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Strategies for the Earth Summit 2012

Looking for the alternative futures of international environmental governance

Project Period: Contact: Department: Programme: Theme:
17 - 18 July 2011; 11 - 13 October 2011; 17 - 19 April 2012 Governance & Economy Department Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum) Sustainable Development

Yogyakarta (Indonesia);
Stockholm (Sweden);
Bangkok (Thailand)

Rio+20 in 2012 will be a defining point in the international dialogue on environment and sustainable development. Taking into account various processes that will lead to ensuring the relevance of the outcomes of this conference the Asia Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum) designed a programme that will feed into the process.

As the Rio+20 conference will address two themes: green economy and institutional framework and arrangements for sustainable development, the ENVforum will be well placed to make a substantive contribution to the second theme, centered on an inter-regional approach.

Following the results of the Second Preparatory Committee Meeting of United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development that took place from 7 to 8 March 2011 in New York, strengthening the institutional framework for sustainable development is the issue that should be addressed at all levels of governments. Taking into account the current state of play with regard to sustainable development governance, the response to the governance challenges should be designed in the interdisciplinary and cross-cutting way. Any proposal of reform should strengthen the three pillars (economic, social and environment) of sustainable development in a balanced way to ensure convergence.

The ENVforum programme will therefore contribute to the international debate by:

  • gathering approximately 15-20 experts from different fields representing various institutions at 3 scenario building workshops over 18 months;
  • undertaking of research on environmental policies in ASEM countries in order to identify vulnerable areas;
  • having a solution-oriented focus to contribute to the dialogue process on the way towards the Earth Summit Rio+20.

The programme will result in an analysis of Institutional Framework for Sustainable Developments (IFSD) options for Rio+20. The implementation arrangements of this programme will be shared among selected ENVforum partners with the Steering Committee Members. In order to ensure the successful implementation of the scenario building process the following activities will be implemented:

  • first scenario planning workshop (in July 2011 in Indonesia);
  • second scenario planning workshop (in October 2011 in Sweden);
  • third strategy planning workshop (in April 2012 in Thailand).

 Preparations for the third workshop are currently ongoing. More information is available here.


  • Hanns Seidel Foundation, Jakarta Office
  • Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
  • Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) - Government of Sweden
Funded by the European Union

Project Updates

  • The Rio+20 Earth Summit in June 2012 will be a defining point in the international dialogue on green economy and Institutional Framework on Sustainable Development (IFSD). The relevance of this conference’s outcomes hinges on inputs from a variety of sources. The Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum) has designed a programme which will contribute to this process through the Asia-Europe consultations.

    The ENVforum’s inter-regional approach makes it well-placed to provide a substantive contribution to the IFSD topic with the focus on international environmental governance issues.

    The ENVforum programme provides solution-oriented contributions to the international dialogue process on the way towards the Rio+20 Earth Summit.  The consultations included so far 54 experts on IFSD and other fields. They are representatives from various organisations in Asia and Europe who participated in three scenario-building workshops over a period of 18 months.

    The ENVforum has also undertaken research on sustainable development coordination with the focus on creating a Sustainable Development Council and mapping existing mechanisms as well as proposing best practices as a model for future implementation at the regional and national level in ASEM countries.

    The programme will result in an analysis of the IFSD options for Rio+20. The implementation arrangements of this programme will be shared among selected ENVforum partners and with the Steering Committee Members. 

  • The Asia-Europe Foundation is looking for a consultant to research on the International Framework for Sustainable Development (IFSD).

    The overall objective of the research is to complement the informal consultations outcomes in order to produce an analysis of IFSD options for Rio+20 including the aspects of International Environmental Governance (IEG).

    The specific objectives are:
    1) To examine an inter-regional (Asia-Europe) synergies on the IFSD and IEG debate
    2) To assess the various IFSD and IEG options discussed at the UN level
    3) To map and prepare analysis of options supported by foresight methodology and field research.

    Please refer to the call for proposals (with Annex 1 and Annex 2) and the application form for more information. Deadline for applications is Monday, 16th January 2012.

    For further queries, please contact Ms. Grazyna Pulawska at

  • “Idea box” for development

    Published on 30 Nov 2011

    Some 327 organisations, along with 47 governments and 42 intergovernmental bodies, contributed to the UN “idea box” in November 2011 at the Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum). These submissions will form the basis of a declaration of decisions at the “Rio+20” Summit.  They are contained as recommendations for a submission to the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development “idea box”.

    Prior to this submission, ASEF and the partners in the ENVforum engaged over 55 Asian and European experts in July and October. They developed specific scenarios with a recommendations report on global institutional framework. These can be used to achieve sustainable development goals.

