International Society of Sustainability Professionals Free Webinar

Date: Thursday, May 24

Time: 7pm GMT

Where: Online

Focus: One hour panel discussion on the Rio+20 themes lead by UNEP and Stakeholder Forum

The International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) is hosting a free webinar on Thursday, May 24, that is part of ISSP’s continuing coverage of the run-up to Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, to be held next month in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Amy Fraenkel, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) director for North America, will be the lead presenter during the one-hour panel discussion, to be followed by 30 minutes of Q&A with participants from around the world.

Fraenkel and her team at The United Nations Environment Programme’s Regional Office for North America (UNEP RONA) are leading efforts to raise awareness on the Rio+20 themes described below and to coordinate participation in the run-up process in North America. Fraenkel will join a panel of experts representing NGO, corporate and governmental perspectives who will comment and participate in a discussion to be moderated by Ira Feldman, president & senior counsel, greentrack strategies, Bethesda, Maryland. Feldman serves as ISSP coordinator for policy and standards.

The objective of the Rio+20 Conference is to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and address new and emerging challenges. Rio+20 will focus on two themes: 1) a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and 2) the institutional framework for sustainable development.

Other members of the panel scheduled to present during the ISSP-sponsored Webinar on May 24 include:

Felix Dodds, executive director of U.K.-based Stakeholder Forum and a longstanding NGO leader in UN CSD activities. Dodds is well-placed to articulate the need for open, accountable and participatory international decision-making on sustainable development. He has played a critical role in promoting multi-stakeholder dialogue at the UN. He most recently chaired the 2011 UN Department of Public Information NGO Conference on Sustainable Societies – Responsive Citizens. From 1997 to 2001 he chaired the NGO Coalition on Sustainable Development at the UN. Dodds is currently a member of the Council of Advisors for the Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate and Security, a member of the advisory board for A Instituto Internacional de Derecho y Medio Ambiente, and a former board member of the Montreal International Forum.

Chris Turner, Rio+20 director, World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD), will provide a corporate viewpoint by explaining how WBCSD members are contributing to the Business Action for Sustainable Development initiative at Rio+20. The WBCSD is a CEO-led organization of forward-thinking companies that galvanizes the global business community to create a sustainable future for business, society and the environment. Turner is also a director with PwC Sustainable Business Solutions, with a background in technology solutions for state and local government and public transit. Prior to joining PwC, Turner worked with EduSystems, a private firm that specialized in technology education solutions and capacity building for emerging economies.

Lawrence Gumbiner, deputy assistant secretary of state, the U.S. government lead for Rio+20, will share the hopes and expectations of the official U.S. delegation. Since January, 2010, Gumbiner has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES). In his present role, he is in charge of coordinating the State Department’s preparation for the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio + 20), as well as Green Growth and Green Economy elements in numerous multilateral forums. Gumbiner has also served as deputy assistant secretary for science, space and health, managing a team of more than 50 foreign affairs professionals and programs in the areas of Science & Technology Cooperation, Space & Advanced Technologies, and International Health and Biosafety.

The ISSP Rio+20 Preview Webinar will occur on Thursday, May 24 @ 11 am PT (GMT -7). There is no charge to attend, but registration is required. Sign up here.


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