"If the world succeeds in making a transition to truly sustainable development, all of us will owe no small debt of gratitude to Maurice Strong, whose prescience and dynamic presence on the International stage have played a key role in convincing governments and grassroots alike to embrace the principle - if not yet the practice - of adopting a new, long-term, custodial approach to the global environment."
Kofi Annan former UN secretary General
Tuesday April the 29th 2014 is Maurice Strong's 85th birthday.
Happy Birthday Maurice, we have so much to thank you for.
For more than half a century Maurice Strong, as much as anyone on the planet, has been the torchbearer for the cause of sustainable development – as visionary, humanist, teacher, businessman and diplomat, as well as champion global thought and action leader.
His crowning achievement was to curate and manage the 1992 Rio Earth Summit which brought together more than 100 Heads of State to forge a landmark Agenda 21 based consensus, which changed the course of our planet and its people towards a better and brighter future.
Alone this would have been a huge achievement but he also was in addition to being Secretary General to the first UN Conference on Environment in 1972 and the first Executive Director of United Nations Environment Programme.
The video 'A Conversation with Maurice Strong' was created by Barbara Pyle and Frank Melli to show the measure of the man and the enduring, game-changing nature of his thinking, action and teaching. It is a must for any sustainable development advocate to watch and we hope a teaching aid for all courses on the subject.
It has been released for his 85th birthday on April 29th with the support of Felix Dodds and Geoffrey Lipman on the launch of the Maurice Strong University Network, which will seek to carry his ideas to a global audience through the medium of Travel & Tourism, which he has always recognized as a force for positive change.
In 2011 and 2012 I had the pleasure with Michael Strauss and Maurice Strong on the book Only One Earth - The Long Road via Rio to Sustainable Development - a history of sustainable development at the global level over the last 40 years.
In the runup to Rio+20 Maurice did warn us of the challenges we face we will know next year when the SDGs and the climate negotiations have finished if we are on the right path or not.
“Indeed, it has never been more important to heed the evidence of science that time is running out on our ability to manage successfully our impacts on the Earth’s environmental, biodiversity, resource and life-support systems on which human life as we know it depend.
We must rise above the lesser concerns that preempt our attention and respond to the reality that the future of human life on Earth depends on what we do, or fail to do in this generation.
What we have come to accept as normal is not normal, as increased human numbers, the growing intensity of human impacts and the demographic dilemma faced by so many nations are returning the Earth to the conditions that have been normal for most of its existence that do not support human life as we know it.
We must deal with this as the most dangerous security issue humanity has ever faced, with the very conditions necessary to life on Earth at risk.”
Happy 85th Birthday Maurice Strong
The Global Research Institute at the University of North Carolina have asked me to stay for another year this time as a Senior Fellow. Very excited about continuing the work on the Nexus.
June will see the publishing of the NEW book - The Plain Language Guide to Rio+20 and the New Development Agenda written again with Jorge Laguna Celis and Liz Thompson it will help those already engaged in the follow up to Rio+20 and the development of the new development agenda. The book will be a Kindle download from a new publishing house New World Frontiers which will launch also in June. More on that next month. The front cover will again be done by John Charles the UK marvel artist.
An interview with Felix Dodds in Forbes Magazine by Terry Waghorn. Discussing the backdrop to his most recent book, From Rio+20 to a New Development Agenda: Building a Bridge to a Sustainable Future, written with Elizabeth Thompson and Jorge Laguna-Celis, provides an insider look at the 2012 conference and how it came about during one of the worst economic crises to date. The book is a companion to Only One Earth: The Long Road via Rio+20 to Sustainable Development, authored with Michael Strauss and Maurice Strong, which tells the story of sustainable development at the global level over the last forty years.
An interview with Felix Dodds on Global Connections Television by Bill Miller focusing on sustainable development, climate change and the new Sustainable Development Goals.
