Mother Pelican
A Journal of Sustainable Human Development

Vol. 7, No. 12, December 2011
Luis T. Gutiérrez, Editor
Home Page


Advances in Sustainable Development


This supplement attempts to be a radar screen for recent/emerging/forthcoming advances in sustainable development. In selecting items for this supplementary page, priority is given to information about publications and tools with an educational and human-centric focus. This update includes the following reminders that sustainable development has a human face:

1. Suggestions for Prayer, Study, and Action
2. News, Publications, Tools, and Conferences
3. Advances in Sustainable Development
4. Advances in Integral Human Development
5. Advances in Integrated Sustainable Development
6. Sustainability Games, Databases, and Knowledgebases
7. Visualizations of the Sustainable Development Process
8. Sustainable Development Modeling and Simulation
9. Sustainable Development and the International Community
Note: Items in this page are updated as information is received and as time permits. If the reader knows about new pubs/tools that should be announced in this page, please write to the Editor.

1. Suggestions for Prayer, Study, and Action


Good is the Flesh
by Brian Wren

Good is the flesh that the Word has become,
good is the birthing, the milk in the breast,
good is the feeding, caressing and rest,
good is the body for knowing the world,
Good is the flesh that the Word has become.

Good is the body for knowing the world,
sensing the sunlight, the tug of the ground,
feeling, perceiving, within and around,
good is the body, from cradle to grave,
Good is the flesh that the Word has become.
Good is the body, from cradle to grave,
growing and aging, arousing, impaired,
happy in clothing, or lovingly bared,
good is the pleasure of God in our flesh,
Good is the flesh that the Word has become.

Good is the pleasure of God in our flesh,
longing in all, as in Jesus, to dwell,
glad of embracing, and tasting, and smell,
good is the body, for good and for God,
Good is the flesh that the Word has become.


Open Source Textbook Initiative

Sustainability: A Comprehensive Foundation
November 2011

One criterion of the grant is to create and make available, via the Internet, an open-source textbook for use in introductory college courses. A self-imposed criterion is to identify an expand ing field of knowledge, common to all three campuses, where the open-source textbook could provide a sound foundation for effective teaching and learning. To that end, the team guiding the project has selected "sustainability" as the general focus of the University's open-source textbook. It should be noted that "sustainability" was also the field of study identified by Illinois community colleges for a potential a partnership with the University of Illinois. This textbook serves a need identified by faculty teaching in the sustainability area, i.e. the lack of a single, comprehensive, introductory text.

"Sustainability: A Comprehensive Foundation" is a free, open-source textbook available for viewing online or as a download for use on e-readers or printing. First and second-year college students are introduced to this expanding new field, comprehensively exploring the essential concepts from every branch of knowldege – including engineering and the applied arts, natural and social sciences, and the humanities. As sustainability is a multi-disciplinary area of study, the text is the product of multiple authors drawn from the diverse faculty of the University of Illinois: each chapter is written by a recognized expert in the field. Designed for the new generation of e-readers, the book can also be viewed in a browser, saved as a pdf, or printed.


Become a Global Citizen

Check this out:

What does it mean to be a "global citizen"?

2. News, Publications, Tools, and Conferences



Environmental News Network

Planet Ark
World Environmental News

World News Network

Mother Earth News

Climate Action News

World Technology News

Sustainable Development Media

World Pulse


WiserEarth News

New Internationalist

Yes! Magazine

Human Development News

Science Daily
Earth & Climate News
Sustainability News
Science & Society News

International Institute for
Sustainable Development (IISD)
Reporting Services

Policy-Strategy Coverage

Sustainable Development Policy & Practice
Sustainable Development - Small Islands
Biodiversity Policy & Practice
Climate Change Policy & Practice
Energy Policy Issues
Multilateral Environmental Agreements
Earth Negotiations Bulletin

Theme Coverage

Sustainable Development
Biodiveristy & Wildlife
Chemicals Management
Climate & Atmosphere
Forests - Deserts - Land
Human Development
Intergovernmental Organizations
Trade & Investment
Water - Oceand - Wetlands

Regional Coverage

Lating America & Caribbean
Near East
North America
South West Pacific

Rio+20 Coverage

Sustainable Development Conference
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
4-6 June 2012

United Nations News Service
Rio+20: Making it Happen
UN Sustainable Development News
UN Gender Equality News

