Stakeholder Democracy: Represented Democracy in a Time of Fear  Available Now.


Stakeholder Democracy - Represented Democracy in a Time of Fear

My new book Stakeholder Democracy: Represented Democracy in A Time of Fear (Routledge) is on advance order on amazon - out July 9th.  

I would also like to thank my co-authors Jan-Gustav Strandenaes, Carolina Duque Chopitea, Minu Hemmati, Susanne Salz, Bernd Lakemeier, Laura Schmitz, and Jana Borkenhagen for their chapters - which are awesome!! While underscoring that my co-authors do not necessarily agree with the chapters written by other people.

The book will be out in July for the High-Level Political Forum where we will be launching the book. Let me share with you the introduction for the book...and a few reviews out already.

“A revolution is coming — a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough; compassionate if we care enough; successful if we are fortunate enough — But a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character; we cannot alter its inevitability.” (Kennedy, 1966) - continued in my blog here.

"As this book documents, not all stakeholder engagement in multilateral processes has been impactful. It shares valuable lessons about what has worked and what hasn’t." - Rt Hon Helen Clark, taken from the Foreword

"To mobilize action globally in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will require buy-in and commitments not just from governments, but from all segments of society. This book addresses a major component of that challenge – involving stakeholders in every part of the process to deliver on the promise of the SDGs. Many of the contributors have long led efforts to build an inclusive and democratic framework for delivering on sustainable development. Their experience, insights and analysis of what works and what doesn’t not only make the case for the benefits of multi-stakeholderism, but allows them to develop crucial practical and detailed guidance on making multi-stakeholder policy dialogues and partnerships legitimate, effective, and accountable." - Steven Bernstein, Professor of Political Science and Co-director of the Environmental Governance Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto, Canada.

"This book is extremely timely. The ability for government institutions to deal with challenges to our society and planet is seemly getting worse day by the day. Government institutions need to be re imagined and this book offers a vision that can help institutions to be more inclusive to society and respectful to nature by their design. The basic idea is to formally involve stakeholders in government decision making and therefore have society at large committed to implementation of policies, delivered through a sense of ownership and partnership. This vision can empower representative democracy in a time of fear of conflict and economic collapse to deal with social inequality and environmentally degradation" - Professor Patrick Paul Walsh, Director of the UCD Centre for Sustainable Development Studies, Senior Advisor UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

"For those of us wondering "what exactly does stakeholders mean?" this book provides a comprehensive and useful answer. Beyond that, it outlines the concept of stakeholder democracy both in historical overview and in contemporary political context, as the inevitable next step in democratic progress. Stakeholder Democracy: Represented Democracy in a Time of Fear distills decades of knowledge into an engaging, enlightening read, democratically disseminating the wisdom usually only gleaned through a coffee with one of its authors. In UN advocacy, precedent is everything. Outlining the best examples of stakeholder engagement, this book is a guiding light for the next generation of non-government actors seeking to influence global policy." - Kathryn Tobin, Advocacy Coordinator, WaterAid

"Multi-stakeholder engagement is fundamental for a coherent and integrated implementation of the SDGs. Stakeholders contribute to mobilising resources, informing policy, identifying innovative solutions, supporting transformations and voicing the needs of underrepresented communities. A strong partnership means engaging stakeholders effectively by granting them equal and fair opportunities to be informed and consulted in decision-making. The book "Stakeholder Democracy: Represented Democracy in a Time of Fear" depicts well how partnerships must be aligned with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With this aspiration, the OECD created the PCSD Partnership that brings together governments, international organisations, civil society, think tanks, the private sector and other stakeholders from all regions of the world, committed and working to enhance policy coherence for sustainable development (SDG 17.14)." - Ebba Dohlman, OECD's head of unit on policy coherence for sustainable development

"It’s democracy, period! This book is a must-read for all who want to understand how to work the 21th century politics. Having worked long years as eminent advisors, actors, and advocates the authors offer deep insider knowledge. Stakeholder are more than just the opposite to economic shareholder. Stakeholder democracy is part of the mainstream institutional and parliamentary governance. Even more so, engagement of people helps keeping democracies lively, effective and resourceful. This book carefully sketches out how stakeholder democracy came to be the prime important ingredient to our common future. When it comes to ensuring a decent life for all within the planetary boundaries being transparent, reliable, constructively positive are the virtues of cooperation - as opposed to being absorbed in elitist turf battles and selfish positioning in the global awareness economy. For public and stakeholder politics there what can be learned from the rich narrative of this book might simply start a new Stakeholder Social Responsibility." - Günther Bachmann, General Secretary to the German Council for Sustainable Development and activist in a series of stakeholder setups

