed ideas around innovation and the importance of direction, distribution and diversity.

The declaration was then presented formally to the Executive Co-ordinator of Rio+20, Brice Lalonde, in an open dialogue session in RioCentro, and discussed publicly in a day-long session on 18 June at which speakers included Gro Harlem Brundtland, Rajendra Pachauri, several nobel laureates, and a debate involving youth representatives. A representative from the High-Level Panel will be present at each of four roundtable discussions during the Rio+20 summit itself to feed in key messages from the declaration.

Beyond Rio Resource Centre

Experts, publications and resources from STEPS, IDS, SPRU and University of Sussex aligned to the two themes and seven critical issues identified by the UN for Rio+20.

Media coverage

Rio+20 – science, politics and environment

Press releases

Activities and contributions to the Rio process

Green Grabs: Appropriating Nature

“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 STEPS research published ahead of Rio+20 has found.


STEPS Rio+20 Diary – for full details see STEPS Centre Rio info sheet 

Post Rio+ STEPS has been represented at the following events:

  • After Rio+20: Moving Beyond 2015, part of the ‘Campaign for a Global Citizen’s Movement for Sustainable Development’ Ramapo College of New Jersey, US. 15 – 19 October 2012
  • Post-Rio multi-stakeholder strategy meeting, organized by UNEP in partnership with UNDESA, Stakeholder Forum and The Green Economy Coalition. 20-12 October 2012
  • Meeting to discuss the post-2015 agenda convened by The Independent Research Forum, an international group of think tanks bridging the SDG and MDG agendas which is holding a two day meeting convened by IIED. 17-18 October 2012
  • UNESCO International Symposium on Accelerating Innovation in Developing Countries at World Innovation Forum 2012
  • STEPS-hosted panel at Globelics 2012, on ‘post-crisis STI policies for a green and fair economy’ involving some manifesto partners
  • OECD event 6th Conference on Micro Evidence on Innovation in Developing Economies (MEIDE) focussing on the post-Rio+20 grassroots/ hybrid innovation paper being written for Environment and Planning C (see publications below)

Rio+20 on the STEPS Centre blog

All our news, views and updates on Rio+20 on the STEPS Centre blog including:

Video: Hopes for Rio+20

We’re asking people  – practitioners, activists, academics, journalists, business people – to tell us what sustainable development issue they want to see addressed at the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June. Professor Bina Agarwal, journalist Fred Pearce and Oxfam’s Phil Bloomer among those giving us their one big hope for Rio+20. Contribute your own hopes for Rio+20 by commenting on our blog or by getting in touch.