Value News Network

Catholic News Service

Anglican Communion News Service

Ekklesia Christian News Bulletin

Religion News Service

LiveScience News

Inter Press Service (PSI)

Triple Bottom Line
CSR News

The Progress Report

Global Health News

Kosmos Journal


Eldis Development Newsfeeds

General - all subjects

Newsfeeds by Subject

Ageing populations
Aid and debt
Children and young people
Climate Change
Climate adaptation
Corporate responsibility
Finance policy
Food security
Health systems
ICT for development
Influencing policy
Jobs, Events and Announcements
Manuals and toolkits
Trade policy

Newsfeeds by Region

East Asia and Pacific
Latin America and Caribbean
Middle East and North Africa
South Asia



Global Climate Risk Index 2012
Released 29 November 2011 at COP 17

A Guide to Statistics on
Historical Trends in Income Inequality

CBPP, 28 November 2011

Women of Africa
Ernst & Young, 25 November 2011

Health at a Glance 2011:
OECD Indicators

OECD, 23 November 2011

The end game in Durban?
How developed countries
bullied and bribed to try to kill Kyoto

World Development Movement, November 2011

Global Gender Gap Report 2011
WEF, November 2011

Climate Economics: The State of the Art
SEI, November 2011

Fostering Low Carbon Growth: The Case for a Sustainable Energy Trade Agreement
International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, November 2011

Crafting Future Just Biodiversity Laws and Policies
WFC, November 2011

Fostering Low Carbon Growth: The Case for a Sustainable Energy Trade Agreement
ICTSD, November 2011

Keeping Track of Our Changing Environment: From Rio to Rio+20 (1992-2012)
UNEP, November 2011

Pursuing Clean Energy Equitably
UNDP, November 2011

Civil Society Organizations:
Time for Systemic Strategies

GTI, October 2011

Global Financial Stability Report:
Grappling with Crisis Legacies

IMF, 1 October 2011

World Development Report 2012:
Gender Equality and Development

World Bank, October 2011

Energy for all:
Financing access for the poor

IEA, October 2011

Basic Capabilities Index 2011
Social Watch, October 2011

Healing a broken World
Society of Jesus, 2011

Transforming Energy Systems
WBGU, 2011

Adaptation Can Help Mitigation: An Integrated Approach to Post-2012 Climate Policy
Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, 2011

Energy Access Scenarios to 2030 for the Power Sector in Sub-Saharan Africa
Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, 2011

2010 International Religious Freedom Report
USA State Department, 13 September 2011

Key Source of Data on Income and Poverty
U.S. Census Bureau, 13 September 2011

Education Impacts Work-Life Earnings Five Times More Than Other Demographic Factors
U.S. Census Bureau, 12 September 2011

Blending Climate Finance
Through National Climate Funds:
A Guidebook for the Design
and Establishment of National Funds
to Achieve Climate Change Priorities

UNDP, September 2011

Fostering Innovation for Green Growth
OECD, 2011

International Energy Outlook 2011
US DOE/EIA, September 2011

The State of the World's Girls 2011 -
So, what about boys?

Plan International, September 2011

Leadership, Capacity Building,
and Sustainable Development
in Contemporary Africa

World Journal of Entrepreneurship,
Management and Sustainable Development,
Volume 7 Numbers 2/3/4, 2011

Climate Engineering:
Technical Status,
Future Directions,
and Potential Responses

USA General Accountability Office
28 July 2011

Special Issue:
Green Economy and Sustainable Development

UN Sustainable Development Journal, August 2011

Charting International Labor Comparisons
USA BLS, August 2011

Charting International Labor Comparisons
USA BLS, August 2011

Will Rising Democracies Become
International Democracy Supporters?

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
12 August 2011

Developing Linkages to Preserve Biodiversity
Andrew Long, SSRN, August 2011

Failed States Index
Foreign Policy anf Fund for Peace, August 2011

Enabling a Flourishing Earth:
Challenges for the Green Economy,
Opportunities for Global Governance

Klaus Bosselmann et al., Earth Charter Stakeholders Forum, August 2011

Education for a Sustainable Future
UN Rio+20, July 2011

Institutional Framework
for Sustainable Development

UN, Rio+20, July 2011

World Investment Summary Report
World Investment Full Report
UNCTAD, 2011

Investing for sustainable development? A review of investment principles – trends and impacts
IIED, July 2011

