From the global challenges of climate change to the effects of pollution in shared waters, domestic policy choices and actions are influenced by what happens beyond our own borders. International sustainability research and public policy organizations are often faced with the same challenges, require similar research and strive to achieve common goals. There are natural connections and mutual benefits to collaboration.
The NRTEE and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) have recognized the opportunity to create a formal international sustainability research network with leading public policy research organizations from around the globe.
A productive meeting of ten sustainability research and public policy organizations took place on October 31st, 2008 with the objective of exploring the creation of an international network. A dinner, with additional key individuals (senior federal government officials, academic representatives and institutions), took place the evening prior to introduce the proposed network, get to know one another?s organizations and informally discuss the opportunities and challenges.
The meeting outcomes include: a greater understanding of each other?s organizations including overlaps and linkages; an agreement to strengthen information-sharing particularly related to our strategic plans; the creation of a website to facilitate communication; an agreement to explore hosting a joint event the discusses the environmental opportunities of the current financial crisis; and a commitment to mapping out other events over the next two years that promote synergy at which time the organizations will evaluate the usefulness of the network and its future.There was consensus that sharing forward planning and coordination would be an immediate and beneficial result. The simple information sharing would provide organizations access to other strategic plans that will present natural linkages for some or all organizations to consider collaboration.
All organizations expressed a commitment to developing a network concept. They agreed to a phased-in approach beginning with the most straight forward option of information-sharing. The IISD has agreed to create and host a website where information can be posted, shared and a calendar of events can be created.