How countries can shape change at home
Published in conjunction with the 2013 Reinhard Mohn Prize, the book "Winning Strategies for a Sustainable Future" presents outstanding examples of sustainable policymaking from around the globe
This week the Bertelsmann Stiftung is awarding the Reinhard Mohn Prize to former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, thereby recognizing a pioneer in the area of sustainable development. Many sustainability programs at the local, national and global levels continue to benefit from initiatives like the United Nations Global Compact and the UN Millennium Development Goals, initiatives launched by Annan. "In addition to global initiatives, however, what will remain important is how individual countries shape change at home," says Aart De Geus, chairman and CEO of the Bertelsmann Stiftung. In a recently published book, "Winning Strategies for a Sustainable Future," the Bertelsmann Stiftung presents exemplary sustainability strategies, both regional and national, from a number of continent.
The book documents responses to the question of what individual countries can do domestically to design and implement policies committed to sustainability and intergenerational justice. Since the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, many countries have been looking for new approaches to achieving economic and social progress. The environmental crises of recent years and the global financial and economic crisis have shown that a profound shift in thinking must take place in this area.
In order to stimulate discussion and help individuals and organizations learn from each other, the Winnipeg-based International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) carried out a worldwide search on behalf of the Bertelsmann Stiftung. The goal was to identify best practices that can advance the debate within Germany and beyond on how sustainability policies might be successfully implemented. Following the search, strategies from 35 countries were presented to a group of European experts for discussion and to a working committee, which selected the top five programs.
The Bertelsmann Stiftung publication documents the research and the selection process, presenting approaches from Asia, Latin America, Europe, Africa and Australia. As the examples from Bhutan, Costa Rica, Finland, Ghana and Tasmania show, sustainability is achievable. The best practices provide a point of departure for other countries to become more sustainable.