Helping UN negotiators protect the poorest
Climate Change Group, IIED, July 2011

Terrestrial Carbon Policy Development
TCG, June 2011

Society at a Glance 2011 - OECD Social Indicators
OECD 2011

Sustainability and the U.S. EPA
USA National Research Council, July 2011

State of the World 2011:
Innovations that Nourish the Planet

Worldwatch Institute, 2011

Mitigating Climate Change
Through Food and Land Use

Sara J. Scherr and Sajal Sthapit
Worldwatch Institute, 2011

Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation into Development Planning: A Guide for Practitioners

Sustaining forests:
Investing in our common future

UNEP, 2011

Green Scissors: Cutting Wasteful and Environmentally Harmful Spending
Friends of the Earth, the Heartland Institute, Public Citizen and Taxpayers for Common Sense, 2011

Manual of European Environmental Policy
IEEP, 2011

Progress of the World's Women:
In Pursuit of Justice

UN Women, July 2011

Climate Risks and Carbon Prices: Revising the Social Cost of Carbon
E3 Network, July 2011

Renewables 2011 Global Status Report
REN21, July 2011

Informing the Financing of Universal Energy Access: An Assessment of Current Flows
FEEM, July 2011

Guide to Green Growth
CDKN - July 2011

Engendering the Green Climate Fund -
An Opportunity for Best Practice

Heinrich Böll Foundation, 20 July 2011

Costs of Inaction:
Climate Change Adaptation, Damages
and Fossil Fuel Dependence

IEA-RETD, July 2011 Keeping Track of Our Changing Environment From Rio to Rio+20 (1992-2012)
UNEP GEO5, 2011

Making Adaptation Count: Concepts and Options for Monitoring and Evaluation of Climate Change Adaptation
GIZ/WRI, August 2011

Low-carbon Africa: Leapfrogging to a green future
Christian Aid 2011

State of the Future 2011Jerome C. Glenn, Theodore J. Gordon, and Elizabeth Florescu
The Millennium Project, 2011

Sustainable Energy for All
UN IEA WEO, 2011

Biosphere reserves and climate change
UNEP 2011

Lessons Learnt for Climate Change Adaptation in Sub-Saharan Africa
CDARE 2011

The Least Developed Countries Report 2011: The Potential Role of South-South Cooperation for Inclusive and Sustainable Development (LDC 2011)UNCTAD, 2011

Global Status of Carbon
Capture and Storage

Global CCS Institute, 2011

Climate Economics: The State of the Art
SEI, 2011

Controlling Climate Change
Bert Metz
European Climate Foundation
Central European University
Budapest, 2011

Thematic issue on land tenure
and climate change

Land Tenure Journal
FAO, 2011

Tackling Poverty
in a Changing Climate

ELDIS, 2011



Climate Impact Equity Lens (CIEL)
Stockholm Environment Institute
November 2011

Global Adaptation Index
Global Adaptation Institute
Fall 2011

Gridded Population of the World, CIESIN, Columbia University, 2011

Carbon Capture and Storage
Project Database
, Global CCS Institute, 2011

The New eAtlas of Gender, World Bank, 2011

Statistics and Tools
for Gender Analysis
, World Bank, 2011

Gender Statistics Database, World Bank, 2011

Live World Data
The Venus Project, 2011

Clean Energy Analysis Software

RETScreen International, 2011

IGES CDM Methodology Parameter Data
IGES, 2011

IGES Emission Reductions Calculation Sheet
IGES, 2011

OECD Sustainable Manufacturing Toolkit
OECD, 2011

OECD Family Database

OECD Social Expenditure Database

Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services
and Tradeoffs (InVEST)

Version 2.1, Natural Capital Project, 2011

Interactive Map and Rankings for the 2011 Failed States Index
Foreign Policy and Fund for Peace, August 2011

Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC)
NASA & Columbia University

World Bank Climate Change Data Portal

INFORMEA: United Nations Information Portal on Multilateral Environmental Agreements

IGES GHG Database

Emission Factors Database

Renewables Interactive Map

Forestry Industry Carbon Assessment Tool
Green Resources, Tanzania

Agent-based Computational Economics
of the Global Energy System

Climate Hot Map
Union of Concerned Scientists

Solar Thermal Barometer


Forest Monitoring for Action

Water Evaluation And Planning System

Long range Energy Alternatives Planning System
Energy Community

Global Land Tool Network

UN-Energy Knowledge Network
Multi-dimensional Energy Poverty Index (MEPI)
and Energy Development Index (EDI)

