Linking global and local sustainability: new journal article

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in 2012 was another opportunity to reflect on the links between global and local sustainability. High-profile global processes, including the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and others, have aimed to unite action at a global level to address sustainability challenges….

Democracy in the Anthropocene? Science and Sustainable Development Goals at the UN

Melissa Leach, STEPS Centre director, was one of 28 scientists invited to attend a United Nations Expert Meeting to discuss science and Sustainable Development Goals. She reflects on the issues addressed, the process involved and asks whether a dangerous new world of undisputed scientific authority and anti-democratic politics lies ahead. Read about Melissa’s experience of the United Nations…

STEPS Symposium 2013: Beyond Rio+20 – Improving global structures for scientific advice

Lidia Brito.Photo: Lance Bellers Guest blog by Ruth Segal, Doctoral Researcher, SPRU  In recent years, global initiatives have attempted to co-ordinate scientific advice and assessments – on climate change, biodiversity and agriculture, among other topics. The second day of the STEPS Symposium on the global politics of scientific advice opened with a panel looking at…

3 challenges for science and democracy after Rio+20

Rally to Restore Sanity, from Steve Rhodes’ photostream on Flickr (by-nc-nd) By Melissa Leach, STEPS Centre director When sustainability poses complex and often tangled questions, how do we answer them? In international circles before, at and since Rio, we’re seeing strong arguments for a science-led agenda – from Earth System Science and planetary boundaries, to…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Sustainable business in India: challenges for Rio+20

By Ian Scoones India has seen unprecedented economic growth in recent years; yet with this comes a growing demand for resources and increased pressure on the environment. But how can we combine business success and broad-based economic growth with environmental sustainability? This is a major challenge for fast-growing emerging economies such as India. As the…