Rio+20 Legacy: World Centre for Sustainable Development launched by Brazil and UNDP

Jun 22, 2012

Rio de Janeiro, BrazilAs a major and concrete legacy of the Rio+20 Conference, the Brazilian Government announced the creation of Rio+ Centre, the World Centre for Sustainable Development, at a ceremony this morning attended by Izabella Teixeira, Brazil’s Minister for the Environment and Helen Clark, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator.

The Rio+ Centre will facilitate research, knowledge exchange and promote international debate about sustainable development. It will bring together a broad international consortium of partners, consisting of government agencies, United Nations agencies, local governments (including the state government and municipality of Rio de Janeiro), NGOs, universities, think-tanks and the private sector.

“For us it’s really important to have a legacy here after Rio+20, in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Our universities, various sectors of society, the business community and everyone here wants to work hard for this legacy,’’ announced Minister Teixeira, and added that $5 million in seed money for the Centre’s operations had already been secured.

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark, welcomed the partnership: “Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff has said that not only is it possible to grow and to include, protect, and conserve at the same time, but also truly sustainable development requires that we do so, and at UNDP we believe the same thing.” 

“Governments, private sector, and civil society actors will be able to use this Centre to learn from each other’s experiences, identify people and partners with critical expertise, plan ahead, and design programmes and policies. UNDP can contribute with its extensive networks of experience and expertise to this new Centre. We have a long history of capacity development support, and an established role as an impartial broker who can connect sustainable development initiatives that need to go up scale,” Helen Clark noted.

At the moment of its launch, the Rio+ Centre counts on the support of nearly 25 Brazilian and international institutions, which displays the success achieved by the initiative, as well as the inclusive and participatory nature of its conception.

Luciano Coutinho, President of Brazil's Development Bank (Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social, BNDES) stated that “BNDES joins the Brazilian government in supporting the Rio+ Centre and welcomes the UNDP and other partner institutions in this important initiative arising from Rio+20.  It will create a unique space for discussion of innovative ideas and actions for building a sustainable world.”

According to the official announcement of Brazil’s Ministry of External Relations, the Rio+ Centre “is born with the mission to be a main reference centre for the promotion of one of the defining debates of this century: the integration between the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.”

The objective behind the creation of the Rio+ Centre is to build on new and innovative mechanisms for engaging the participation of local governments, civil society, business and academia in knowledge exchange and discussions around the subject.

From the outset, the Rio+ Centre will provide continuity to the discussions launched by the Rio Dialogues for Sustainable Development ( The Dialogues were launched by the Government of Brazil with the support of UNDP in the lead-up to Rio+20 as a way of actively ensuring inputs of civil society and experts worldwide. 

The new centre will build on the successful existing partnership between the Government of Brazil and UNDP: the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG), established in 2004, in Brasilia.  Since its founding, IPC-IG has been playing a key role in the dialogue between countries of the South on policies for social protection and inclusion, development innovation as well as rural and sustainable development issues.

The Rio+ Centre facilities will be initially hosted by Federal University of Rio de Janeiro’s Institute of Graduate Studies and Research in Engineering (COPPE/UFRJ), at the Ilha do Fundão Campus. Rio's Municipality has stated its willingness to provide a space for the future headquarters of Rio+ Centre.

The establishment of the Rio+ Centre initially received support from the following institutions:

  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  • International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG)
  • United Nations Programme for Human Settlements (UN-HABITAT)
  • International Labour Organisation (ILO)
  • Institute of Advanced Studies, United Nations University (UNU-IAS)
  • Regional Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development (RCE)
  • Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil
  • State Government of Rio de Janeiro
  • Municipality of Rio de Janeiro
  • Financier of Studies and Projects (FINEP)
  • Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social (BNDES)
  • Center for Strategic Studies and Management (CGEE)
  • Global Institute for Green Technologies and Employment (GIGTech, COPPE / UFRJ)
  • Center for Sustainable Development at the University of Brasilia (UNB-CDS )
  • FGV Network of Technology and Innovation of Rio de Janeiro (REDETEC)
  • Technological Information Network Latin America (RITLA / UNESCO)
  • National Confederation of Industry Brazil (CNI)
  • Brazilian Service to Support Micro and Small Enterprises (Sebrae)
  • Brazilian Business Council for Development (CEBDS)
  • Brazilian Foundation for Sustainable Development (FBDS)
  • BVRio (Bolsa Verde Rio)
  • Reverurbano
  • Pro-Natura Foundation
Contact information

In Rio de Janeiro: Satinder Bindra, Mobile: +1 917 587 9579,; Daniel de Castro, Mobile +5561 30389117,

In New York: Stanislav Saling, Mobile +1 917 346 1955,

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