Business gears up for Earth Summit
Paris, 31 July 2001 - Business leaders from all over the world will gather in Paris in October for the first major meeting of the new environmental initiative, Business Action for Sustainable Development (BASD).
Charged with the task of setting a business agenda for next year's Earth Summit in Johannesburg, more than 150 industry leaders have registered to attend the BASD Strategy Meeting at ICC headquarters, October 9-10.
During two days of workshops and seminars, they will determine how best to ensure business is effectively represented at the Johannesburg Earth Summit.
"The October meeting will be an opportunity for business to come together and talk about the kinds of issues they would like to see addressed in Johannesburg," said chair of the BASD Steering Committee, Sir Mark Moody-Stuart. "It will be an opportunity for us to gauge the myriad interests of the world business community and make some decisions about how we take them to the Earth Summit."
According to Sir Mark, the meeting will also be an opportunity for business to look back over the ten years since the first Earth Summit in Rio and take stock of its achievement in the pursuit of sustainable development.
"There are those who say that business has not achieved much in the area of sustainable development since Rio, but there have been enormous advances, " he said. "New technologies have been developed, business practices have been streamlined and made more eco-efficient. Overall, there has been a much greater recognition of the implications of our actions and of our responsibility to the communities in which we operate."
Sir Mark added that the aim of the October meeting was not to formulate one single, coherent business message, but rather give focus to BASD and ensure business makes a valuable contribution to the second Earth Summit.
"Afterall, business is an important member of society," he said. "Any outcomes reached or decisions made in Johannesburg will need to include business. We are a crucial part of the sustainable development process."