Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future
Stakeholder Forum is an international organisation working to advance sustainable development and promote democracy at a global level. Our work aims to enhance open, accountable and participatory international decision-making on sustainable development through enhancing the involvement of stakeholders in intergovernmental processes.
The organisation seeks to provide a bridge between those who have a stake in sustainable development, and the international forums where decisions are made in their name. To this end, we work with a diversity of stakeholders globally on international policy development and advocacy; stakeholder engagement and consultation; media and communications and capacity building – all with the ultimate objective of promoting progressive outcomes on sustainable development through an open and participatory approach.
Stakeholder Forum was initially set up in 1987, as the first National Committee for the United Nations Environment Programme and was called the United Nations Environment Programme-UK (UNEP-UK). It was hosted by International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) from 1987 to 1992. In 1993 after the Rio Earth Summit it reformed as a multi-stakeholder body to reflect the Major Group concept in Agenda 21 It renamed itself the United Nations Environment and Development–UK Committee and was housed in the United Nations Association UK office in London. It acted as the National Committee for UNEP in the UK and the first Northern Focal Point for UNDP from 1993 to 2000. In 2000 it became an international multi-stakeholder organization called Stakeholder Forum for Our Common Future.
In October 2004 Stakeholder Forum became, after seventeen years, a free-standing organization in its own right. It took the opportunity to rename itself, feeling that Stakeholder Forum for a Common Future looked back to the Brundtland Report in 1987, while Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future looked forward.
Activities and achievements
Stakeholder Forum has been the main coordinating mechanism used by the UK Government to gauge UK stakeholder views for intergovernmental meetings. It has facilitated UK stakeholder input to the following events:
- the World Summit 2005
- the UNEP Hilltops to Oceans Conference (2004)
- UN Economic Commission for Europe Environment Conference (2003)
- The World Trade Organisation Meeting (2003)
- the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002)
- the World Summit on Social Development Review (2000)
- the WHO European Health and Environment Conference (1999)
- UN General Assembly Special Seesion to review Rio Agreements known as Rio+ 5(1997)
- the Istanbul Habitat II Conference (1996)
- the Beijing Women's Conference (1995)
- the Copenhagen World Summit on Social Development(1995)
- the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (1993–2004)
- the Earth Summit(1992).
The UN and governments have increasingly used Stakeholder Forum to facilitate stakeholder engagement in international meetings. These have included:
- Facilitating stakeholder input to the Bonn Nexus Conference (2011)
- Facilitating stakeholder input on climate and water in the UNFCCC process (2008 to date)
- Facilitating stakeholder consultation in the UN Annual Ministerial Review (2008)
- Facilitating stakeholder consultation in the UN Heads of State Round Table on Environmental Sustainability (2008)
- Facilitating stakeholder consultation for the Informal UN General Assembly Session on International Environmental Governance (2007)
- Facilitating the UK media launch of UNEP Global Environmental Outlook 2 (1999) GEO3 (2002) GEO4 (2007)
- Setting up with SIWI a Global Public Policy Network on Water Management (2007)
- Facilitating stakeholder involvement in the Sustainable Development Consultation with the UN High Level Panel on System Wide Coherence (2006)
- Facilitating stakeholder involvement in UNEP GPA IGR-2 on Land based pollution to the marine environment (2006).
- Coordinated the Stakeholder Dialogues for the Bonn Renewable Energy Conference (2004)
- Preparing global stakeholders for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) (2002)
- Organising the Implementation Conference for the WSSD, launching 23 Type Two (2002)
- Setting up the Global Network (NRG4SD) for Regional Government for Sustainable Development (2002)
- Coordinating the Stakeholder Dialogues for the Bonn International Freshwater Conference (2001)
- Coordinating the stakeholder Dialogues for the Bergen Adhoc Environment Ministers Meeting (2000)
Stakeholder Forum hosted an informal workshop in June 1996 at Green College Oxford, to prepare governments and stakeholders for the Rio+5 review of the outcomes of the Earth Summit conference. Between 1998-2000 Stakeholder Forum hosted informal workshops to help create the momentum for a Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002. This was eventually agreed to by governments in December 2000 at the UN General Assembly.
During the preparatory process for the World Summit on Sustainable Development it promoted the idea of multi-stakeholder partnerships being an engine for implementation for global agreements. At the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 it launched twenty three multistakeholder partnerships and also the facilitated the launching of the first global network for Regional Government on sustainable development (NRG4SD).
Since 2005 Stakeholder Forum has been articulating the link between human, environment and economic security. It has also been developing further work on multistakeholder processes such as the Global Public Policy Network on Water Management it developed with the Stockholm International Water Institute as a mechanism for stakeholders, governments and the UN to work together prior to a global meeting in developing a common narrative of the problem and some solutions.
In 2008 it hosted a workshop on the possible themes for a Rio+20. The outcome was known as the Donostia Declaration after the city in Spain where the workshop happened. This was ten days after G77 tabled a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly calling for a new Earth Summit. The workshop identified four areas for a possible Summit to address: a review of present commitments, sustainable development governance, the green economy and emerging issues. the United Nations General Assembly agreed to host a new Earth Summit in the General Assembly in December 2009. the Summit will be in 2012.
Since 1996 Stakeholder Forum has published a daily newsletter 'Outreach' at key sustainable development meetings. It has also run numerous training workshops based on the book 'How to Lobby at Intergovernmental Meetings - Mine is a Cafe Latte'. In 2009 it started a partnership with the BBC World Service Trust and UN Radio to produce radio programmes during the UN Commission on Sustainable Development meeting.