"There is no doubt about the power of the collective to change the world, even more now, when we are increasingly interconnected. In order for the collective effort to be effective, numbers matter, but strategy is key. This book, which emphasizes multi-stakeholder democracy, makes a truly important contribution to how the whole of society can, and should, come together to solve the world's most pressing problems. This compelling work calls for reflection and action, two sides of the coin of transformative change." - Claudia Mansfield LaRue, Former G77+China negotiator of the United Nations "Towards Global Partnerships Resolution" International Recruitment and Partnerships Specialist, Montclair State University, USA

"Just as the fundamentals of the international architecture are being challenged and on the brink of a period of renewal, there could be no better time to revisit the power and presence of stakeholder democracy as a force for positive change. This book shows how stakeholder democracy can enable us to make the transition to a sustainable future in a way that addresses the political upheaval of our times, and the necessary shift from authoritarian-populism to a people-lead social and political renaissance." - Andrew Higham, Chief Executive of Mission 2020

"There is a vast body of scholarly literature on non-state actors in governance of sustainable development, amongst other in partnerships. There is an even larger body of academic publications on democracy – a crucial principle underpinning meaningful engagement of stakeholders in policy-making and implementation. This book, by a great team of experienced advocates of and specialists in stakeholder engagement, brings these topics together and in a historic context – not from an ivory tower perspective, but from constructive critical "Vienna Cafe" perspective. And this makes the book a must-read for all the diplomats, bureaucrats, lobbyist, scientists, and civil society representatives who crowd this coffee corner in the basement of the UN Headquarters." - Ruben Zondervan, Executive Director, Stakeholder Forum


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Governance for Sustainable Development Volume 3: Preparing for the Heads of State Review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The Friends of Governance for Sustainable Development have continued to host workshops on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2018. 

Governance for Sustainable Development Volume 3: Preparing for the Heads of State Review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Paperback  was edited by Felix Dodds (Author, Editor), Akinremi Bolaji (Editor), Yeongmoo Cho (Editor), Verena Klinger-Dering (Editor), Cristina Popescu (Editor), David Banisar (Editor), Quinn McKew (Editor).

The 2030 Agenda represents one of the most important sets of Global Goals that the international community has committed to. It is an unprecedented effort that embodies universal aspirations for achieving a more just, equitable, peaceful and sustainable future. It is an excellent example of successful multilateralism. 

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Governance for Sustainable Development Volume 2: Ideas for the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development

Governance for Sustainable Development: Implementing the 2030 Agenda Volume 2 (April 2018) edited by Felix Dodds David BanisarAkinremi BolajiYeongmoo ChoReinhard Krapp and  Quinn McKew. Available from here. 

Achieving sustainable development requires an enabling environment. Governance plays a crucial role in creating those conditions, notably, for our purposes in the implementation of the 2030 sustainable development agenda process. From creating new platforms to reforming old ones, the process must live up to this standard and its mechanisms should be geared towards fostering this type of new international environment and cooperation for sustainable development. This is the second volume produced by the Friends Group. The first volume presented the period from late 2014 to the end of 2015. The Group also has a website which it places the papers that are being discussed at the Friends Group’s meetings, which can be found here. The chapters of this book are a reflection of the rich contributions made by governments, intergovernmental bodies and stakeholders in the three workshops that the Friends Group hosted in 2017.

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Power to the People

By Felix Dodds - Power to the People: Confessions of a Young Liberal Activist 1975-1988 

This book explores the role that the Young Liberal Green Guard had on UK politics in the 1980s. It aims to inspire future young politicians of whatever political views the truth of Margaret Meads statement that: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” Felix Dodds was Chair of the National League of Young Liberals (1985-1987). He was also a member of the Liberal Party Council (1983-86). His has written or edited fifteen books the first of which was ‘Into the Twenty-First Century: An Agenda for Political Realignment. (1988)’. He was an Advisory Editor for New Democrat International (1988-1992). He is the President of Amber Valley Liberal Democrats.

