THE International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), a Canadian-based nonprofit organization established in 1990, with nonprofit status in the United States, is a pioneer policy research institute focused on the development and implementation of policies on international trade and investment, climate change, and natural resource management that are beneficial to both the economy and environment on a global scale. The IISD believes that sustainability is a win-win approach that protects the natural world, while generating resources and economic growth. The IISD, which is funded by Canadian and foreign governments, agencies of the United Nations, foundations, individual donors, and the private sector, is committed to capacity-building in developing countries. The IISD cooperates with more than 200 organizations throughout the world and has managed programs in Africa, Asia, Canada, Central Europe, China, Eastern Europe, South America, the United States, and Western Europe.
early practical approaches
In its early years, the IISD surprised members of the public and the press by supporting approaches that were more practical than those of other environmentalists, in large part through recognition of the interdependence of environmental and fiscal interests. The surprise grew exponentially, however, when the IISD criticized the payment of subsidies to move grain by
International Research Institute for Climate Prediction
rail, which encouraged cropping that was ill-advised, and attempted to control supply, stating that it was more advisable to simply subsidize farm income. The IISD has aggressively promoted its vision of sustain-ability to the global media. The IISD's Media Mail newsletter provides online subscribers immediate access to press statements. Press releases include not only statements issued by the IISD, but those in which the IISD is cited. According to the IISD, its website recorded 52 million visits from more than 100 different countries in 2004, resulting in more than 2 million documents downloaded.
GlobeScan, a Canadian business enterprise that provides global survey research and strategic guidance to corporations, governments, and nongovernmental organizations, voted the IISD as the most effective sustainable development organization in the world. The IISD's work and knowledge fall within a number of areas, including sustainable markets, security, natural resources, international trade, foreign investment for sustainable development, economics and sustainable development, and climate change and energy. For example, the IISD launched the Sustainable Commodity Initiative in 2002, by endorsing global efforts to improve the environmental and economic sustain-ability of commodities production, beginning with the coffee sector and the creation of the Sustainable Coffee Partnership. The IISD's extensive list of publications includes books, papers, and institutional history resources. Additionally, the IISD's readership base of 45,000 decision-makers and experts benefit from the institute's publications and objective research.
IISD publications that reach wide audiences include Environment and Trade: A Handbook, a collaboration between the IISD and the United Nations Environment Programme, which meets the needs of readers who are generalists and policy-makers seeking a solid resource tool, and the USD Sustainable Development Timeline, which features important milestones in sus-tainability, including, events, meetings, and publications using the release of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring in 1962 as a starting point. Publications include not only research findings, but program proceedings as well. In 2007, the IISD co-hosted a two-day workshop, "Early Lessons From the Implementation of Climate Change Adaptation Projects in Eastern and South ern Africa," with SouthSouthNorth, a coalition-based nonprofit organization committed to reducing structural poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America and to positioning poverty as a central issue in discussions about climate change. Representatives from nongovernmental organizations, government agencies, and funders attended the workshop.
SEE ALSO: Canada; Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs); United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
BIBLIOGRAPHY. Canada Revenue Agency, www.cra-arc. gc.ca (cited September 2007); Globe Scan, www.globes-can.com (cited September 2007); IISD, www.iisd.org (cited September 2007); Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, www.ipcc.ch (cited September 2007); Terry Johnson, "Unsustainable Agriculture," Alberta Report (July 11, 1994); "New Measure of Sustainable Development," Geographical (v.73/8, 2001).
Robin K. Dillow Rotary International Archives
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