RIO+ Centre Newsletter 1 – October 2013

RIO+ Centre Newsletter 1 – Oct 2013 by Rio Plus Centre (World Centre for Sustainable Development)


RIO+ follows international development agenda
RIO DE JANEIRO (October) – Following its mandate of promoting sustainable development throughout the world, the RIO+ Centre has been actively participating in several international events over the past couple of months, including a high level  event on social protection and inequality held on the margins of the 68th General Assembly, two climate change-related events in Africa and a seminar with acclaimed sustainable architect Shigeru Ban .          Social protection policies and inequality, United Nations Secretariat, New York – The RIO+Centre was invited by the International Labour Organization to participate in a high level debate together with the Government of Brazil and the Government of Belgium  to discuss the role that social policies can play in the fight against inequality. Dr Rômulo Paes de Sousa, Director of the RIO+, shared insights on the conceptual and practical dimensions of the social protection experience in various countries and how these learnings can inform the thinking on a post 2015 development agenda.          The panel saw the participation of  Belgium’s Minister of Development Cooperation, Mr. Jean-Pascal Labille; ILO’s general-director, Mr. Guy Rider; ILO’s director of Multilateral Cooperation, Mr. Stephen Pursey and  Brazilian Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, Carlos Antonio da Rocha Paranhos.Curaçao’s Prime Minster, Mr Ivar Asjes, Mozambique’s Minister of Women and Social Affairs, Ms Iolanda Cintura and Ms Izabel Ortiz from the Initiative for Policy Dialogue also spoke at the meeting.For the link about the event,click here.
ILO Director-General gives opening speech in social protection event. Photo: Jean-Pascal Labille


Shigeru Ban speaks at RIO+ event in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Diego Amorim/RIO+ Centre

Shigeru Ban debates sustainable architecture


Innovative Solutions for Urban Architecture (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – Discussions around sustainable cities have been growing steadily in the last few years as urban centers grow in population and size, consuming an increasing amount of resources. As such, urban planning and the creation of sustainable solutions have become a mandatory part of the debate to improve the quality of life at the municipal level.With its mandate of promoting innovation, the RIO+ Centre brought the renowned Japanese architect Shigeru Ban to Rio de Janeiro to discuss innovative solutions for urban architecture, including energy efficient buildings and temporary structures for events and for humanitarian relief in conflict and disaster areas.With over 100 people that crowded the theater of the outstanding Rio de Janeiro’s art museum MAR, Mr Ban talked about his projects and life experience working in with environment efficient materials, like cardboard and timber, which can be easily disposed and reutilized in other constructions, differently from concrete and steel.Ban has worked in several countries, from New Zealand and Japan to France and Spain. To see Ban’s work,click here.

Multiple Dimensions of Climate Change


Gendered Dimensions of Climate Change, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – An expert group meeting on climate change impacts on women and girls was held in order to review articles.  RIO+Centre’s Policy Specialist Leisa Perch served as a discussant for a paper on the agreement protocols and frameworks for gender and climate change at the global level and how these have informed regional, national and local policy efforts.  The papers reviewed in the meeting will be published in a book by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), Maseru, Lesotho – Ms. Perch participated in ahigh level dialogue, held in September to discuss policies, examples and solutions for a proposed Community of Practice for Climate-Smart Agriculture which is to be hosted by FANRPAN as part of a NORAD-funded initiative.Climate-Smart Agriculture put into Practice: Innovative Approaches in Latin America, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. RIO+ participated in this event, held to debate climate finance and the carbon market in the region, where Ms. Perch served as a moderator on the panel.  The event was held in lead up to the recent Latin America and Caribbean Carbon Forum (LACCF).Chapter 13: Poverty and Livelihoods, IPCC Fifth Assessment Report Ms Perch is one of the Lead Authors for of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report and as such participated in the last Lead Authors meeting which was held in July 2013 in Bled, Slovenia. The final draft of the Chapter was recently submitted by the Coordinating Lead Authors, concluding a multi-year process of review of the available literature and knowledge on this theme in the context of climate change.
Somali women carry their sick and malnourished children outside a medical clinic established in Somalia, after a severe drought that has ravaged large swaths of the Horn of Africa in 2011, leaving an estimated 11 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Photo: Stuart Price/UN Photos
UNDP’s knowledge management specialist Laura Hildebrandt joined the RIO+ Centre team in early October, from New York.She will be responsible for reactivating the Rio Dialogues online platform, promoting broad based engagement in the debate on sustainable development with the general public.Laura is the seventh person to join the RIO+ Centre team since its creation in June/2013 and will be here for a 3-6 months span.A partnership between UNDP and the Government of Brazil, the Rio Dialogues provided aforum for academia, civil society, private sector and the general public to draft and prioritize recommendations to world leaders at the Rio+20 Conference.


