Sustainable Development


Page Contents: 


Special Officer for Sustainable Development

SUSYCON: Sustainability Connections

2012 RIO+20 

UN Agencies for Sustainable Development

UN Campaign - Launch of Rio+20: The Future We Want

Reports from the Special Officer








Sustainable development was defined in 1987 by the World Commission of Environment and Development as:

"development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". 


Sustainable development ties together concern for the carrying capacity of natural systems with the social challenges facing humanity. As early as the 1970s "sustainability" was employed to describe an economy "in equilibrium with basic ecological support systems."


We Have


An opportunity to make a distinctive contribution to the development of Sustainability in New Zealand, and even globally.

An opportunity to be engage with activities around the globe, as well as in NZ, at any level – science, technology, environment, community, energy, food, transport, land, oceans, economics and politics: local, national and global. Get to know what is happening and network with the activists.

Work from your own interests in sustainability, find out what the UN and others are doing globally, and send that to relevant organisations in NZ. Find out what they are doing, and how they engage with the global agendas.

Analyse action and outcomes, compare NZ with overseas, ask the key question:

What are the critical issues?

What is actually happening?

How can we do better?

Who needs to know about it?

How can you make a difference?

The UN is working to move the world forward – initiating activities, funding others, coordinating, sharing ideas and technology, and promoting policy development at all levels.

Network with other students taking up this challenge, and with activists internationally.

Earn academic credits if you are doing a suitable subject.

We have an extensive compilation of sustainability related organisations in NZ, and there are a host of UN related resources.

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The UN Sustainable Development Goals

This section is currently being updated. In the meantime, please refer to the UN Sustainable Development Goals pages of the UN website. 


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Special Officer for Sustainable Development


Dr. Pedram Pirnia, Auckland 

Email: [email protected] 

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Climate Change Conference in Warsaw November 2013

 "Warsaw CC Conf - IISD Brief Analysis" HERE

SUSYCON - Sustainability Connections:Connecting NZ with the World 

Do you want to:

Make a real contribution to sustainability?

Engage with action in NZ and internationally?

Link with others who are also part of the action?

Get opportunities for practical and valuable projects?

Develop connections and understandings that will support your studies and career?

Then check this out!



2013 11 Climate Change Stakeholder Presentation to Tauranga Branch


View a fole of the power point slided here -> LinkClick.aspx

Climate Change Stakeholders’ Seminar

Gray Southon

The complex annual cycle of global climate change meetings climaxes this year in Warsaw between 11-22 November. Under the general umbrella of the UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change), an amazing array of countries, NGOs, Scientific organisations, cities and others persist in tackling this most daunting of global issues: the conflict between our lifestyles and expectations and the capability of the world to cope with us. This extra-ordinary effort, vital to the future of our species, is amazingly invisible to the most of us, and even this annual climax has been almost completely ignored by the media.

As New Zealand’s little band of diplomats prepare to venture forth, they kindly provided seminars for interested stakeholder in Auckland and Wellington. I was fortunate enough to attend the November, representing UNANZ, G-Force and the Quaker Futures Our speakers commenced by introducing the structure and a little of the history of the negotiations,

and noted the significance of various ‘real world’ events such as the IPCC 5th Obama’s policies and the Australian election results. They then went on to address specific issues that were to be considered including:

1. Land use (forests, agriculture etc.), where they had to extend the arrangements from the relatively stable developed countries to the quite dynamic developing country environment.

This was a complex area with various sources and sinks, possibly moving in a cyclic manner.

2. Carbon markets, had to be refined. There were now 40 countries operating or considering

carbon markets of various types, and there were many details to be sorted out.

3. Climate finance involved developed countries supporting the activities of developing countries, involving both public and private agencies. NZ had proposed a composite

structure whereby an allocation structure was established at a global level and the details

of how the money was allocated and made accountable were established on a local basis in

the context of established national programs.

4. Loss and damage involved funding the recovery from climate change impacts in developing countries. While there was already considerable activity in assisting recovery from disasters, with the anticipated increase, it was necessary to specifically target climate change. This process was very political, with considerable uncertainty in attributing cause to climate change and allocating costs to the various, mostly developed countries.

They then dealt with the structure of the 2015 agreement, what is expected next year and finished assessment report,

During questions it was made clear that the critical issues of the level and timing of commitments were up to the politicians, and the diplomats were responsible only for developing the ‘platform’ on which these commitments were handled. It was necessary for the community to engage with the politicians to ensure that we had input into the political decisions. Questions were asked about the status of NZ’s moral leadership internationally, and we were assured that it was good. NZ had done all it said it would do and had a reputation of developing constructive pragmatic, workable solutions.

They said that NZ was blessed with cross party political support for this diplomatic work. Other questions referred to the loopholes in such areas as land use and carbon markets, and whether The delegation were hoping that the Warsaw meeting would provoke member nations into action.

Amongst the approx 60 people in attendance were approx eight young people participating in various youth delegations, and we were informed that there was a business delegation going.

RIO + 20


UN Secretary General's Closing address at RIO+20


Clink HERE to watch the video.

