Citizens’ Summit to Address Sustainability

A major summit to transform the prospects for sustainability in the United States and Canada will take place on March 24 and 25 at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

The US/Canada Citizens’ Summit for Sustainable Development will host 180 diverse experts, leaders, advocates, entrepreneurs and decision-makers from the United States and Canada for two days of discussions and planning linked to the forthcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as the Rio+20 conference.

Twenty years after the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro propelled the environment to the top of the world agenda, Rio+20 is convening in June to secure renewed political commitment for sustainability and address new challenges in green jobs, clean energy, sustainable cities, food, water, and oceans. “In the lead-up to the Rio+20 conference, the Citizens’ Summit will provide a critical platform to develop new approaches and new initiatives to scale up North America’s contribution to global sustainability,” explained Prof. Ben Cashore, a professor of political science at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and an advisor to the Summit.

The Summit will feature numerous high-level speakers to discuss the past, present, and future of sustainability in the United States and Canada, including Jim Balsillie, the founder and former CEO of RIM/Blackberry and the only private sector member to sit on the U.N. Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability, Daniel C. Esty, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection & Deputy Head of US delegation to the 1992 Earth Summit, and David Runnalls, a distinguished fellow and former Director of the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

Most importantly, the Summit will encourage current and emerging leaders, experts, and entrepreneurs to develop new networks and agendas for change. “Sustainable development isn’t about big government or big business,” said Lindsay Buchanan, a master’s student at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and one of the organizers of the event. “This Summit is an opportunity for a new generation of trailblazers from all walks of life to help our countries and the world transition towards a greener, more sustainable future.”

There are a limited number of spots still available to attend these two days of discussion, action, and consensus-building: apply to attend the Summit or nominate a leader you know by visiting While the Summit is by invitation-only, everyone is encouraged to participate and contribute virtually. Visit the website above for details.

The Summit is being organized by students and faculty at Yale University, in close partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council, WeCanada, Human Impacts Institute, SustainUs, and Citizens Network for Sustainable Development. To follow the summit on Facebook, search CitizensSummitforSD, and on Twitter at @citizens_summit.

We expect to see you there,
The Citizens Summit Communications Team

One Comment

  1. Dear US Citizens Summit

    Greetings from Active Remedy Ltd.

    We are writing to you concerning Human Rights to Fresh Water and Food, in line with Rights to Sustainability, Sustainable Development and the Zero Draft Document.
    Our organizational profile can be found in the U.N Civil Society database. Our recent contribution to the Zero Draft Document, compiled 05/03/12 can be found at Major Group Amendments p.95.

    What long-term sustainability is possible, if we don’t deal with safeguarding Earths fresh water while we still have a chance?

    Here is a new concept ‘Wheel of Sustainable Development’ with fresh water at the center:

    In relation to Human Rights to Fresh Water and Food we are addressing the question

    “Do retreating glaciers affect environmental sustainability and should we be concerned?”

    We believe that we should be very concerned. Nowadays glacial retreat in mountain regions worldwide is escalating at a precarious level. This is extremely dangerous as they are Earths’ ‘fresh water towers’ and play an important part in Earths’ hydrological cycle and temperature regulation. For more information please follow this link:

    In our research we have found a vital link between this instability and the massive worldwide deforestation of the prime indigenous mixed mountain forests. It could prove to be of value to consider this in relation to new data from bio- precipitation scientists who all point to mixed forest plants as being vitally important in maintaining environmental stability globally.

    Below is an article by us, regarding this issue, which was published in Mountain Forum Bulletin December 2012:

    We are in a definite planetary climate change emergency and according to James Hansen, the danger limit is 1° C, not 2°C. We have endeavored to formulate a practical, sustainable blueprint model that could be used worldwide for mountain and water protection.

    Below are details of the Blueprint Remedy Model:

    There is no more need to prove Climate Change. We have serious Environmental problems threatening the survival of all life on Earth right now. Therefore concerted, collective remedial action needs to be taken immediately. This could be a way whereby different governments, groups and individuals could join together to support a global program to safeguard the global commons.

    “Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage; lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.”

    (UNCED, 1992 .Principle 15)

    We hope that this information can be of help to you in your work for fresh water and sustainability.

    Yours Truly

    Stella Joy (Directors of Active Remedy Ltd.)

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