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UNECE at Rio+20

Published: 15 June 2012

UNECE will participate actively in the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in Rio de Janeiro from 20 to 22 June 2012.  A compact UNECE delegation, led by Executive Secretary Sven Alkalaj, will showcase how UNECE is already working to make the Green Economy concept operational in its programmes of work. On going initiatives include:  Environmentreduced pollution, green governance and environmental democracy; Forestssectoral action plan for the green economy;  Housing – greening real estate markets, green homes and climate neutral cities; Innovationeco-innovation and ways to finance it; Statisticsmeasuring sustainable development; Sustainable energy – clean energy and energy efficiency  investments; Transport - worldwide standards for cleaner and smarter vehicles.

The Executive Secretary will speak, or be represented, at various events organized or co-organized by UNECE. He will also host a series of bilateral meetings with high-ranking officials present in Rio.

Events with UNECE participation include:


18 June
Forest: the heart of a green economy

All-day – Ribalta eventos

The event will highlight the role of forests and forest industries in building the green economy and fostering rural development at the resource base – the two key themes of Rio+20.  It will showcase examples of sustainable low-carbon forests products used in new applications, and lessons learned from deploying forest supply chains in the bio-economy.


19 June
Choosing our future: open and participatory sustainable development governance
8:30 – 17:30 - Fundaçao 
Getulio Vargas  Law School – Praia de Botafogo, 190

Governments, civil society groups, and intergovernmental organizations will meet to assess progress and make proposals to move Principle 10 of the 1992 Rio Declaration into the next generation of reforms. The event aims at advancing ideas on how to build legal frameworks at the national, regional and international levels to implement Principle 10.

Sharing environment information in action
17:00 - 19:00 - European Union Pavilion – Athlete’s Park

The event will showcase examples of European progress in the global sharing of environmental information. It will also present Europe's Shared Environmental Information System (SEIS) and its principles and foundations.

2013 International Year of Water Cooperation
19:30 - 21:00 - Room T-2 - Rio Centro

This event, organized by UN Water, the United Nations inter-agency coordination mechanism for all freshwater related issues, will showcase best practices in cooperation and dialogue to resolve current water issues. The event aims at advancing  ideas for recommendations and effective approaches to strengthen water cooperation among users and countries, and for the implementation of the International Year of Water Cooperation in 2013.


21 June

Civil society taking global responsibility: Models of civil society participation in sustainable development from local to global level

11.15-13.15 at the EU Pavilion - Athletes Park


This side-event, organized by the European Economic and Social Committee, will discuss civil society participation based on experiences with models from global, regional, national and local level. Institutional approaches, such as civil society representation in UN bodies or national Economic and Social Councils will be considered as well as consultation rights of citizens and access to information, in particular under the UNECE's Aarhus Convention.

Green growth and sustainable development – regional perspectives
15:00 -17:00 - Room T-2 - Rio Centro

The event, organized jointly by the 5 Regional Commissions, will present specific examples and approaches, ranging from norms and standards to economic instruments and overarching sustainable development frameworks, contributing to the integration of the pillars of sustainable development. These serve to highlight the pivotal role that has been played by the Regional Commissions in promoting and implementing an integrated approach to sustainable development at the regional level.

Greening the real estate market: the development of a sustainable real estate sector
14:30 - 18:00 - Windsor Barra Hotel & Congresos - Av. Lucio Costa, 2630 - Barra da Tijuca

Building on the UNECE Policy Framework for Sustainable Real Estate Markets, adopted in 2010, this event will provide decision makers with tools to  identify the steps needed to improve market sustainability and to promote the real estate sector as a driving force in the provision of social, economic and environmental benefits.



22 June
What is your priority action for the forest sector in a green economy?
13:00 – 14:30 - Room P3-A – Rio Centro

The event will showcase the draft Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy developed by the UNECE Timber Committee and the FAO European Forestry Commission. The plan covers the following sectors: sustainable production and consumption of forest products; the low-carbon forest sector; decent green jobs in the forest sector; valuation of and payment for forest ecosystem services and monitoring and governance of the forest sector.

Finally, UNECE will also be present at an information booth together with the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

For more information, please visit:

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Information Unit

Palais des Nations, 

CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 44 44

Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 05 05