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TERI to hold World Sustainable Development Summit

TERI

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), on Thursday announced the 2016 edition of its flagship event, World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS). Themed Beyond 2015: People, Planet & Progress,’ the Summit assumes critical significance in the background of the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals and signing of the landmark Paris Agreement last year. The Summit will be held from October 5-8 in New Delhi.

WSDS has evolved from the 15-year legacy of the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS), which was initiated by TERI in 2001. It is among the first international summits to discuss the new agenda post the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and COP 21. It strives to provide long-term solutions for the benefit of the global community by bringing together the world’s leaders and thinkers on one powerful platform.

This is the only global conclave in the developing world to unite policymakers, corporate leaders, researchers and members of civil society from across continents to provide local solutions for global challenges. The Summit seeks to promote ‘advocacy for implementation’ with a primary focus on sharing local solutions for global challenges to achieve sustainability in plans, processes and practices.

Commenting on the occasion, Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, TERI said, “WSDS aims to be a common platform for countries to convene and identify opportunities for collaboration. We are trying to foster an environment in which governments and stakeholders across sectors are able to engage in informed discussions and identify their individual and collective roles in achieving sustainable development in line with global climate change mitigation efforts.”

The previous DSDS editions have been inaugurated by former Prime Ministers of India. Dr. Manmohan Singh had graced the Summit in the years 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, while Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee had attended the Summit in 2001 and 2012. A total of 46 Heads of State and government, 13 Nobel Laureates, ministers from over 60 countries, close to 1600 speakers, and delegates from across continents have participated through the 15 editions of DSDS. The event has been renamed to reflect its reach and appeal among larger, global audiences, and to attract a wider variety of talent and expertise for decisive positive action.

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WSDS 2016 is being organised under the aegis of an International Steering Committee whose members include: Mr Ajay Narayan Jha, Secretary, MoEFCC, GoI; Mr Ashok Lavasa, Secretary (Expenditure) Ministry of Finance, GoI; Dr Upendra Tripathy, Secretary, MNRE, GoI; Mr. Suman Bery, Former Chief Economist, Strategy and Business Environment, Shell International Limited;  and Ms Rachel Kyte, CEO & Special Representative, Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All); and Mr Onno Ruhl, Country Director, World Bank India.

The 2016 edition builds on the previous editions with a series of Regional Dialogues to be hosted in select cities across India as one of the high points. Themed ‘Localising the Post-2015 Development Agenda,’ these consultations aim to explore the next critical steps, beyond the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Summit includes Business Day 2016, during which industry captains will conceptualise ideas for conducting environment-friendly business. With the theme, ‘Mobilising Business Strategies and Solutions’, industry will explore the role that businesses can play to not only invest in development but also enhance its corporate value.

As part of the tradition, an eminent global leader will also be awarded the Sustainable Development Leadership Award. Set up in 2005, the award felicitates individuals engaged in encouraging global initiatives that can lead the world towards a sustainable future. The DSDS 2015 awardee was Dr José Manuel Durão Barroso, Former President of European Commission & Former Prime Minister of Portugal.

The plenary sessions and thematic tracks planned for the Summit feature speakers from across the global development spectrum. Plenary sessions focus on energy transitions, Nationally Determined Contributions, urbanisation vis-a-vis water management, climate finance, and climate-energy-food nexus. Simultaneous break-away sessions with domain experts and practitioners focus on feasible solutions to challenges faced in the areas of groundwater, carbon pricing, WASH, addressing energy concerns while meeting development and pollution challenges, resource efficiency, as well as the progress made in building smart cities.

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This year’s Summit exhibition ‘Greenovation 2016’ offers a platform to global players for showcasing cutting-edge technologies and design solutions as part of the sustainability revolution spanning the broad spectrum of issues such as renewable energy, waste management, sustainable buildings, sustainable transport, water management, financing for sustainable development.

In addition, the Summit features a Media Colloquium to sensitize young journalists by building up their knowledge on issues of sustainability, and enhance their skills in climate change reporting.

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