The problems of climate adaptation, poverty alleviation, and peacebuilding are common to many parts of the world. Yet the efforts to address them are often pursued separately or with little coordination. Capturing the co-benefits of building institutional capacity critical to all three areas is an idea that will likely receive little attention at next year’s Rio+20 Earth Summit in Brazil, says ECSP Director Geoff Dabelko.
Speaking at South by Southwest Eco (SXSW) last month, Dabelko made the case for bringing these communities together to make common effort in this resource-constrained environment. While trying to encourage cross-sectoral collaborations, “at minimum we need to avoid, as we address climate change, creating problems and doing harm,” he said. The role increased biofuels production had on food prices in 2008, for example, shows the potential for unintended negative consequences.
Dabelko spoke as part of a SXSW Eco panel on “great ideas that won’t be on the Rio agenda.” He was joined by Roger-Mark De Souza, vice president of research and director of the climate program at Population Action International, who spoke about population, health, and environment (PHE) programs; and Aimee Christensen, CEO of Christensen Global Strategies, who made the case for more fundamental integration of the private sector and NGOs in the sustainability efforts at Rio+20, a process normally dominated by governments.