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Sustainable Development: Answers from Different Actors, such as State, NGOs and Business

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Open to all. No registration required. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be served during the seminar

The aim of the session is to discuss the existing policies towards sustainable development in different countries, including Russia, and in different sectors, including biofuels, and identify existing benefits and limitations met by different actors, such as state, business and NGOs. While none of the actors can provide the answers on its own, it is important to identify different strategies and problems met by each of them. This talk will contribute to a broader understanding of contemporary policies towards sustainable development.

Jin H Chan

A Case Study on Biofuels

Biofuels has been identified as a green alternative to fossil based transport fuels. The industry expands rapidly over the past 10 years. For example, the global bioethanol industry grows at a rate of about 15% annually. In 2009, the production was 72.8 billion litres, contributed 5% of the world gasoline supply. But, there are many issues surrounding biofuels such as sustainability, food price etc. The presentation will provide an overview of the arguments and important factors to be considered in the debate. A case study on biofuels policy will be presented to illustrate the relevancy of the discussion to developing countries. We shall examine the policy objectives, social, economy and environmental impacts of the biofuel policy.

Ksenia Gerasimova

Sustainable Development: Answers from Russian NGOs

In this presentation I will talk on the current situation of the Russian NGOs, especially those involved in the environmental projects and policies, seeking possible answers if they can provide ‘sustainable’ answer for implementing policies of sustainable policies. This talk is based on the interviews with members of Russian NGOs, in the first place WWF Russia, and the literature review. Despite the boom in numbers of NGOs of all kinds, it seems that Russia has only a handful of strong ‘sustainable’ environmental NGOs and those have to carry the duty of ‘lobbying’ pro-environment policies, a current trend for smaller NGOs is to transform from being NGOs lobbying policies into consultancy firms, providing support in project management, but leaving the pushing function aside. For those who carry on the lobbying, such as Greenpeace and WWF , this experience is not ‘a bed of roses’ and includes the problem of constructive interaction with the state agencies, ignorance of the significant part of the Russian business,’sustainable’ funding, fluidity of leading experts, media misinterpreting their actions. While recognizing the efforts of the Russian NGOs towards creating sustainable, pro-environmental development, the cost-benefit approach and qualitative analysis shows that there are certain barriers on this way. I hope to discuss with the audience possible answers addressing my findings.

This talk is part of the Sustainability in the Built Environment (GreenBRIDGE) series.

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