Press release

Local action on green economy and governance needed to achieve sustainable development

November 1, 2011

WINNIPEG—November 2, 2011—What people and organizations can do at a local level to implement international agreements for sustainable development was the focus of a meeting hosted by Manitoba Eco-Network and the International Institute for Sustainable Development in Winnipeg, Wednesday.

It is one of 10 meetings being held across Canada, facilitated by the Canadian Environmental Network and the Stakeholder Forum, in preparation for the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development or Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil next June 4-6.

The Winnipeg meeting was designed to encourage open and frank discussion from some 50 participants representing a range of civil society organizations on the subject of Manitoba's role in the green economy and governance for sustainable development.

Manitoba Eco-Network executive director Kristine Koster emphasized the important role the group plays in bringing people and organizations together to promote and contribute positive environmental action for sustainable development.

"We need to challenge the myth that there is a trade-off between environmental investments and economic growth," Koster said. "We need to build linkages between environmental and economic priorities and persuade decision-makers to put in place policies that support and promote sustainable development."

IISD vice president and chief operating officer William Glanville said local and national actions are required to implement commitments set out at the first Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. "We need to move beyond negotiation to understand what it will take to connect people at the local level to achieve commitments made through international agreements for sustainable development," he said.

"Clear national policies and local actions are critical to achieving the goals set out in agreements at the first Earth Summit and the 20 years since then."

Comments and issues raised at the half-day Winnipeg meeting will be compiled and form part of a summary report to be released early next year, as part of an initiative by the Canadian Environmental Network, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Stakeholder Forum.

For more information, please contact Nona Pelletier, IISD manager, public affairs at +1 204 958-7740, +1 204 962-1303 (cell) or

About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 250 experts come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.