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Newsletter - 5 / 2011
Dear friends of the WFC, 8.11.2011
Last week, the world’s population reached seven billion people, and we continue to be faced with looming challenges: resource shortages, climate change and destruction of our habitat. But many of these challenges have solutions, and our councillors are working towards them.

This past weekend Hamburg played host to the fifth annual general meeting of the World Future Council. Under the mission statement “Saving Civilisation” we deliberated over the key aspects of our work. Read about the outcome in this newsletter.

With best regards from Hamburg,


Jakob von Uexkull
Founder and Chairman


Content
News from the Council>
Upcoming events >
Recent events >
How to support us >

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Our short film of this year's Future Policy Award ceremony in New York celebrates the world's best forest policies.
News from the Council
"Saving Civilisation"
From the 4th to 6th of November, our global community of Councillors assembled in Hamburg for the World Future Council’s fifth Annual General Meeting. In themed workshops, Councillors, consulting experts and staff discussed the priorities for the coming year. The constructive weekend-long meeting concluded with the Council’s adoption of the work programme for 2012.

Dr. Michael Otto, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Otto Group and Honourary Councillor of the WFC, said: “Every year at the annual general meeting of the World Future Council I meet fascinating individuals committed to achieving their vision of a sustainable future. I am pleased that the Council assembly was held once again in Hamburg, allowing Hamburg to become the gateway to world’s future.”

It is the diversity of unique personalities that make our Council so special. This year’s Councillors include Hans-Peter Dürr, nuclear physicist and philosopher; Pauline Tangiora, Maori Elder, and Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Somalia to the United Nations. The Council paid tribute to the late Honorary Councillor Wangari Maathai and was deeply inspired by her tale of doing the best one can given seemingly unsurpassable obstacles. Despite this loss, the WFC family is growing: eight new councillors were elected.

Many serious issues and challenges were raised and addressed at the Council meeting but there was also reason to celebrate. On Saturday, we had the pleasure of celebrating Councillor Prof. Dr. Vandana Shiva’s birthday together with her. The entire WFC family once again wishes her all the best!
In memoriam: Wangari Maathai
Our Honorary Councillor Wangari Maathai has passed away in Nairobi, Kenya, surrounded by her family. We are deeply shocked and saddened. Her commitment to environmental and human rights will remain an inspiration for us here at the World Future Council to continue fighting for the rights of future generations.

For her commitment to social and environmental politics, in 2004 Wangari Maathai became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her founding of the Green Belt Movement in 1977 she has assisted women in planting 30 million trees. In her hometown she is known as “Mother of the Trees.”

“Wangari became big news in Kenya and East Africa, then big news in the world, as she indefatigably championed the causes of Africa, of women, of the poor, of rural development, of sustainability, of peace, of democracy, of social justice, of human rights,” writes Cyril Ritchie, Chair of the Board of Advisors of the World Future Council, in his tribute to Wangari.
The path to a nuclear weapons-free world
In order to more efficiently map out the process of nuclear disarmament, the WFC and seven partner organisations have created the international Nuclear Abolition Forum. The Forum’s launch comprises of a dedicated website and the release of the inaugural edition of its periodical. Both grapple with the issue of how we can achieve and sustain a world without nuclear weapons.

Rob van Riet, WFC Coordinator Disarmament Working Group, joined WFC member Alyn Ware at the annual assembly of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) as well as attended the 125th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in Bern from the 15th to 16th of October. The first step in the direction of a nuclear weapons-free world, regional measures and the implementation of an abolition accord were discussed at the assembly.
Run, Alyn, Run: ‘Peace and Sport’- Marathon 2011 in NYC
3 hours 43 minutes - that’s how fast Councillor Alyn Ware ran on the 6th of November in the legendary New York Marathon. The Founder and Coordinator of the network Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferaton and Disarmament (PNND) was selected as one of 20 runners for the Peace and Sport Marathon to raise funds for sports programmes that bring together youth in conflict areas in order to bridge their differences and build lasting peace.
Upcoming events
Saving tomorrow today: COP 17 – UN Climate Change Conference
From the 28th of November to the 9th of December, politicians, decision-makers and ministers from all around the world will attend the COP17 Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, under the idea of “Working Together – Saving Tomorrow Today.” The WFC Climate and Energy team will, in addition to an exhibition stand, present its work at two side events:

At “Regenerative Cities: Governance for sustainable development in megacities,” in cooperation with the University of Stuttgart, our experts will present policy solutions to sustainable urban development.

Under the idea of “Solving the funding problem of the energy transition with the help of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs)” we will present a solution on how to break the funding deadlock in financing the global energy transition by utilising Special Drawing Rights of the IMF.
Get information on all other upcoming events.
Recent events
Celebrating the world’s best forest policies
And the winner is: Rwanda! On the 21st of September we announced the winners of the 2011 Future Policy Award in New York. In the International Year of Forests we honoured the laws and policies that most effectively contributed to the conservation and sustainable development of forests. The winning National Forest Policy of Rwanda has managed to halt deforestation and, since 1990, increased forest cover by 37% thanks to the undertaking of massive reforestation and planting activities.

The Gambia’s Community Forest Policy and the US Lacey Act with its amendment of 2008 received the Silver Awards.

The winning policies were presented at a side event at the international conference “Contributions of Forests to a Green Economy” in Bonn. Jan McAlpine, Director, UN Forum on Forests, moderated a panel discussion of the winning policies.
Jakob von Uexkull, Founder of the World Future Council, Alexandra Wandel, Director of the World Future Council, and Hon. Isatou Njie-Saidy, Vice President of The Gambia and Secretary of State for Women's Affairs
Renewable energy in Africa: AREA celebrates its second birthday!
Happy Birthday, AREA! The African Renewable Energy Alliance is a success story in bringing 550 members from 61 countries together to accelerate the uptake of renewable energy in urban and rural Africa. The African Renewable Energy Alliance (AREA) is a global platform for policy-makers, business, civil society and academia to exchange information and consult on policies, technologies and financing of renewable energy. Celebrating its second birthday, the AREA website (area-net.org) now offers service and information in English, French and Portuguese.
Get information on all other recent events here.
How to support us
To successfully continue our work, we depend on partners and people willing to support its projects. If you are interested, please contact the World Future Council. You can read more about ways to support us here.

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Contact: World Future Council, Mexikoring 29, 22297 Hamburg, Germany, Phone: +49 (0)40-30 70 914-0, Email: info@worldfuturecouncil.org

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