TERI's flagship summit ends with international consensus on resource-efficient growth
New Delhi, Feb.3 : Expressing concern at the mounting environmental challenges, global thought leaders unanimously emphasised on the need to adopt resource-efficient innovations at the final session of the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit 2013.
The summit, organised annually by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) since 2001, provided an international platform for comprehensive discussion on issues pertaining to resource efficiency, climate change, clean energy and sustainable development.
DSDS 2013 featured representatives from over 30 countries, including heads of state, policy makers, academicians and corporate members. Giving a unique insight into the global sustainability agenda, the Summit comprised representation from both developed and developing nations.
The three-day summit was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India, Dr.Manmohan Singh, in the presence of James Alix Michel, President, Seychelles, Anote Tong, President of the Republic of Kiribati, Donald Ramotar, President, Guyana, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Minister of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India, and Jayanthi Natarajan, Minister of Environment and Forests.
In a special address, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid hailed the summit, saying, "Not everything (on sustainable development) happens at Davos. A large part of it happens here in Delhi. I congratulate Dr R.K. Pachauri for this Summit."
He added, "Freedom from want and hunger is the best antidote to social inequality and environmental degradation. It is also the path as well as the direct beneficiary of resource-efficient growth and development, which was the theme of this conference. In our view, the process of sustainable development must involve the civil society, private sector, local governments and all stakeholders. We must strengthen their hands to forge stronger partnerships."
The valedictory address was delivered by Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairperson, Planning Commission of India.
Emphasising on the need for sustainable practices and policies, Ahluwalia asserted, "We are pushing for faster and stronger sustainable development. Sustainability is at the forefront of the 12th Plan."
"Behavioral changes and mindset shifts are crucial for sustainable development. Conferences like the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit can trigger major mindset changes," he quipped.
The summit this year witnessed the representation of political leaders and ministers from Bhutan, Guyana, Pakistan, Congo, Nigeria, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Maldives, Norway, Poland, Quebec, UAE, Denmark, Phillipines, Canada, Belgium, Kiribati, Seychelles, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Djibouti, Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Australia, U.K., U.S.A, and India, besides distinguished thought leaders.
A range of interactive side events were also held as part of the DSDS 2013, including the World CEO Sustainability Summit that featured over 150 business representatives engaging in discussions on the core theme, "Resource Revolution: a global imperative and how business can shape it," and issues pertaining to energy efficiency, water availability and value chains.
A central novelty at DSDS this year were highly focused, parallel thematic tracks on issues like Global trends in sustainable production and consumption with a special focus on edible oils; Mindset of Green Growth; Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Energy Future We Want for All; and Reducing Inequalities: a Sustainable Development Challenge.
Reflecting on the deliberations carried out at the Conclave, Dr. R.K. Pachauri, Director-General, TERI said, "We owe it to the coming generations, and the underprivileged of this generation, to see that we bring about a major shift in priorities and conserve our depleting resources. TERI has been at the forefront of addressing key ecological and environmental problems that we see at the global level."
Revealing the 2014 Summit's theme, Dr. Pachauri said, "The next edition of the DSDS will be held in New Delhi from 6-8 February 2014 on the theme, 'Energy, Water and Food Security for All."
Continuing the series' rich legacy, DSDS 2013 featured an illustrious array of distinguished luminaries from more than 35 nations across the world.
Among the Heads of State attending the discussions were the Former President of Finland, Ms. TarjaHalonen; President of the Asian Development Bank, Mr. Haruhiko Kuroda; President of African Development Bank, Mr. Donald Kaberuka; President of the sixty-sixth session of the UN General Assembly, Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser; Member of the House of Lords, UK, The Rt. Hon. The Lord John Prescott; Nobel Laureate and Scientific Director of Germany's Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Carlo Rubbia; renowned economist and Director of The Earth Institute at USA's Columbia University, Prof. Jeffrey D. Sachs; and noted author and Foreign Affairs Columnist of The New York
Times, Mr. Thomas L Friedman will also be leading the sessions.
The first-ever Georgescu-Roegen Awards were also presented to Prof. Kozo Mayumi-- a Professor at the Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences, University of Tokushima--and organisationsAccionEcologica and Oilwatchfor'Unconventional Thinking' and 'Bioeconomic Practice' respectively. In addition, the 2013 Sustainable Leadership Award was awarded in absentia to Mr. James Alix Michel, President, Seychelles, and received by Jean-Paul Adam, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Seychelles, on his behalf.
Since its inception, the DSDS series has enjoyed support and participation from over 33 heads of state and ministers from more than 43 countries, exemplifying its global appeal and relevance.