"The 1980s is a fascinating period in British politics and Felix Dodds played a fascinating role in that period and which he writes extremely well about. The group of people who were close to him then have stuck together and have mostly used their political and campaigning skills to great effect ever since. It took courage for Young Liberals to support a Labour candidate because he was openly gay and the SDP's sitting MP appeared to be homophobic, but I think that they were right even though it caused ructions internally. They pushed the Liberal Party and then the Liberal Democrats to adopt the green agenda well in advance of other parties. I did not agree with all the activities and statements made by this group (for example the one suggesting that the Alliance Manifesto of 1983 was 'not worth voting for'). But they were inspired and inspirational and Felix's account deserves to be read widely." Lord Chris Rennard

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Sustainable Development Goals: A transformational agenda for an insecure world

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal set of seventeen goals and 169 targets, with accompanying indicators, which were agreed by UN member states to frame their policy agendas for the fifteen-year period from 2015 to 2030. Written by three authors who have been engaged in the development of the SDGs from the beginning, this book offers an insider view of the process and a unique entry into what will be seen as one of the most significant negotiations and global policy agendas of the twenty-first century. 

The book reviews how the SDGs were developed, what happened in key meetings and how this transformational agenda, which took more than three years to negotiate, came together in September 2015. It dissects and analyzes the meetings, organizations and individuals that played key roles in their development. It provides fascinating insights into the subtleties and challenges of high-level negotiation processes of governments and stakeholders, and into how the SDGs were debated, formulated and agreed. It is essential reading for all interested in the UN, sustainable development and the future of the planet and humankind.

"Learning from the process that engaged so many stakeholders at national and international level is important for future multilateral negotiations. This contribution from three actors intimately involved in the process offers rare insights into a long, challenging and ultimately fruitful process. I hope many readers will enjoy the insights presented in this book and be inspired to realise that the impossible is possible through compromise, partnership and leadership."

– from the foreword by Mary Robinson, President of the Mary Robinson Foundation: Climate Justice, Former President of Ireland (1990–1997) and Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997–2002)

"This is an important book that charts the journey we went on and the challenges faced in agreeing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. I hope it will help people understand what was achieved and help those now, and in the future, engaged in the implementation of this agenda."

– from the foreword by Ambassador Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya to the United Nations in New York, USA, co-chair of the negotiations for the Sustainable Development Goals (2012–2014) and co-facilitator of Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2014–2015)

"Having participated in various negotiations on sustainable development since 1992, this overview of the process leading to the ambitious and important Sustainable Development Goals allows us to see the big picture and helps make the journey ahead possible."

– Julia Marton-Lefevre, former Director General of IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature

"As the most prolific writer on issues of sustainable development and the multilateral system, Felix Dodds has done it again; on this occasion, working with Ambassador David Donoghue and Jimena Lieva Roesch. These three authors have brought their individual and collective knowledge and expertise to review the 2030 development agenda, consolidated in a recently articulated set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Offered by people who were immersed in the process, theirs is a necessary and timely analysis of how the multilateral system works, the consultations and negotiations out of which the SDGs evolved and their intended objectives.

Given their backgrounds and proximity to what took place, the authors have brought to their subject the quality of information and analysis likely to be useful to those who will be engaged in fulfilling this agenda within the multilateral system and its myriad stakeholders. When compared with the MDGs, the very large number of sustainable development goals and targets suggest very high ambition and an enormous undertaking at both the national and international levels. For students of development and international relations this will be an essential book. It will become a useful tool for peer review of the attainment of the SDGs. Coming so soon after consensus on the SDGs and the new development agenda were reached, the authors engage in an important discussion on which future books on this area will draw and be assessed.

All three authors are to be congratulated for this important piece of work."

– Liz Thompson, former UN Assistant Secretary General for Rio+20 and Barbados Minister of Energy and Environment

"Experienced journalists covering UN negotiating meetings on sustainable development issues tend to make a bee-line for Felix Dodds to discover what is going on. Now he, and his equally well-informed co-authors – Ambassador David Donoghue and Jimena Leiva Roesch – are doing everyone a service by extending the privilege through this book, which traces the often tortuous process that led to the agreement last September of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Though AS OF YET little-known outside the international environment and development community, the Goals are – as the authors write – ‘a blueprint for the development of humanity and the planet in the 21st century’. Their adoption marks the moment when a decades-old argument was finally won.