Stakeholder Forum is overseen by a UK Board of Directors and advised for its work in the UK by a UK multi-stakeholder policy advisory panel and internationally by its international advisory group.
Its President is Derek Osborn who was the co-chair of the preparatory process for Rio+5 It has six Vice Presidents who have all chaired the UN Commission on Sustainable Development: Henrique Cavalcanti (former Brazilian Environment Minister and CSD Chair 1995, Mostapha Tolba (former UNEP Executive Director and CSD Chair 1997), Simon Upton (former New Zealand Environment Minister and CSD Chair 1999), Juan Mayar (Former Columbian Environment Minister and CSD Chair 2000) and Bedrich Moldan (former Czech Republic Environment Minister and CSD Chair 2001)
International Advisory Board
Chairs of International Advisory Board have been 2000-2002: Derek Osborn and Hesphina Rukato (now Deputy Chief Executive NEPAD) 2002-2008: David Hales (former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State USAID[1993-2000]) 2002: Hon Gwen Mahlangu MP (Speaker in the South African Parliament, 2009 to date: Derek Osborn
Present members include NGOs: WWF-International, Environment Development Action in the Third World, Participatory Research International Asia, Development Alternatives, ANPED, Tearfund, Environment Liaison Centre International, World Information Transfer, CIVICUS, International Council for Social Welfare, LEAD International, Centro de Estudios Ambientales, Baha'i International Community, Arab Network for Environment & Development, NRDC, National Wildlife Federation. Greenpeace, Climate and Sustainability Platform, Consumers International Industry: International Chamber of Commerce, World Business Council on Sustainable Development Trade Unions: Global Unions Local and Regional Government: International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, Network for Regional Government for Sustainable Development, The Climate Group Women: The Network of NGOs of Trinidad & Tobago for the Advancement of Women, Huairou Commission, DAWN Women's Environment and Development Organisation Youth: Peace Child International, CSD Youth Caucus Farmers: World Farmers Organization Academic and Research: International Institute for Sustainable Development, International Institute for Environment and Development, World Resources Institute, Intergovernmental: IUCN, International Council of Scientific Unions, UNEP, UNDESA
Board of Directors
Present Board includes: Craig Bennett, Craig Jones, Mehjabeen Price,Charles Nouhan, Philippa Drew and Emmanuel Lebaut
Former Board Members (2004-2012):Andy Wales, David Fitzpatrick, Alex Kirby, Malcolm Harper, Jonathan Hodrien,Jim Scott, Vijay Krishnarayan, Andrew Binns. Former Board Members (1993-2004): Action Aid, BP, Christian Aid, Education Caucus, Friends of Earth, Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development, IIED, Local Government Association, Local Government Management Board, Local Government International Bureau, National Farmers Union, National Westminster Bank, New Economics Foundation, Oxfam, Peace Child International, Shell, Severn Trent, Skanska, Television Trust for the Environment, Town and Country Planning Association, Tearfund, Trade Union Congress, United Nations Association, Wales, WaterAid, Woodcraft Folk, Womens Environmental Network, Women's Institute
Farooq Ullah (2012 to date) Felix Dodds (1993 to 2012) Koy Thompson (1989–1992) David Cooper (1987–1989)
- Only One Earth the long road via Rio to Sustainable Development by Felix Dodds and Michael Strauss with Maurice Strong (Earthscan 2012) Earthscan
- Biodiversity and Ecosystem Insecurity: A Planet in Peril edited by Ahmed Djoghlaf and Felix Dodds (Earthscan 2011) Earthscan
- Energy and Climate Insecurity edited by Felix Dodds, Andrew Higham and Richard Sherman (Earthscan 2009).
- Negotiating and Implementing Multilateral Environmental Agreements by Felix Dodds, Maria Onestin, Michael Strauss (UNEP 2007)
- Human and Environmental Security edited by Felix Dodds and Tim Pippard (Earthscan 2005)
- How to Lobby At Intergovernmental Meetings by Felix Dodds and Michael Strauss (Earthscan 2004)
- Plain Language Guide to WSSD by Georgina Ayres, Rosalie Callway, Jan McHarry, Janet Strachen (Earthscan 2004)
- Governance for Sustainable Development edited by Georgina Ayre and Rosalie Callway (Earthscan 2004)
- Multistakeholder processes on Sustainability and Governance by Minu Hemmati with Felix Dodds, Jasmin Enayati and Jan McHarry (Earthscan 2000)
- Earth Summit 2002 A New Deal edited by Felix Dodds and Toby Middleton (Earthscan 2000)
- Poverty in Plenty: a Human Development Report for the UK edited by Jane Seymour (Earthscan 1999)
- Earth Summit II by Tom Bigg and Derek Osborn (Earthscan 1998)
- The Way Forward Beyond Agenda 21 edited by Felix Dodds (Earthscan 1997)
Donostia Declaration (promoting an Earth Summit 2012 (2008), Millennium Development Goals Report on Goal 7 (2008), the Annual Ministerial Review Report on MDG Goal 7 (2008), Options for Strengthening the Environmental Pillar of Sustainable Development (169 paper final version)(2007), Sustainable Development in the Context of UN Reform (2007), UNEO: A Champion for environment in the 21st century, but what role for stakeholders? (2007), the UN System and Sustainable Development: Proposals for a Sustainable Development Institutional Initiative (2007), From Words to Action: Civil Society Representatives Call for a Strong Follow-up to the High Level Panel on System-wide Coherence (2007)