So far, three times as many participants have registered for the SusCon 2012 as for its previous meetings. In addition, the conference has become increasingly international – Vietnam alone is sending 19 delegates. “The broad network of joint organizers, partners, supporters and media partners shows that the SusCon has become a strong platform for meeting and exchanging. This can hardly be replicated in the field of sustainability”, says Udo Censkowsky (Organic Services GmbH) a member of the SusCon organizing team.
Several UN organizations, such as the Development Programme (UNDP), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Environment Programme (UNEP) will be represented at the conference. In addition, a number of influential, non-governmental organizations – including the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO), the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), UTZ-Certified, the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) –will be involved. Other active partners that will be at the SusCon are German organizations, such as Naturland, the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) and the German working group for environmentally friendly management (BAUM).
Co-organizers, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), are placing substantial emphasis on the themes of “responsible investments in land” and “financial compensation for ecosystem services”. In addition, they will bring a broad supporting network from the business sector. Such details make it clear, even before the conference takes place, that it has been successful in bringing together all the different stakeholders, a necessary perquisite for the success of developing a Green Economy. Prominent business representatives at the conference include Kraft Foods, a part of Mondelēz International, and the REWE Group, who are both “Gold” sponsors of the SusCon.
The speakers include prominent figures such as Alain Caparros (CEO of REWE Group), Dr. Ernst-Ulrich Weizsäcker (member of the Club of Rome), Pavan Sukhdev (Leader of the TEEB-Biodiversity Study and founder of “Cooperation 2020”), Helmy Abouleish (Executive Director of SEKEM-Group/Egypt, which was awarded the Alternative Nobel Prize), Barbara Unmüßig (President of the Heinrich Böll Foundation) and Dr. Auma Obama (aid worker and founder of the SAUTI KUU Foundation/Kenya). Prince Charles will also share his vision of sustainability in a talk pre-recorded exclusively for the SusCon.
In addition to the plenary session speakers, there will be twelve thematic workshops at the SusCon, in which approximately 70 experts will discuss real-life projects that show how the theme of the conference “Green Economy – from Intention to Action” can be achieved.
Conferencing works up an appetite! In keeping with the motto, “organic and slow – network and relax”, there will also be a conference dinner providing “the best opportunities for exchanges and creating new friendships in the midst of a super culinary ambience”, says SusCon organiser, Bernward Geier (COLABORA).
For the culturally inclined, the SusCon will also present the Gala concert “Aquaphony and nature sounds” performed by world class musicians. The larger than life bronze statue “One World” by the Vietnamese-German artist, Dao Droste, which will be on display, is meant to remind conference participants of the uniqueness and the wonder of the Earth.
“Never has it been so important and simultaneously promising to organise for a sustainable world”, says Fritz Lietsch from the magazine forum Nachhaltig Wirtschaften, also a SusCon organizer. “Be there in the UN city of Bonn at the end of November when the SusCon sets a milestone for a truly sustainable ‘Green Economy’.”
For more information: www.suscon.net and www.twitter.com/SusCon_2012