On 23-25 April 2012, the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will be hosting an international conference, Stockholm+40 – Partnership Forum for Sustainable Development, to commemorate the first UN Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm in 1972.
The purpose of Stockholm+40 is to bring together actors from the international community for a dialogue on sustainable development and its challenges. The business sector, civil society, researchers, decision-makers and young people will discuss sustainable solutions in areas of technology, production and living. They will bring together their different perspectives to try to create a holistic view of what we can do to achieve sustainable development.
Stockholm+40 will be based on three main themes:
. Sustainable innovations
. Sustainable production
. Sustainable living
Goals of Stockholm+40
. Offer key actors (young people, researchers, decision-makers and representatives of the business community and civil society) a platform for dialogue on concrete measures to promote sustainable development – including good examples of sustainable innovations, sustainable production and sustainable living.
. Form new alliances for sustainable development that make it possible to put the commitments made by decision-makers at Rio and earlier UN meetings on sustainable development into practice.
. Highlight young people’s views and proposals for solutions and approaches, both during the Stockholm+40 conference and as an input to Rio+20.
. Arrive at clear messages and recommendations for sustainable innovations, sustainable production and sustainable living that can be communicated to decision-makers at Rio+20, to show how a green economy can become a reality.
Old technology and approaches that consume too many of the Earth’s resources are a thing of the past. We now need new solutions that build on close cooperation between actors in the research community, the business world and the financial sector. Several examples of fresh innovations and cooperation will be highlighted during Stockholm+40.
Creating incentives for companies to make their production to more sustainable solutions and take greater social responsibility requires that decision-makers, researchers and the business sector think in new and different ways. At the conference, these actors will meet to show what is already being done and get inspiration and new ideas for productive solutions.
Today, we know that the ecological footprint of the average person is too large. How do we find a sustainable balance whereby everyone can enjoy an acceptable standard of living without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs? Young people have a key role to play here, and they will have the opportunity during Stockholm+40 to give their views of how we can create a sustainable society.
UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio
During Stockholm+40, Swedish and international participants will debate and shed light on these issues based on their own perspectives and experiences. The results and dialogue from Stockholm+40 will be taken forward and provide important input for Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in Rio de Janeiro in June.
40 years since the first Stockholm conference
In 1972, the UN Conference on the Human Environment was held in Stockholm. It was the first of a series of conferences held every ten years – in Nairobi in 1982, in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and in Johannesburg in 2002. It quickly became clear that environmental issues are linked to social and economic circumstances, and in 1987 the Brundtland Commission established the term ‘sustainable development’ – “development which meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.