The year 2012 was the 20th anniversary of the UN Conference on Environment and Development, more familiarly known as the “Earth Summit.” During this year world leaders from governments, business and civil society met once again in Rio de Janeiro (the UN Conference on Sustainable Development or “Rio+20”) to reflect on progress with regard to past and current commitments to the aims of sustainable development articulated in 1992. Given the general acknowledgement of an “implementation gap” amid “worsening trends” despite improvements in eco-efficiency and public awareness, the need to better understand and promote sustainable production and consumption systems as well as the obstacles to this transition becomes increasingly urgent.
The Global Research Forum on Sustainable Production and Consumption (GRF) is a
new initiative bringing together organizations and individuals from various regions of the world engaged in research and its applications in the transition to sustainable production/
consumption (SPC) systems. This past June 2012, during this historic occasion, the
Brazilian Ministry of the Environment and other partner organizations helped mount the official launch of the Global Research Forum in Rio de Janeiro.
The launch involved several events, most notably a three-day workshop featuring about 80 researchers and practitioners from various regions of the world, as well as additional side events and activities linked with the UN Conference on Sustainable Development.
The workshop was divided between a focus on the research on sustainable consumption and production research and its communication and application in practice. The workshop was held at the Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing (ESPM), Rua de Rosaria 90, Rio de Janeiro.
The GRF initiative builds on a 20+ year SPC research tradition involving numerous researchers, institutes, and networks around the world, and on the many efforts and experiences applying research findings into policy, civil society, and business. The workshop was followed by a side event at the UN Rio+20 conference, sharing some of the key outcomes of the GRF workshop with a wider audience and discussing post-Rio options.
Workshop outcomes and plans were also discussed in a number of public panels in conjunction
with Rio+20 activities, including the Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation
for Sustainable Development (International Council for Science), and the Brazilian
Ministry Dialogue on Sustainable Consumption and Production.
A selection of the research papers will be published in a special issue of the Journal of Cleaner Production.
Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers , 2013. , 90 p.