Enjoying a relaxing moment before the NEXUS CONFERENCE starts (5-8th March). There will be plenary video uploads at the end of each day for those who can not make it to the Friday Center Chapel Hill. Also on my blog everyday The Daily Nexus News. We will be twittering with
From the 5-8th of March the Nexus Conference on Water-Energy-Food and Climate happened in Chapel Hill North Carolina. It had over 300 people attending from 33 countries and looked at the possible contribution that the Nexus approach might have to the Sustainable Development Goals. It produced a Declaration which can be found at the web site. It also launched an Academic and Practitioners Network. Videos of the session can be watched at. The daily newsletter was produced by Campus Blueprint.
At the Nexus Conference with Johan Kuylenstierna, Executive Director, Stockholm Environment Institute
Speaking at the Nexus Conference
Speaking at Amber Valley Liberal Democrats Annual General Meeting where they elected me as their Hon President. The same month i published with Simon Titley an article in Liberator called "How to be a Liberal Minister'
November saw the Sustainable Development Goals Open Working Group restart - I published a blog on what i thought might be the outcome from this process that will finish with a negotiated text for the September UN General Assembly.
The Nexus Conference is progressing very well and the conference has now an impressive list of supporters: World Bank, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UNDP, UNCCD, UN HABITAT, UNITAR, IRENA, Stockholm Environment Institute, World Business Council for Sustainable Development and WWF International, Millennium Institute, Bioregional and WSPA. You can book a side event still until the end of December.
October was a busy speaking month with, International Renewable Energy Agency, UN Internet Governance Forum, Global Food Security and Sovereignty Forum and a lecture at UNC on MDGs to SDGs.
Felix Dodds speaking at the IRENA workshop on Social Acceptance of Renewable Energy.
Felis Dodds speaking at the UN Internet Governance Forum in Bali
Confirmation of speakers for the Nexus-Water-Energy-Food-Climate Conference - March 3rd-7th in Chapel Hill North Carolina are coming in:
Side events registration will start 14th of October
The final meeting of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development happened on the 20th of September. I think I may be the only person to have attended all the 20 CSD meetings and preparatory meetings over the 20 years.
(photo ENB with Chris Whaley UK Government)
What was particularly rewarding was the video of that was played for governments on the last twenty years which ended with a quote of mine being read out by nine year old Aila Ronald.
"The next generation need not become a generation of crisis, it need not be a generation of fear, it could be a generation of hope and solidarity. Lets innovate have vision and courage to bring this reality to every woman, man and child in the world." Felix Dodds
We also saw the first meeting of the High Level Political Forum which replaces the CSD and every 4 years will be at Heads of State level. A great first meeting.
The UNGA also agreed to one path for the new development goals you can read my comments at the ANPED newsletter SWITCH
Finally we saw the launch of Communitas - Coalition for Sustainable Cities and Regions in the new UN Development Agenda which I have the pleasure of being Advisor to as they seek a Sustainable Development Goal on urbanization and human settlements.
It has been a busy August.
The new book 'From Rio+20 to a New Development Agenda: Building a Bridge to a Sustainable Future' by Felix Dodds, Jorge Laguna Celis, Liz Thompson was handed into the publisher and will be out for January 2013 publisher is Earthscan at Routledge
It is a sister book to 'Only One Earth' (by Felix Dodds, Michael Strauss with Maurice Strong) and picks up the story from the end of that book and takes the reader through the preparations, negotiations and the possibly road to success for 2015 in the development of new development goals.
Part I: The Re-birth of Sustainable Development
Part II: Chronicling the key influences on Rio+20
Part III: How did it all come to happen?
Part IV: Multiplying commitments
Part V: From Rio+20 to 2015 and the new Development Agenda
Preparations for the Nexus Conference: Climate-Water-Food-Energy (March 3-7th 2014) move ahead with two major speakers announced Adnan Amin Secretary General IRENA and Liz Thompson former UN AS Rio+20 and Barbados Energy and Environment Minister.
The plenary sessions have also been announced:
The submission date for abstracts is now 1st of November.There was also a little fun