PICS sustainable communities theme leader, Mark Roseland unveiled PICS-funded projects in Brazil at side events associated with the Rio+20, United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.
Events included the 2012 World Congress of ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability in Belo Horizonte, the ICLEI Global Town Hall at Rio+20, and the parallel People's Summit in Rio.
The featured projects included:
- Toward Sustainable Communities: Solutions for Citizens & Their Governments, a comprehensive new collection of cutting-edge sustainability tools and strategies used by forward-thinking communities around the world;
- Pando, a multilingual online network where sustainable communities researchers and practitioners can develop collaborative new partnerships; and
- Community Capital Tool, a sophisticated, free, online tool that anyone can access to aid sustainability planning in their community.
'Residents of Belo Horizonte were very proud to see their city's food security program featured in the book, and Latin Americans at these events were really happy to learn that Pando and the Community Capital Tool are available in Portuguese and Spanish,' observed Roseland after co-convening the Urban Research Symposium at the ICLEI conference.
'People snapped up copies of Toward Sustainable Communities and we had very productive sessions introducing Pando and the Community Capital Tool to people from around the world,' noted Rossland, who is Director of the Centre for Sustainable Community Development at Simon Fraser University and Professor in SFU's School of Resource and Environmental Management.
'It was pretty exciting to see B.C. research helping show the way forward to sustainable communities at an international conference of about 1,500 delegates,' he added.
At the Rio+20 Summit, Roseland was struck by the contrast between the slow-moving, increasingly circumscribed conversation among diplomats about sustainability inside the heavily guarded event, and the peaceful, festive protest monitored by riot police and military helicopters just outside of it.
Local media estimated that more than 50,000 people converged in Rio streets to express their frustration with the social, economic and environmental status quo.
'This just reinforced my view that real movement toward sustainability is more likely to come from the level of local governments than from a timely coordinated international action,' said Roseland.