Measuring Energy Poverty
Visualization Platform


United Nations Data
UN Statistics Database
UN MDG Indicators
UN Human Development Index (HDI)

Humanity's Footprint Data
Ecological Footprint
Footprint for Nations
Footprint for Cities
Footprint for Business
Carbon Footprint
Personal Footprint
Footprint & Biodiversity
Footprint & Human Development

Earth Policy Institute Data Sets
Population, Health, and Society
Natural Systems
Climate Change
Energy Resources
Transportation Systems
Food and Agriculture
Economics & Development

World Bank
World Development Indicators (WDI)

Data for the Social Sciences

STAR Database Beta-Test Now in Process
Invitation to Participate

Links Government Investment,
Science, Technology,
Firms, and Employment

Global Cities of the Future
Interactive Map

McKinsey Global Institute
March 2011

TopTen Search Tool (Europe)
Indentifies the most energy-efficient
appliances on the European market

TopTen Search Tool (USA)
Indentifies the most energy-efficient
appliances on the American market

Sustainable Society Index
Interactive Map

Interactive Mapping of
Population and Climate Change

Population Action International

Global Advocates Toolbox
Population Action International

Development Timelines Data Application

Green Media Toolshed
Green Media Tools

Toolbox Top Ten
Progressive Communications Net

Teaching and Learning
for a Sustainable Future:
Dissemination and Training Toolbox

UNESCO Education for
Sustainable Development

Global Corruption Barometer
Transparency International, 2010

Analysis of Supply Chains

Happy Planet Index (HPI)

Global Debt Clock

Climate & Development Knowledge Network (CDKN)

Human Development Index (HDI)

Living Planet Index (LPI)

Quality of Life Index (QOLI)

Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI)

Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)

Carbon Footprint Calculator

Climate Scoreboard

Global Climate Dashboard

Oil Reporter

Green Transitions Scoreboard

OECD Social Institutions
and Gender Index (SIGI)

OECD Gender, Institutions
and Development Database

TouchGraph Browser Google

Community Earth System Model 1.0

How to master complex projects

World Digital Library (WDL)

HathiTrust Digital Library

INED Population Simulator

WorldWideScience Search Engine

US Government
MetaLib Search Engine

Apps for Development

Adaptation Learning Mechanism

ENVISION Version 5
GIS-based tool for scenario-based community and regional planning and environmental assessments
Oregon State University



Conference Alerts
Find Conferences Worldwide
by Topic, Country, or Keywords.

Calls for Papers
Find Calls for Papers Worldwide
by Specialization, Country, or Keywords.

Journal Articles
The latest Tables of Contents
from thousands of scholarly journals
Search by journal title, ISNN, or keywords


Arts, Sciences, Technology
and the Global Environmental Crisis
Conference at Concordia University
Montreal, Canada
4-5 Novermber 2011

First International
Energy & Meteorology Conference
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
8-11 November 2011

25th International Congress for
Conservation Biology (ICCB 2011)

Christchurch, New Zealand
28 November - 2 December 2011

UN Framework Convention
on Climate Change (COP 17)

Durban, South Africa
28 November - 9 December 2011

Behavior, Energy & Climate Change
Conference (BCEE 2011)

Washington DC, USA
29 November - 2 December 2011

International Conference on Emerging Economies
Symbiosis International University
Pune - India
12-13 January 2012

GLOBE Conference 2010
Trade Fair on
Business and the Environment
Vancouver - Canada
14-16 March 2012

Planet Under Pressure
In anticipation of UNCSD - Rio+20
London, 26-29 March 2012

Energy Future:
The Role of Impact Assessment

IAIA, Porto, Portugal
27 May - 1 June 2012

UNCSD - Rio+20
UN Conference on
Sustainable Development
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
4-6 June 2012

Integrative approaches to water resource management in times of global change
32nd International Geographical Congress
Cologne, Germany, 26 – 30 August 2012

International Conference on
Culture, Politics, & Climate Change
, 13-15 September 2012
Boulder, Colorado USA

