In the 40 years since the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, and 20 years since the original Rio Earth Summit, the challenges facing global environmental governance remain daunting. But the failure to reach consensus on a response to climate change and the additional difficulties for environmental progress posed by the global financial crisis are not the end of the story.
More than 150 presentations by experts from more than 30 countries will offer bottom-up approaches that challenge the status quo. Meeting for the first time in the United States, the colloquium will focus on new responses to climate change and the need to protect biodiversity and promote sustainability.
Highlights will include an exploration (by a panel including a Brazilian High Court justice, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency general counsel, and a regional director of the United Nations Environment Programme) of next steps after the Rio+20 Summit at the Opening Plenary at 9 a.m. Monday, July 2, and a keynote at 7 p.m. that evening by Edith Weiss Brown, JD, PhD, LLD of Georgetown University Law Center. An environmental film festival and a wine tasting are set for the evening of July 3. The conference concludes July 5 with a program at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., exploring "Environmental Justice, Access to Information and Public Participation."