The Asia-Europe Strategies for Earth Summit 2012 is an initiative of the Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum), a partnership between the Asia-Europe Foundation, the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, the Swedish Environmental Secretariat for Asia in co-operation with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The project aims to promote dialogue around an Asia-Europe position on the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development (IFSD) for International Environmental Governance (IEG) reform, to inform discussions at the Earth Summit 2012 (known as Rio+20).

The ENVforum commissioned research by sustainable development and governance experts on: (1) IFSD reform options, including a Sustainable Development Council; (2) IEG reform and the future of UNEP; and (3) the state of play on regional and national mechanisms for Sustainable Development. ‘The Future We Want’ is an interim summary of recommendations resulting from interaction among the expert researchers. The ENVforum will release the full research report ‘Global Architectures for Sustainable Development Delivery’ in June 2012.


Scenarios for Sustainable Development Governance: National Mechanisms that Work

The current Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development (IFSD) suffers from lack of coherence, coordination and integration. It is defined by the inability of economic and social policy making to fully account for environmental integrity; and very weak connections and coordination among governance levels, i.e. global, regional, and national. These shortcomings result in the persistent gap between sustainable development policy formulation and implementation.

There have been strong requests for institutional changes to alleviate these shortcomings both from civil society and from governments around the world. There is a need for a change of IFSD in a way that allows ensuring efficiency and accountability for sustainable development architecture. Three inter-related proposals have gained wide spread support: (1) introduction of sustainable development goals (SDGs), (2) creation of sustainable development council (SDC), and (3) strengthening and closely integrating and coordinating mechanisms and processes at global, regional and national levels by exemplifying lessons learnt from Asia and Europe in planning and implementation or sustainability related measures.

This side- event will focus on the national sustainable development mechanisms that have been implemented in Asia and Europe, examine its strengths and weaknesses. It will also clarify the interconnectedness of all IFSD levels thereby demonstrating the need for better vertical and horizontal coordination of the sustainable development architecture. It will be based on the results of the research study initiated by the Asia-Europe Environment Forum and conducted by sustainable development and governance experts on these issues.