World Clean Technology Summit (WCTS)
26-28 September 2012
Kampala, Uganda

3. Advances in Sustainable Development

Earth Charter submits recommendations to Rio+20

Excerpt: "The Earth Charter Initiative again came together in a participatory effort to produce a set of recommendations for the Rio+20 Compilation Document. This document will be the framework document that will be debated by states' parties at next year's Earth Summit in Rio, also known as Rio+20. The EC Initiative was joined by several hundred other NGOs, tens of intergovernmental bodies and UN agencies, as well as around 40 national governments, which also submitted recommendations to the Compilation Document.." Source: ECI

A New Assessment of Global Warming
Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project, 20 October 2011

Excerpt: "The most important indicator of global warming, by far, is the land and sea surface temperature record. This has been criticized in several ways, including the choice of stations and the methods for correcting systematic errors. The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature study sets out to to do a new analysis of the surface temperature record in a rigorous manner that addresses this criticism. We are using over 39,000 unique stations, which is more than five times the 7,280 stations found in the Global Historical Climatology Network Monthly data set (GHCN-M) that has served as the focus of many climate studies. Our aim is to resolve current criticism of the former temperature analyses, and to prepare an open record that will allow rapid response to further criticism or suggestions. Our results include not only our best estimate for the global temperature change, but estimates of the uncertainties in the record." Source: BERKELEY EARTH

video platform video management video solutions video player     
World Development Report 2010
World Development Report 2010:
Gender Equality and Development

World Bank - 10 October 2011

WDR Co-Director Ana Revenga on "Why does Gender Equality Matter?"

"The lives of women around the world have improved dramatically, at a pace and scope difficult to imagine even 25 years ago. Women have made unprecedented gains in rights, education, health, and access to jobs and livelihoods.

"Despite the progress, gaps remain in many areas. The worst disparity is the rate at which girls and women die relative to men in developing countries. Excess female deaths account for an estimated 3.9 million women each year in low- and middle-income countries. About two-fifths are never born due to a preference for sons, a sixth die in early childhood, and over a third die in their reproductive years.

"The World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development argues that closing these gaps is a core development objective in its own right. It is also smart economics. Greater gender equality can enhance productivity, improve development outcomes for the next generation, and make institutions more representative.

"The analytical core of the Report constitutes a conceptual framework that examines the factors that have fostered change and the constraints that have slowed progress. The analysis focuses on the roles of economic growth, households, markets, and institutions in determining gender differences in education and health, agency, and access to economic opportunities.

"The analysis leads to the identification of four priority areas for domestic policy action:

  • Reducing excess female mortality and closing education gaps where they remain
  • Improving access to economic opportunities for women
  • Increasing women's voice and agency in the household and in society
  • Limiting the reproduction of gender inequality across generations

"While domestic policy action is crucial, the Report calls on the international community to complement efforts in the four priority areas and also support evidence-based public action through better data, impact evaluation and learning." Source: WDR 2012  (TEXT)  (VIDEOS)  (CHARTS)  (LINKS)

Policy Brief on the
Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development

International Environmental Governance, 27 September 2011

Excerpt from the press release: "The Policy Brief offers a concise, cutting-edge assessment of the state of knowledge on the institutional framework for sustainable development and on possible reform options. It brings together various strands of research and schools of thought and will serve as key input of the scientific community in this field to the current preparations for the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)."

4. Advances in Integral Human Development

Human Development Report 2011
Sustainability and Equity:
A Better Future for All
UNDP, November 2011

"This Report explores the integral links between environmental sustainability and equity and shows that these are critical to expanding human freedoms for people today and in generations to come. The point of departure is that the remarkable progress in human development over recent decades that the Human Development Report has documented cannot continue without bold global steps to reduce environmental risks and inequality. We identify pathways for people, communities, countries and the international community to promote environmental sustainability and equity in mutually reinforcing ways.

"The cover diagram symbolizes how different policies can have different implications for sustainability and equity. Whenever available, we should prefer solutions that are good for the environment while also promoting equity and human development. Pursuing sustainability and equity jointly does not require that they be mutually reinforcing. In many instances they will not be. Sometimes the most feasible alternative involves trade-offs between sustainability and equity and requires explicit and careful consideration. No trade-off is isolated from a society’s structural and institutional conditions, and so we must address the underlying constraints and identify positive synergies between sustainability and equity. This Report is aimed not only at finding positive synergies but also at identifying ways to build them."