    The ENVforum report sketches a possible blueprint for an international Sustainable Development Council. The report also suggests ways of advancing public participation and access to information. It highlights assurance of civil society participation at all levels.

    The ENVforum presented an earlier version of this report to the High-Level Dialogue on the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development organised by the Indonesian government and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs in Solo, Indonesia (July 2011).

    The ENVforum is a partnership consisting of the Asia-Europe Foundation, the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the Swedish Environmental Secretariat for Asia, and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme, and with financial contribution from the European Union.

    Read the ENVforum report

  • En route to Rio+20

    Published on 05 Sep 2011

    The Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum) organised an experts’ workshop in Yogyakarta, Indonesia (17-18 July 2011). This workshop was the first of a series of three workshops leading up to the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), also known as “Rio+20” (June 2012).

    A group of 34 international representatives from government institutions, regional and international organisations, civil society organisations, academia, think tanks, the media, the private sector and the youth participated in the workshop.

    Outcomes of the workshops will help to develop several possible reform scenarios for the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development (IFSD) over the next 20 years. The ENVforum reported on the outcomes of the first workshop at the High Level Dialogue on the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development.

    The forum will continue to organise “Rio+20” consultations for Asian and European stakeholders. These consultations will take place in Stockholm in October 2011 and in Bangkok in early 2012.

    This workshop series by the ENVforum is organised by the Asia-Europe Foundation, the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the Swedish Environmental Secretariat for Asia and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies of Japan.

  • Strategies for the Earth Summit 2012

    Published on 03 Sep 2011

    ASEF plans to provide an inter-regional consultation platform for the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro (Rio+20). With this in mind, the Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum) will analyse the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Developments (IFSD) options between 2011 and 2012 to present its findings to the Rio+20 Meeting.

    The programme consists of 3 workshops taking place in 2011 and 2012. The first workshop will take place in Yogyakarta, Indonesia (17-18 July 2011). It will gather over 20 participants from different walks of life from Asia and Europe and develop scenarios looking at 30 years into the future. Participants will learn to identify key factors and analyse uncertainties for designing these scenarios.

    This process, dubbed “Asia Europe Strategies for the Earth Summit 2012”, will continue in Sweden later this year. In November 2011, these same participants will meet to finalise the scenarios that will serve as a basis for preparing possible strategies for creating an institutional framework on sustainable development.

    The last workshop of the series will take place in Thailand next year.  It will produce the consolidated analyses of IFSD options for the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro (Rio+20).

  • by Ms Sol Iglesias
    Director, Intellectual Exchange Department
    Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF)

    Most commentators have welcomed the successful albeit modest outcome of the 16th Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) concluded on 10th December 2010, in Cancun, Mexico. There remains scope for Asia and Europe—through the ASEM framework —to play a constructive role as the 2012 expiry of the Kyoto Protocol commitments draws near.

    The Asia-Europe Foundation, with its partners in the Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum) organised official side events and informal dinners among official and track-two negotiators at COP 13 in Bali (2008), COP 14 in Poznan (2009) and COP 15 in Copenhagen. As observed by one of Indonesia’s top negotiators, these meetings made their impact through the fostering of inter-personal ties that would not have been nurtured otherwise. Key Asian and European countries enjoyed some intellectual breathing space at these meetings, which helped to build bridges across serious divides.

    In Copenhagen, an ENVforum panel on the eve of Summit-level deliberations emphasized the importance of developing private sector-led  finance mechanisms as well as public ones to support the inclusion of reforestation and counter-degradation in climate change mitigation efforts. This is known in the UN climate negotiations as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), which was adopted in Cancun.

    The ENVforum is an ASEF initiative with the Hanns Seidel Foundation (Germany), Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (Japan), the Swedish Environmental Secretariat for Asia, the UN Environment Programme and the European Environment Agency. It has maintained a robust Asia-Europe dialogue among officials, experts and civil society groups since 2003, producing books and briefings that outline recommendations for enhanced cooperation between the two regions--investment in clean development under the Kyoto Protocol.

    In 2011, ASEF will work with these partners for a solution-oriented focus, to contribute to the dialogue process towards a successful conference at the Earth Summit Rio+20, to be held in Brazil in 2012.

  • The Asia-Europe Environment Forum welcomes proposal of research from the organisations with the expertise in the topic in International Environmental Framework for Sustainable Develipment (IFSD).

    At the moment ENVforum runs a series of informal consultations on IFSD with the focus on International Environmental Governance. Therefore, we would like to invite interested organisations to answer call for research.

    Deadline -  All proposals should be sent to Ms. Grazyna Pulawska at before Monday, 15th January 2012.

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