This book charts how that happened and suggests how the victory should be followed up with action. "

– Geoffrey Lean, award-winning environmental journalist

"Negotiating the Sustainable Development Goals is an important and timely contribution to global development policymaking that will further our understanding of how the SDGs became the new overarching framework for a comprehensive development agenda – and help inspire and guide their implementation."

– Mark Suzman, President of Global Policy and Advocacy and Chief Strategy Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

"Felix Dodds has been a welcome fixture of the sustainable development process since the 1992 Earth Summit and Agenda 21. No author I know has the capacity and talent for analyzing the agonizing negotiations over decades. His insight, contacts and ability to conceptualize made him the person to truthfully record the SDG history and intricate negotiations leading to the hopeful 2030s. In this latest coauthored book he transcends the stakeholders perspective and delves, as he always did, into the background of what governments decided, and why. I highly recommend this book for all those interested in following the process."


Andrey Vavilov, Ph.D., formerly with the IISD Earth Negotiations Bulletin

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The Water, Food, Energy and Climate Nexus

 Out now my latest book

'The Water, Food, Energy and Climate Nexus: Challenges and an Agenda for Action'

edited by Felix Dodds and Jamie Bartram, 

With a foreword by HRH the Prince of Wales

If you wish to get a discount the code is DC361 from  here

This book is one of the first to provide a broad overview of both the science behind the nexus and the implications for policies and sustainable development.

It brings together contributions by leading intergovernmental and governmental officials, industry, scientists and other stakeholder thinkers who are working to develop the approaches to the Nexus of water-food-energy and climate.

It represents a major synthesis and state-of-the-art assessment of the Nexus by major players, in light of the adoption by the United Nations of the new Sustainable Development Goals and Targets in 2015."

Forewords by:

HRH the Prince of Wales

Albert Butare former Minister of State for Infrastructure in the Republic of Rwanda

Paula Caballero Gomez mother of the SDGs

Authors Introduction: Felix Dodds and Jamie Bartram

Part 1: Learning from the Past, Building a New Future: Nexus Scientific Research

1. History of the Nexus at the Intergovernmental Level: Felix Dodds and Jamie Bartram

2. Sustainable Development Goals and Policy Integration in the Nexus: David Leblanc

3. Nexus Scientific Research: Theory and Approach Serving Sustainable Development: Joachim von Braun and Alisher Mirzabaev

4. Global Risks and Opportunities in Food, Energy, Environment and Water to 2050: R. Quentin Grafton

5. Stewardship of Ecosystems: Tony Allan and Nathanial Matthews

Part 2: Urban Challenges of the Nexus: Local and Global Perspectives

6. The Contribution of Innovation in Urban Resilience and Sustainability to Realising the Urban Nexus: Nicholas You

7. Operationalizing the Urban NEXUS: Increasing the Productivity of Cities and Urbanized Nations: Kathrine Brekke and Jeb Brugmann

8. The Confederacy of Experts: The Crushing Nexus of Silos, Systems, Arrogance and Irrational Certainty: Gary Lawrence

Part 3: Natural Resource Security for People: Water, Food and Energy

9. Water-Food-Energy-Climate: Strengthening the Weak Links in the Nexus: Ania Grobicki

10. Natural Resource Security in an Uncertain World: Sylvia Lee

Part 4: Nexus Perspectives: Energy: Water and Climate

11. The Nexus in Small Island Developing States: Liz Thompson

12. Renewable Energy: Nexus-friendly Pathways for Growth: Frank Wouters and Divyam Nagpal

13. The Challenge of Climate Change in the Energy-Water Nexus: Diego Rodriguez, Anna Delgado Martin and Antonia Sohns

Part 5: Nexus Perspectives: Food, Water, and Climate

14. Smallholder Farmers are at the Nexus of Post-2015 Development Issues: Iain MacGillivray

15. Green Opportunities for Urban Sanitation Challenges through Energy, Water and Nutrient Recovery: Pay Drechsel and Munir A. Hanjra