  • Shaping the Future: A Proposal to Hasten a Global Paradigm Shift for the Security and Well-being of All Children Everywhere, Judith L. Hand, August 2011.
  • About the FACE (For All Children Everywhere) paradigm: "To shift the current paradigm from domination by force to one that abhors violence, FACE's underlying esprit de corps must spring from the female side of our biology because that is the side that most strongly favors nonviolence. It is also the side most consistently concerned with community, family, and children's wellbeing. Ideally the movement would be officially constructed to ensure that through the years, the majority of the top leadership remains slightly female. Failing that, the historical record indicates, and our biology dictates, that the movement will ultimately slip back under the sway of urges for domination and control coming from the male side of our biology, and concern for family, community, and children will eventually take second place. Over time, ignoring this fact of our nature will erode any progress we make now." For more, click here.

  • Sustainable Human Development in the Twenty-First Century: An Evolutionary Perspective, Ismail Sirageldin. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. EOLSS, June 2011.
  • Why should men and women be involved as allies in peacebuilding?, New Tactics in Human Rights, 7 February 2011.
  • 5. Advances in Integrated Sustainable Development

    The Conceptual Problems of the Green Economy and Sustainable Development
    Input for Rio+20 Compilation Document
    Medani P. Bhandari, Syracuse University, 19 November 2011
    On behalf of the Association for Protection of Environment and Culture (APEC-Nepal) and the Atlantic States Legal Foundation (ASLF), Inc. (NGO), USA

    The Theoretical Route of Green Economy Initiatives, Applicability and the Future


    "There is no clear documentation regarding the theoretical route of green economy initiatives. Only, from 2008, global conservation movements have taken on a new dimension, with a special focus on Green Economic Initiatives. The United Nations and its agencies, for example, are major stakeholders in global environmental governance, and have been advocating in international forums to integrate conservation and development themes and establish collaborative platforms where all concerned stakeholders could contribute to the health of the planet. The green economy initiative initiated by United Nation Environment Program (UNEP) captures the notion of the vulnerability of human welfare, which can be understood as the result of the widespread application of an unsustainable model of economic development. Green economy initiatives capture the notion and concerns raised repeatedly over the course of the past 40 years, from the Stockholm conference of the first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held in 1972, to Earth Summit 1992 in Rio; to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Rio’ Earth Summit +10), Johannesburg, South Africa 2002. These concerns likewise have been raised in publications over the course of that period, such as World Conservation Strategy-Living Resources conservation for Sustainable Development (1980), Our Common Future (1987), and Caring for the Earth- A Strategy for Sustainable Living (1991). These conferences and publications have explored global environmental phenomena in transnational political context to minimize environmental impact and maximize public wellbeing. UNEP defines a green economy (GE) as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. The UNEP assumes that greening is a new engine for growth, emphasizing sectoral opportunities, addressing hurdles and enabling conditions, demonstrating the value of ecosystems and biodiversity, capturing these values, and reversing the vicious cycle of environmental losses and persistent poverty by reversing the vicious cycle of environmental losses and persistent poverty. The major players fostering the GE include UNDP, UNEP, UNIDO, ILO, CBD, multilateral and bilateral Institutions, member countries, regional forums, business and civil society groups, universities and regional commissions and international and national NGOs, among others.

    "Theoretically, it is possible to interpret environmental problems and recommend environmental reforms with the application of technology-intensive policies to manage the environment problems both in the developed and the developing world (e.g., through analysis of the existing situation, formulation of policy options, and encouragement to apply environment friendly advance technology for sustainable world). The GE initiative is embedded within the frame of sustainable development, including the globalization processes and global transformations, and providing the know-how to perceive global economic growth in a positive way. It also incorporates the ecological economic factors of social dynamism and responses to basic environmental changes i.e. the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC), CO2 emissions per unit of GDP, proportion of natural resource consumption in GNI, an economy's energy and resource density, and global heat have been raised in alarming rate. Likewise human population density, energy production, pollution and per capita industrial wastewater biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) have been rising and the per capita forest resources and biodiversity have declined from the 18th to 20th century. At the same time awareness about such changes is also raised from the local to the global level; several international and national treaties, memorandums and acts have been introduced, incorporated and implemented. However, these notions do not apply to the developing world because it encompasses a different set of environmental problems, basically linked with the poverty and inequality. Yet the developing world, in particular, needs to consider GE principles to overcome its socio-economic (population growth, poverty, epidemics etc.) and environmental crises. It needs a different set of institutional architectures. However, till now there has been no institutional model that encompasses the responsibility to fulfill these assumptions and objectives of the GE. This research will briefly outline the practical problems to realize GE initiatives in developing world. The research argues for the reform of existing structures and to create a new institutional framework which can coordinate and manage activities by which all related stakeholders may obtain the goals of GE, by creating and implanting environmental policy instruments such as standards; bans; permits and quotas; zoning; liability; legal redress as well as the flexible regulations.

