Earth Emergency – WFC issues Global Policy Action Plan

Ethical Markets Reforming Global Finance, Global Citizen

As governments have failed to agree upon appropriate action in the interest of future generations at the Rio+20 Summit this summer, the World Future Council is now calling on governments, parliaments, media, youth and citizens to accelerate action towards a fair and sustainable shared future. The WFC has outlined required policy actions in its Global Policy Action Plan.

We urgently need to amplify efforts for a renewable energy transition, for healthy ecosystems, sustainable economies and an equitable and peaceful future. We will continue to promote the establishment of the Ombudspersons for Future Generations at a global, national and regional level. The time to act is now.

With best regards from Hamburg,

Alexandra Wandel,
WFC Management Board


Earth Emergency – WFC issues Global Policy Action Plan

Coincided with the 40th Anniversary of the UN’s World Environment Day on June 5, the World Future Council presented an emergency policy agenda consisting of 24 tipping-point policies that need to be implemented globally to preserve a habitable planet. The condensed, six-page document is titled “Saving our Shared Future – Best Policies to Regenerate our World.” It is the result of more than five years of work with parliamentarians, national and international policy-makers, as well as scholars and civil society groups to identify, debate, legislate and implement breakthrough policies to enable the transition to a fair and sustainable future. The policies are divided into four main areas of necessary policy reform, evocatively titled “Regenerating our Planet,” “Making Money again our Servant,” “Governance and Education” and “Protecting Our Shared Future.”

Future Policy Award 2012 – List of nominees presented

31 outstanding policies from 22 countries and regions have been nominated for the Future Policy Award 2012 on oceans and costs. Among all entries submitted, the World Future Council’s research team carefully reviewed whether they meet the World Future Council’s Future Justice Policy Principles and Vision of a sustainable, just and peaceful future. A variety of interviews with representatives from governments, sciences and non-governmental organizations were conducted for all nominations checking the effective enforcement of the policies. Find the list of nominations here. The winning policies will be announced at the United Nations Headquarters in September 2012.

A set back in Rio but a seed is planted

It is with disappointment that governments were unable to overcome the short-term orientation of policy making and agree in Rio to establish an Ombudsperson or High Commissioner for Future Generations, despite considerable high level support and interest behind it. Instead the UN Secretary General has been invited to present a report to consider how to take into account the needs of future generations. The WFC will pursue prioritisation for this report, that it is based on sound foundations of analysis to offer strong action oriented recommendations. The WFC will continue to promote the establishment of the Ombudspersons for Future Generations at global, regional and national levels, working with active and engaged civil society organisations and existing Ombudspersons to further promote this proposal and help provide high level policy expertise on the themes of intergenerational equity.

Launch of new Partnership on Biodiversity Legislation

On the occasion of the 1st World Summit of Legislators from the 15th to the 17th of June in Rio de Janeiro, the World Future Council co-hosted together with GLOBE International the main plenary session on biodiversity legislation. It marked the beginning of the new collaboration between the WFC and GLOBE International which will help build the capacity of legislators to advance and amend legislation which supports the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity around the world. Therefore, WFC Director Alexandra Wandel presented the concept of WFC?s Future Policy Award with special attention to the 2010 award on best biodiversity legislations and, furthermore, a draft of training materials on how to craft future just policies for government officials and parliamentarians. Over a hundred legislators from 59 countries participated in the session. A further collaboration for an ongoing program is now discussed by WFC, GLOBE and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

WFC Director Alexandra Wandel and Rt Hon. John Gummer, Lord Deben, President of GLOBE International

Upcoming events

World Urban Forum VI

From September 1 to 7, Naples will host the 6th World Urban Forum of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT). On September 3rd the World Future Council will co-host a networking event on Regenerative Cities ? Beyond Sustainability. This event will povide a platform for urban planners, policy makers from different governance levels and civil society organisations to discuss different urban planning opportunities and challenges, especially with regards to enabling governance structures and policy instruments, resource planning and flows, and the role of energy for regenerative cities. Stefan Schurig, WFC Director Climate and Energy will moderate a discussion among panellists and the audience.

Expert Hearing on Regenerative Urbanisation

To assure that cities are benign to both their inhabitants and the ecosystems to which they depend on, bold new approaches to policy, planning, design and use of technology are urgently needed. The WFC’s Expert Commission on Cities and Climate Change will bring together 40 policy makers and experts in this Expert Hearing from September 20 to 24 to explore perspectives and develop strategies for future-proofing urban development and creating regenerative cities in the Middle East and across the world. It will be hosted by the Al Habtoor Group in Dubai.

Get information on all other upcoming events.

Recent events

A tank made of bread in Rio


Two girls in front of the Bread Tank

The World Future Council and various partners, including Mayors for Peace, launched an appeal to the UN and the governments at Rio+20 that military spending should be cut back by a minimum of 10 % per annum and that the freed-up funds should be used for social, economic and ecological programs worldwide. Among the signatories are several Nobel Prize Laureates. To support the appeal, the WFC brought – led by project manager Holger Güssefeld – a life-size and mobile tank made of bread to Rio. The tank was the center of various events and received a huge media response all around the globe. Read more about the project here.

A prelude to the European Accessibility Act – The Zero Project at the European Parliament

More than 70 parliamentarians, policy experts and representatives of disabled people?s organizations gathered at the European Parliament for a high-level debate on how to unlock Europe?s potential through accessibility, under the lead of Dr Ádám Kósa MEP, the Essl Foundation and the World Future Council, and in collaboration with the European Disability Forum. The focus was on the presentation of the findings of the international Zero Project Report 2012 in which the national implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 35 countries are discussed.

Inter-Parliamentary Hearing “Forests for People” in Rwanda


Participants of the Inter-Parliamentary Hearing

Following up on the Future Policy Award 2011 that was dedicated to the world?s most inspiring forest policies, the World Future Council held an Inter-Parliamentary Hearing entitled ?Forests for People? in Kigali, Rwanda from 6-8 July 2012. The hearing was convened in collaboration with the Rwanda Ministry of Natural Resources, the Rwanda Natural Resources Authority, the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) and GLOBE International. In a concluding session, the 25 participants passed the “Kigali Declaration” in which they commit to achieve sustainable forest management. After the hearing program, the Future Policy Award trophy 2011 was handed over to H.E. President Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, by WFC Director Alexandra Wandel.

Get information on all other recent events here.