Part 6: Nexus Corporate Stewardship: How Business is Improving Resource Use

16. Building Partnerships for Resilience: David Norman and Stuart Orr

17. Capital Markets at the Nexus of Sustainable Development: Steve Waygood

18. Principles for the Integration of the Nexus within Business: Felix Dodds and Cole Simons

"The Water-Food-Energy nexus has emerged as one of the most important management challenges facing the sustainability agenda. Water, food and energy are all basic resources underpinning development, not just in terms of poverty alleviation but also more sustained economic growth and social development. They are Sustainable Development Goals in their own right, but also associated with the realization of all 17 SDGs. While there are many trade-offs related to water us in terms of agriculture and energy, the nexus perspective is primarily about seeking opportunities and achieving multiple benefits through better and more efficient management of resources. This demands new approaches that takes us beyond the predominant, traditional silo (or sector) thinking and management approaches. This book provides a comprehensive overview of the water-food-energy nexus, and the many dimensions associated with this nexus. It offers not just a problem description but also innovative approaches to management of these key resources from a wider systems perspective. It can be read by anyone looking for an introduction to the challenges and opportunities related to the Nexus, as well as anyone interested in practical approaches and solutions." 

Johan Kuylenstierna, Executive Director, Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden.

"Water, food and energy – we have seen these three areas as separate sectors with seperate problems for way too long. The truth is that they are deeply interlinked and must be seen as such if we are to overcome the impacts climate change and growing populations will have on them. That is why the water, food, energy nexus is so important to investigate. This book is an important contribution by major thinkers on what those challenges will be and how to start addressing them in an interlinked manner." 

Ida Auken, former Environment Minister of Denmark.

"Never before has the world needed an integrated approach to sustainable development more. The principles and strategies explored in this book provide a roadmap for just that." 

Danny Sriskandarajah, Secretary General, CIVICUS.

"The fact that, in 2015, the world is still struggling with hunger, poverty, and exclusion, almost half a century after mankind managed to set foot on the moon, says a lot about the complexity tackling development challenges. In order to succeed, sustainable development must look at all underlying causes, and embrace their dynamic inter-relations. Hunger will not be solved without looking at factors behind poverty, equal access for men and women and sustainable use of limited natural resources, including water and energy, or the impacts of climate change; and this requires the participation of all stakeholders! Felix Dodds and Jamie Bartram's Nexus book illustrates well the need for an integrated approach to the Sustainable Development Goals in Agenda 2030. Only by breaking down silos, will we achieve sustainable development, in all three of its dimensions, in our generation’s lifetime!" 

Gerda Verburg, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations Food organisations in Rome, Chair of the World Economic Forum Council on Food and Nutrition Security, Former Chair of the UN Committee on World Food Security (UN CFS) (2013-2015), Chair of the seventeenth Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-17).

"The Nexus book demonstrates the urgency required for integrated approaches to development in order to address poverty and achieve sustainable development. It provides valuable historical examples that demonstrate why development planning and practice need to be done differently, and with more urgency. It is a 'must-read' for development planners and practitioners globally who have a conscience for really improving the lives of the poor and bettering the world. It is a timely publication that will go a long way in contributing towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development” 

Hesphina Rukato, Executive Director, Centre for African Development Solutions.









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Governance for Sustainable Development

The Post-2015 Agenda is an unprecedented effort that embodies universal aspirations for achieving a better, more just, equitable, peaceful and sustainable future. Representatives from 193 governments and multiple stakeholders, from all sectors, have actively participated in its creation. This ambitious and unique exercise represents a paradigm shift in development policy. It materializes years of dialogue and candid ambitions of addressing the most pressing global challenges. In this context, the rule of law, as well as, effective, robust, participatory and accountable institutions is of utmost importance to achieve the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) and their 169 targets.

The inextricable link between good governance and sustainable development was acknowledged in the Rio+20 Declaration “The Future We Want”. Moreover, the Report of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda further elaborated on this issue and made a call for all countries to recognize the need for responsive, legitimate and democratic institutions, at all levels.

Mindful of these challenges, the governments of Mexico, Romania and the Republic of Korea, with the technical support of the Tellus Institute and the organization ARTICLE 19, reinvigorated the “Group of Friends of the Governance for Sustainable Development”, which was created in the preparation of the Rio+20 Conference, as a flexible and informal space to discuss issues related to good governance and foster cooperation between multiple actors in the context of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

The Group of Friends also aims to contribute to the discussions of the institutional architecture for the Agenda’s implementation, follow-up and review. Thus, the Group convened government representatives, UN officials, experts, and civil society in November 2014, January and May 2015 to three participatory workshops on governance and the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Governance for Sustainable Development is edited by: Hoonmin Lim, Sara Luna and Oana Rebedea, David Banisar Felix Dodds and Quinn McKew

"We expect the present publication to be a useful input for the ongoing discussions about the institutional architecture for the Post-2015 Agenda. Our generation has now the opportunity to redefine the future and bring real, significant, transformative and universal change for and with the people, leaving no one behind. However, sustainable development will only become a reality if we have the enabling environment for it to happen. Thus, good governance will be pivotal for implementing, reviewing and improving the Post-2015 Development Agenda. We expect that this publication contributes to the colossal, but encouraging, challenges we will be facing during the next 15 years."  

