I Encounter of REDS

The First Meeting of the Spanish Network for Sustainable Development (REDS) was held on 1st and 2nd of June 2015 in Madrid.

The first session focused on the post-2015 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals that will be approved by the United Nations at the upcoming Special Summit on Sustainable Development to be held in New York next September.

I opened the session by expressing my wish that this entity within the global structure of the SDSN (Sustainable Development Solutions Network ) “should progress in its aim to sensitize the Spanish society on the sustainability agenda.” I stressed how “Spain can bring creativity and innovative ideas to achieve in the future the sustainable development objectives with the necessary support of all (political, business, financial, academic, civil society …) sectors.” In this sense, I hope that our country will be part of the pioneering states that include sustainability as essential goal in their policies.

This first session was attended by order of intervention: Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, president of the Women’s Foundation for Africa and member of the Advisory Council of REDS; Jeffrey Sachs, Director of SDSN (Intervention by videoconference); Marta Pedrajas, vocal advisor to the Secretary General of International Development Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAE); Guido Schmidt-Traub, Executive Director of SDSN;
Federico Mayor Zaragoza, President of the Foundation for a Culture of Peace and member of the Advisory Council of REDS. The ceremony was closed by Teresa Ribera, co-chair of REDS.

The meeting continued on June 2 with three panel discussions focused on three specific ODS: Energy, Gender and Biodiversity, three areas in which Spain can lead the implementation of the Agenda Post 2015 .

The first panel focused on the energy debate. Moderated by Valentin Alfaya, Director of Quality and Environment of Ferrovial and member of the Advisory Council of REDS, the panel count with the participation of Antonio Lucio; Pedro Linares, a professor at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas; Albert Cuchi, architect and university professor at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia.

The second panel addressed gender issues. Chaired by Inés Sánchez de Madariaga, professor of Urban Planning at the Polytechnic University of Madrid and delegate of the Rector for Gender Affairs and member of the Advisory Council of  REDS, with the participation of Angela Mwai, head of the Unit of Gender Equality UN-Habitat and Carmen de la Cruz, international and specialist consultant on gender issues.

The closing conference was dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity. The panel was led by José Esquinas, who has work for thirty years at FAO and is a member of the Advisory Council of REDS. The panel was attended by Juan Fajardo, researcher at the National Institute of Agricultural Research and Technology and Food and Constanza Martinez, Deputy Director of the Global Policy Unit, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

More information: www.reds-sdsn.es