    "This research proposes the historical overview of GE theoretical route and overseas the linkages between GE (theory) and social theories such as ecological economics and environmental/resource economics, and industrial ecology. Further, this research takes the GE initiative as a platform that still needs to be grounded to be accepted as an application tool or theory in addressing severe global environment problems. GE highlights long-term impact, and searches for high-tech visions, while environmental sociology examines the world on the practicality of environmentalism based on social dynamism. However, because GE is still a relatively new concept, there is an urgent need to advance knowledge to foster more theoretical grounding for the green economy paradigm. In this paper, I argue that for GE to flourish, it should focus on beliefs about humanity’s ability to upset the balance of nature, the existence of limits to growth for human societies, and humanity’s right to rule over the rest of nature. GE philosophy should design in ways that provide an equal platform for both South and North to manage the environment by creating an effective institutional structure, strong policy, and framework for policy implementation that can work effectively, efficiently, equitably and transparently within the frame of global governance. The task that lies before us. We, as scholars and practitioners, have to help define this innovative and ambitious architecture."


    "Social Watch developed the BCI as an instrument to monitor the evolution of basic indicators and make comparisons between and within countries. This is a summary-index that compares and classifies countries according to their progress in social development by evaluating their situation in terms of minimum basic capabilities – structural dimensions that represent the indispensable starting conditions to guarantee an adequate quality of life."

    Source: Basic Capabilities Index 2011, Social Watch, October 2011

    "World trade and per capita income grew faster in the first decade of the XXI century than the decade before, but progress against poverty slowed down. A gap widened, due to the unequal distribution of the benefits of prosperity. Now the boom years seem to give way to a bust. The vulnerable did not benefit from the accelerated growth in the economy, but they will undoubtedly suffer the most with a new contraction.

    "The Basic Capabilities Index computed by social watch looks at basic social indicators. The 2011 figures show that economic performance and well being of the people do not go hand in hand. Progress on education, health and nutrition was already too slow when gross income was growing fast. While using the latest available figures, the Index does not capture yet the whole impact of the global financial and economic crisis that started in 2008, because social indicators are gathered and published much slower than the economic numbers.

    "Yet, Social Watch is receiving evidence from its members on how the crisis is burdening the most those already vulnerable and that situation can only become worse if the big industrialized countries enter into prolonged stagnation or recession." Source: Social Watch

    6. Sustainability Games, Databases, and Knowledgebases

  • Earth Charter Game now available in two languages (English and Portuguese), Instituto Harmonia na Terra, December 2011

  • Earth Charter Game from Instituto Harmonia na Terra on Vimeo.

  • Climate Impact Equity Lens (CIEL), Stockholm Environment Institute, November 2011
  • Gridded Population of the World, CIESIN, Earth Institute, Columbia University, 2011
  • Interactive Map and Rankings for the 2011 Failed States Index, Foreign Policy and Fund for Peace, 2011
  • The World Top Incomes Database, Paris School of Economics, 2011
  • Sustainable Development Policy & Practice Knowledgebase, UNCSD/IISD, 2011
  • Environmental Knowledge, Maps, and Graphics Library, UNEP/GRID-Arendal, 2011
  • 7. Visualizations of the Sustainable Development Process

    Protecting Our Commons
    By Sarah van Gelder and Doug Pibel, Yes! Magazine, 29 July 2007

    Water, forests, and other natural "commons" provide the necessities of life. Shared stories, music, and knowledge enliven our cultures. Today, corporations are trying to enclose these and other commons—or externalize their costs onto them. But a movement is gaining momentum to protect our commons for generations to come.

    For an animated chart where you can hover over the symbols to learn more about our commons, click here. There are links in the same web page to download 8.5x11 and 11x17 posters. Courtesy of Yes! Magazine.