Ambassador Choong-hee HAHN, Ambassador Simona-Mirela Miculescu and Ambassador Jorge Montaño


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Plain Language Guide to Rio+20

 Rio+20 saw a major rebirth of sustainable development as the major organizing principle for how we should live on this planet. It launched the work on Sustainable Development Goals which has become the main process for replacing the Millennium Development Goals in 2015. This book is a practical guide to those engaged in implementing the Rio+20 agreement and in developing the new development goals and agenda for 2015 and beyond. As a book it complements the Routledge book by the same authors “From Rio+20 to the New Development Agenda.” 

The book is written by three people who were practitioners in Rio+20 and the post 2012 process on the new Development Goals.

Felix Dodds is a Senior Fellow at the Global Research Institute at the University of North Carolina at the University of North Carolina and an Associate Fellow at the Tellus Institute in Boston

Jorge Laguna-Celis is the Senior Advisor on sustainable development of the UN General Assembly. Since 2006 he has been a member of the Mexican Foreign Service.

Liz Thompson was one of the two UN executive coordinators for the Rio+20 process and negotiations and is a former Minister of Energy and Environment of Barbados. In 2008 she was awarded the UNEP “Champion of the Earth” award.

“This book is a great service to those who anyone who wants to understand the history, present and intended future of the UN’s efforts toward a more sustainable future.  It is clear, concise and a great service to historians of sustainability and those who must operationalize an agenda to optimize conditions for human development through time.”

-Gary Lawrence, Chief Sustainability Officer at AECOM

The Plain language Guide to Rio+20: Preparing for the New Development Agenda is a reader-friendly gateway to Rio +20 resources and outcomes that can equally guide the 'new comer' while also serving as a memo to the already engaged 

-Maruxa Cardama, Communitas Executive Project Coordinator

“Unfortunately, our global aspirations remain limited by a few remarkably change-resistant barriers: insufficient funding of international institutions, mendacity on the part of national leaders and a too-many military flash points. 

Fortunately, in the face of such intransigence, we have the latest book from Felix Dodds, Jorge Laguna- Celis and Liz Thompson.  Of all his publications, The Plain Language Guide is Felix's most accessible and encouraging. Dodds continues to work with other sustainable development advocates from the UN, governments and stakeholders to produce the indispensable resources for the serious global actor. I cannot imagine where we'd be across the world without him. “

-Don Edwards, Chief Executive Officer, Justice and Sustainability Associates


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From Rio+20 to the New Development Agenda

By Felix Dodds, Jorge Laguna-Celis and Liz Thompson
Twenty years after the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, "The Earth Summit", the Rio+20 conference in 2012 brought life back to sustainable development. It did that by putting it at the centre of a new global development partnership, one in which sustainable development is the basis for eradicating poverty, upholding human development and transforming economies.

This book is written by participants involved in the Rio+20 negotiations, it presents a unique insider analysis of not only what happened and why. It also identifies where the outcomes might impact in  the future, particularly in the UN development agenda beyond 2015.

