The Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, held in June 2012, launched a process to develop Sustainable Development Goals, which in convergency with the review of the Millennium Development Goals, will help define the post-2015 development agenda. This agenda will address interconnected global issues such as water, energy and food, as well as critical social needs including poverty eradication, gender equity, health and education. Sustainability science — an emerging approach of solution-oriented, interdisciplinary scholarship — provides useful tools, methodology and a base to integrate knowledge from social and natural sciences into policies, strategies and plans.
The objectives of this symposium are to discuss the issues, concepts, approaches and methodologies of sustainability science to reframe it within the broad political process, and to explore ways to strengthen international collaboration for enhancing the science–policy–society interface. The symposium will bring together representatives from key institutes, UNESCO Member States, scholars and policymakers who will share and discuss the state of the art of sustainability science, as exemplified by the Future Earth programme and by UNESCO's programmes in the areas of water, ocean and ecological sciences as well as social and human sciences. The expected outputs from the symposium include a supplement of the journal Sustainability Science and a report to the 37th Session of the General Conference of UNESCO, to be held 5–20 November 2013.
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