Links to speeches given by Helen Clark, Administrator UNDP

From RIO to 2015 and beyond: Charting a course for a fairer world

Socio-environmental Protection Floor (Side event)

The power of local action for sustainable development

Beyong GDP: Measuring the future we want

UN Climate Neutral participation at RIO+20 through South-South cooperation

RIO+20 legacy world centre for sustainable development launched by Brazil and UNDP


Amy Adams addresses the RIO+20 conference 

Click HERE to watch video 


RIO +20 Sustainable Development Summit

Chicl HERE to visit website


2012 UNANZ RIO+20 Seminar


Held at the Beehive Theatre, 8 March 2012



Opening address Hon Dr Nick Smith


Keynote Panel: Chair - Sir Douglas Kidd

- Sustainable Business: Phil O'Reilly, Business NZ

- Economic priorities and environmental issues: Dr Rick Boven, Director NZ Institute

- Science perspective: Sir Peter Gluckman, Government Science Adviser


NGO Overview: Chair - Dr Roderick Alley

- Sustainable Development: Barry Coates, Oxfam

- Dr Gray Southon, UNANZ WFUNA

- Childrens Rights: Pip Bennett, UNICEF

- RIO+20 Platform Committee: DIana Shand


Specialist Panel: Chair - Michael Powles

- Oceans and Biodiversity: Dr Carolyn Lundquist, NIWA

- Energy-Smart Food for People and Climate: Professor Ralph Simms, Massey University

- Protection of Animals: Bridget Vercoe, WSPA


Institutional Framework: Chair - Diana Shand

- Institutions of Trust Building: professor Klaus Bosselmann, Environmental Law, Auckland University

- Response Ability An Intergrating Ethic for Sustainability: Betsan Martin, Response

- Indigenous Perspective: Bill Hamilton, Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorpoorated


Panel: Voice of Youth: Chair - Jimmy Green

- Emma Moon, 350 Aotearoa

- David Tong, Chair of P3

- Sudhvir Singh, Medical Students for Global Action

- Will Watterson, Global Poverty Project


A 12 page report of the seminar is available in the latest newsletter HERE


The Seminar Report (28 pages) is available for download HERE 


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UN Agencies for Sustainable Development


► United Nations Development Agencies

► United Nations Development Program

► UN Division for Sustainable Development

► United Nations Environment Program

► UN Habitat

► United Nations Forum on Forests

► UN Economic and Social Council

► UN GA Third Committee: Social Economic & Cultural

► United Nations Millennium Development Goals

► The UN Millennium Project

► Sustainable Future website

 UN Framework on Climate Change


UN Recruitment for Sustainable Development

► UN Volunteers

► UN Development Program Jobs


New Zealand Organisations for Sustainable Development

► Family Planning International 

► Fragile World Project 

► New Zealand Aid Programme

► DevNet

► Council for International Development

► P3 Foundation





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UN Campaign - Launch of Rio+20: The Future We Want

The UN's campaign, "Rio+20: The Future We Want,"  was rolled out at UN Headquarters on 22 November 2011, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Conference Secretary-General Sha Zukang and  USG Akasaka, as well as representatives of the Brazilian Government and civil society.

The event was called a launch of "a global conversation on sustainable development," which will allow people around the world to engage in a discussion on the kind of world we want in 20 years and how we are going to achieve that vision.

On 22 November, we also launched a new website,
This website is user-friendly for the broader public, with some materials available in all six official languages. It invites you to "Join the Global Conversation," which directs you to a website run by an external partner, called The Future We Want, where you will receive instructions on how to
participate, using your computers, hand-held devices and cell phones, or by submitting your ideas the traditional way, in letters and drawings. This external website is in English only to start, although it will accept inputs in all languages.  We are aiming to put instructions in all official languages on our sustainablefuture website, which will then link to the external website. Both websites will be further built and elaborated over the months to come.

The website has a prominent link to the official Rio+20 Conference website (which is in English only), a media page, ideas for how people can take action, and information on the seven key issues for which "mini-campaigns" are being developed by UN System partners: energy, oceans, food, cities, water, jobs/equity and resilience to

In early February, The Future We Want will launch a state-of-the-art crowd-sourcing campaign that will further focus the global conversation on the best and brightest ideas for the future of our cities, metropolitan areas and rural communities, in many regions of the world and from many cultures. These will be compiled and reviewed by a team of experts during March/April, and in June, the project will unveil a high-definition interactive exhibit at Rio+20, in which the best ideas from the global conversation will be shown in videos and computer animations.  Adaptations of these visuals will also be available on-line. 




Reports from the Special Officer for Sustainable Affairs



P3 Foundation - Can you Handle the Jandel? - September 2010


From the P3 Foundation:

In New Zealand jandals are a cheap summer staple, but many kids around the world can’t afford the basic footwear we take for granted.

Twelve young New Zealanders have slipped on their jandals and headed to New York for the Millennium Development Goals Summit to hear world leaders discuss the eight goals to halve poverty by 2015. This summit occurs once in five years and is the major international forum where your government decision makers voice their commitment to diminishing poverty.

Stand up for people who suffer and show your support by joining the 13th member of our delegation, the roving Kiwi jandal.


Find out what it's all about and meet the team at


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