Rômulo Paes de Sousa (RIO+ Centre), Thereza Lobo (Rio como Vamos), Hermano Castro (Fiocruz/ENSP)

In the news media

RIO+ has also been in the media. Dr. Rômulo Paes de Sousa, the Centre’s director, gave an interview to Canal Saúde’s TV program “Sala de Convidados”, which is also broadcasted through national public channel NBR. Paes and the guests Hermano Castro, from Fiocruz’s public health school ENSP, and Thereza Lobo, from ONG Rio como Vamos, discussed how big cities today face several challenges regarding sustainability and life quality.

To watch the full video, in Portuguese only,

click here.

FAO’s technical paper

Dr. Rômulo Paes de Sousa, director of the RIO+ Centre, served as advisor in a high level panel to stablish the methodology of FAO’s technical paper “The Food Insecurity Experience Scale: Development of a Global Standard for Monitoring Hunger Worldwide”, published in October/2013 and made by Terri J. Ballard, Anne W. Kepple and Carlo Cafiero. To access the paper, click here.

– International Conference on Agricultural Statistics (ICAS), from 23 to 25 October/2013 in Rio de Janeiro, promoted by IBGE. The Centre’s director will be a keynote speaker on the first day of meetings. For the full programme, click here. Technical workshop for the discussion of international experiences regarding longitudinal panels studies on poverty, from 22 to 24 October/2013 in Brasilia, promoted by EuroSocial Program and Brazil’s Social Development Ministry. 

RIO+ from day one:


  • V Seminar on Technology Management and Innovation on Health. To see the website, click here (Portuguese only).September
  • RIO+ Centre presentation in UNDP BBL meeting. To watch the video, click here (English). 
  • Special Program on Sustainable Development and Health Equity (SDE), a dialogue on the work of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Centre for Sustainable Development (RIO+Centre), promoted by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
  • Keynote speaker at CEBEDS’s corporate sustainability event “Sustentável 2013”.
  • Institutional sponsorship at the “Sustainable Cities” event, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.August
  • Interview to IPC-IG on cash transfer policies. To watch the interview, click here (Portuguese only). 
  • Presentation about social protection policies in Brazil and Latin America and the post-2015 agenda at Fiocruz/ENSP, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. To watch the video, click here (Portuguese only).July
  • Interview to Health Channel about the RIO+ Centre’s creation. To watch it, click here (Portuguese only).
  • Sustainable Cities debate at UFRJ/COPPE, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in partnership with COPPE and the University of Tsinghua.
  • Interview to German news agency DW about the creation of the RIO+ Centre. To read the interview, click here (Portuguese only).June
  • 8th Global Conference on Health Promotion, in Helsinki, Finland. To watch the video and see the presentation (both in English), click here. For the conference website, click here
  • International Panel and Technical Seminar on Conditional Cash Transfer programs, in Brasilia, Brazil. Promoted by IPC-IG.May
  • ISAGS conference on Social Determinants of Health, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. To watch the video, click here; for institutional news, click here.


The World Centre for Sustainable Development (RIO+ Centre) is a legacy of the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development and was set up to inspire and inform policies and practices that lead to greater social, environmental and economic justice.  It works with governments, civil society and the private sector to stimulate dialogue and action on alternative development pathways.  As a global centre based in the south, RIO+ aims to bolster south-south cooperation and facilitate the participation of the global south in international efforts on sustainable development.

RIO+ Centre team:Director: Rômulo Paes de SousaDeputy Director: Layla SaadPolicy Specialist: Leisa PerchRio Dialogues Specialist: Laura HildebrandtProgram Associate: Ione NascimentoAdministrative Clerk: Wilians Alves


Sérgio Spagnuolo

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