RIO+20 United Nations Conference World Sustainable Communities Day

RIO+20 United Nations Conference World Sustainable Communities Day


Considering that:

  • there is an urgent need to achieve sustainable communities to meet the needs of human wellbeing and environmental protection;
  • sustainable communities will require commitment, leadership, and educational, concerted and participatory processes;
  • a multidisciplinary team approach that brings together engineers with other professionals is needed to ensure a coordinated procedure to achieve sustainable land use in urban and rural areas;
  • existing and new technologies combined with improved processes and procedures will allow better implementation and management of the required measures for assuring the sustainability of communities;
  • implementable solutions for sustainable communities must account for local and regional needs and cultures, priorities, and available human and financial capacities;
  • development proposals and projects require thorough analysis of their technical, economic and environmental feasibility and social and cultural impacts, before their approval and implementation, and
  • international governance institutions must strengthen the involvement and linkages between science, engineering and policy for sustainable development.

Declare that:

Substantial technological improvements as well as sound, evidence based policies are needed to assure access to fresh and safe drinking water, energy, sanitation and waste management, communications, shelter, and transport services in communities;

By exchanging and applying  scientific knowledge, engineering creativity and practice, and up-to-date technology, engineers are able to substantially introduce sustainable solutions into most areas of activity that contribute to a community’s quality of life, such as for:

  • Water
    • by implementing systems for efficient, effective and sustainable use of water resources including water diversification through sustainable use of groundwater and effluent waste, sustainable desalination and rainwater harvesting;
    • by managing water conservation processes for achieving a sustainable balance among  different water users in all ecosystems;
    • by improving the efficiency and availability of irrigation and water management practices.
  • Energy
    • by improving energy efficiency within all sources of demand in the community;
    • by implementing engineering research and development for the appropriate use of renewable energies, including biofuels;
    • by improving the economics of clean energy technologies, including solar photo-voltaic devices and bio-fuels from cellulose materials, and by achieving efficient carbon sequestration schemes for fossil-fuel based generation.
  • Sanitation and Waste Management
    • through assuring sound management of human waste and waste prevention, collection and treatment, and minimization by reduction, reuse and recycling, recovery and disposal;
    • by improving capacity of local research and development institutions, and building skills and capacities in local governments for integrated waste management;
    • by providing technical assistance and capacity building for source separation and waste collection, treatment, disposal and establishment and improvement of waste inventories, development of policies, legal frameworks, programs, and infrastructure.
  • Transport
    • by introducing policies, programs, technologies and partnerships to achieve  affordable, more energy efficient and sustainable transport systems, while contributing to important co-benefits, including reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, noise and air pollution;
    • by encouraging improvements in the management of vehicle fleets, including vehicle maintenance and inspection, operational practices and logistics and the replacement of old vehicles by more efficient newer ones and/or the upgrading of older vehicles with the use of advanced technologies;
    • by implementing appropriate goods movement systems, taking advantage of approaches to reduce transport losses in the food supply, to increase fuel efficiency, and to encourage the integration of technological advances across the supply chain;
    • by reducing air pollution from the transport sector by the improvement of fuel quality, development of cleaner fuels, and promotion of vehicle fuel economy and emission standards;
    • by reducing the overall demand for personal vehicle use through the promotion and development of public transport.

The World Engineering Community is ready, willing and able to contribute its expertise, creativity and dedication to achieve the elements of this Declaration.

We urge the world’s leaders to accept this opportunity to engage the World Engineering Community as a full partner in addressing the complex challenges as we evolve into a sustainable planet.

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