    8. Sustainable Development Modeling and Simulation

  • The Food Crises: A quantitative model of food prices including speculators and ethanol conversion, New England Complex Systems Institute, 29 September 2011
  • Simulating Energy Transitions, Emile Chappin, Delft University, 16 June 2011
  • EmileChappin-EnergyTransitions-Figure1.2
    Energy infrastructures as socio-technical systems
    Simulating Energy Transitions, Emile Chappin, Delft University, 16 June 2011, Figure 1.2, page 3

    Electricity and CO2 prices and CO2 emission levels for three carbon policies
    Simulating Energy Transitions, Emile Chappin, Delft University, 16 June 2011, Figures 4.13a and 4.13b, page 110

    9. Sustainable Development and the International Community

    Click on the image to visit the web site
    Keeping Track of Our Changing Environment: From Rio to Rio+20 (1992-2012), UNEP, November 2011
    UN Conference on Sustainable Development
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 4-6 June 2012

    Objectives & Themes of the Conference
    History of Sustainable Development
    UN System, IGOs, and NGOs
    Links to Documents, Publications, and Databases
    Earth Summit 2012 Stakeholder Forum
    Towards the Rio+20 Conference

  • Millennium Development Goals for 2015, Gateway to the UN System's Work on the MDGs.
  • Education for Sustainable Development, United Nations "Decade of Education for Sustainable Development" (2005-2014), UNESCO.
  • Are We Learning to Change? Mapping Global Progress in Education for Sustainable Development, Daniella Tilbury, UNESCO/IRIS, 2011.

  • UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 17)
    Durban, South Africa, 28 November to 9 December 2011


    South Africa plays host to the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that will be held in Durban from November 28 to December 9, 2011. With slow progress having been achieved at previous meetings, expectations are high for the talks to usher in a just, equitable and binding international agreement to deal, decisively, with the threat of global climate change. Consider the ethical dimensions in climate change debate. See Negotiators should resolve political issues ahead of Durban climate talks, by Christy van der Merwe, Engineering News, 19 July 2011. Visit the conference website.

  • Ocean Earth: How Rio+20 Can and Must Turn the Tide
    An analysis of gaps in the implementation of the ocean-related outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development - Susan Lieberman, Director of International Policy, Pew Environment Group, September 2011

    Excerpt: "The world is once again on the road to Rio, 20 years after the landmark 1992 Earth Summit, in many ways the bedrock of sustainable development in the 21st century. At the 1992 meeting, however, issues relating to the world's oceans took a back seat. The past two decades have brought a heightened awareness of the importance of oceans for human well-being and livelihoods, and of threats to ocean conservation, coupled with ever-increasing industrial-scale overfishing. Two opposing forces have been at play --a recognition that the need for sustainable global fisheries has never been more apparent, countered by the stark reality that global fish stocks, the world's largest wild protein resource, have never been more threatened or more overexploited."

    Responsibility and solidarity should prevail at Durban climate talks, CIDSE says

    (Durban, 28/11/2011) As the international community gathers in Durban, South Africa (28/11/11 – 09/12/11) to revive the stalling climate talks, the international alliance of Catholic development agencies CIDSE calls on negotiating governments to put the world back on track towards climate justice.

    In its recommendations for the Durban summit, CIDSE’s focuses on three main issues:

    First, the Kyoto protocol, the only binding international agreement on emission reductions, expires next year and must be renewed. An extension of the Protocol is needed to ensure the future of the international climate regime and is vital for a fair and binding outcome of the negotiations.

    Second, all parties must urgently agree on more ambitious science-based emission cuts in order to halt advancing climate change. Currently targets are being set according to countries’ individual and voluntary pledges, rather than according to what science indicates is necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. In Durban, countries need to pledge emission cuts which are consistent with the commitment made last year in Cancun to stay below a 2°C rise in global temperatures.

    Third, developed countries must deliver on their Cancun promise to dedicate $100 billion by 2020 in the form of new and additional money for climate action in developing countries, to follow up agreed Fast Start Finance of $30 billion for 2010-12. This scaled-up climate finance must be used through the UN Green Climate Fund, which needs to be operational by 2013 at the latest to ensure there will be no finance gap after 2012. Innovative sources, like a tax on financial transactions which is gaining growing consensus among world leaders, could contribute to reaching this goal.

    Read the full recommendations... (PDF)

    Amazon Rainforest, Brazil, South America
    2011 - International Year of Forests
    IRENA Brochure, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
    2012 - International Year of Sustainable Energy for All

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