The REC at Rio

June 13, 2012

Organisational strategy in complete harmony with Conference objectives

THROWING A LIFELINE: Rio participants, including the REC, will be doing their best to achieve workable solutions. Illustration: Laszlo Falvay

The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC) plans to make its presence felt at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), scheduled to take place on June 20-22. In addition to attending the high-level Conference talks, various REC delegates will be participating in several key events in the run-up to and during Rio+20. The two primary themes of Rio+20 are 'green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication', and 'building an institutional framework for sustainable development'--which are fully in harmony with the REC's focus on governance for sustainability and green economy, as elaborated in its strategy for 2011-2015.

Bearing in mind that some details remain subject to change, the REC will be participating in the following events at Rio+20:

June 17: 'Investment in Mountains: Opportunities and Challenges'. Organised by UNEP, the goal of this event is to present concrete opportunities and challenges concerning investment in mountain regions. REC Executive Director Marta Szigeti Bonifert will speak about the REC's experience with the issues of sustainable tourism and cross-border cooperation.

June 18: 'General Assembly of the Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development'. Organised by nr4SD, this event will feature a presentation from REC Executive Director Marta Szigeti Bonifert on possibilities for cooperation between nr4SD and the REC.

June 18: 'Towards and beyond Rio+20: Delivering Sustainable Development at the Regional Level'. The REC has organised this unique side event in collaboration with the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF). The goal of this event, chaired by the REC Executive Director, is to establish connections among high-level political representatives and managers of regional organisation, agencies and other regional mechanisms working in the field of sustainable development.

June 19: 'Choosing Our Future: Open and Participatory Sustainable Development Governance'. This is a conference in which the REC will be involved in two workshops. At one workshop titled 'Capacity Development to Improve National Environmental Governance, P10 and the UNEP Bali Guidelines', Director of the Sustainable Development Academy Janos Zlinszky will share REC challenges and achievements with regard to capacity building. At another workshop titled 'Citizen Participation in Law Development, Implementation and Enforcement', Kenty Richardson, REC Director for International Relations and Strategic Directions, will introduce the REC's role in public participation in the CEE region.

June 19: 'Energy Day'. At this even, also organised by UNEP, the REC will contribute to a session on sustainable energy solutions. REC Executive Director Marta Szigeti Bonifert will introduce the REC's activities related to global fuel economy initiatives.

June 19: 'Sharing Environmental Information in Action'. The European Environment Agency has organised this side event, which is aimed at taking stock of major developments in translating Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration into action. The REC Executive Director will speak at this event about REC experience in public participation.

June 20: 'World Green Summit'. This is an event organised by the Government of Rio de Janeiro at which REC Executive Director Marta Szigeti Bonifert will introduce REC activities supporting regional governments.

June 21: 'Living Labs: Resilience and Sustainability of Municipalities in Regions in Transition'. This is a high-level event that will be hosted by Corrado Clini from the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea. Invited speakers from the CEE region include President of Hungary Janos Ader (tbc) and Prime Minister of Albania Sali Berisha (tbc). REC Executive Director Marta Szigeti Bonifert will be on hand to discuss REC efforts in coaching municipalities.

Through training programmes, pilot projects, environmental assessments, analytical studies, educational packages and grants, the REC supports sustainability solutions in countries in various political and economic situations. Rio+20 represents an opportunity to mobilise the political resources required to design lasting solutions, taking into account economic, social and environmental aspects of development.