The book throws light on the changing nature of multilateralism and questions frequent assumptions on how policy is defined within the UN. It shows that Rio+20 was more than an international meeting; it represented a culminating point of decades of successes and failures and a watershed moment for seminal concepts, ideas and partnerships including the Green Economy, zero tolerance on land degradation, the introduction of Sustainable Development Goals, the creation of national measurements of consumption, production and well-being that are intended to go beyond GDP, the introduction of national green accounting and the commitment of billions of dollars for sustainable development partnerships, including Sustainable Energy for All.
Quotes on the book:
"There are many who are only too happy to dismiss multilateral negotiations because of their painfully slow progress and bizarre esoteric practices. Sections of the media feel cliché bound to portray them as a junket circuit for politicians and officials, and delight in calling them a waste of time and money. And it is undoubtedly the case that drive, passion, ideas and excitement is much more obvious in the myriad of grassroots peoples’ movements around the world campaigning for change; in the dynamic partnerships between forward thinking cities and regions; and in the innovative approaches that thousands of communities and some leading companies are taking to address the challenges and opportunities of sustainable development. But if these thousands of actions aiming to create a better world are to come together in a way that enables humanity to prosper fairly within environmental limits, we need to keep our faith in a vision of multilateralism where the world’s countries, slowly but surely, build the common frameworks that are needed to deliver genuine sustainable development. This book does an excellent job of documenting the journey to the Rio+20, the details and outcomes of the summit negotiations, and critically what needs to happen in the years ahead. It makes sense of where we have got to on this long journey, and where we need to go next. Nothing could be more important."– Craig Bennett, Director of Policy and Campaigns, Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
"Long-term sustainability solutions can only be brokered at the international level – and a huge amount of energy and expertise has gone into those international agendas since 1972. Through the Stakeholder Forum, Felix Dodds has been at the heart of that global diplomacy for more than 20 years, allowing him and his co-authors, Liz Thompson and Jorge Laguna Celis to draw on that wealth of experience and theirs in order to map out a robust and inspiring road map for a better world." –Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director, Forum for the Future and former Chair of Stakeholder Forum
"This is the ultimate ‘insider’s guide’ to the Rio+20 process, taking the reader from the preliminary discussions back in 2007 all the way through the conference itself and into the future. In tabloid terminology, Felix Dodds, Jorge Laguna Celis and Liz Thompson give us ‘the thrills, the spills, the personalities and power-plays’ that shaped the summit and its diverse outcome. Whether you regard the outcome as primarily a missed opportunity due to its fundamental incompatibility with respect for planetary boundaries and its failure to match President Lula’s pre-conference vision of an event that would lead to ‘a new and more balanced distribution of wealth’ in the world, as I continue to do, or whether you share the authors’ optimism regarding the re-moulding of international institutions and the voluntary commitments secured in Rio, this book will give you a deeper and broader understanding of why Rio reached the outcomes it did. And as it makes clear, there is still much to play for, particularly in regard of the sustainable development goals, which could yet provide impetus for a global move towards the future we both want and need." – Richard Black, former BBC Environment Correspondent
"Multilateral negotiations are very complex. Issues such as peace and security, sustainable development and climate change have all proven how difficult it is to negotiate to consensus amongst the global family of nations. The Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development ushered in new policy and institutional approaches for achieving sustainable development. The three authors of this book represent the various stakeholders in the multilateral negotiation process – countries, civil society and the UN system. The authors are uniquely positioned to offer readers a better insight into how a consensus in multilateral negotiations emerge, the result of Rio+20 and the evolving global development agenda." – H.E. Dr. John W. Ashe, Co-Chairman, Rio+20 Preparatory Committee, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations
"The Earth Summit of 1992 was a pivotal event in multilateralism; it set the world on a journey to sustainable development. In 2012 the world’s governments returned to Rio to rechart that path in the light of past successes and failures and the new challenges which lay ahead. In this book, three development practitioners conduct an interdisciplinary assessment of the outcome document of the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, 'The Future We Want' and the post-2015 development agenda. It is a refreshing and timely contribution to the body of development literature." – Sir Shridath Ramphal, former Commonwealth Secretary-General
"This book is a decisive contribution to a better understanding of the Rio+20 negotiations which in many ways were the genesis of the Post-2015 process. The negotiations were dauntingly complex given the range of issues covered, and this book is both timely and seminal as it will enable those who did not participate in the process, for the first time, to fully appreciate the scope of the negotiations. This will be a vital referent for the discussions under the Post-2015 process which need to be widely participatory. This book will contribute to facilitating informed and substantive participation by a wide range of stakeholders."– Paula Caballero Gomez,Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombia
"The landscape of geopolitics is rapidly changing, as is our view of how we can live and prosper within the planet’s boundaries while attaining sustainable global development. Dodds, Celis and Thompson have captured the nuances of these changes and challenges, presenting them in a way that enhances our understanding of the major development issues of our time and the response of the multilateral system to those issues." – Dame Billie Miller, former Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Barbados
"Out of respect for our children we as politicians must show will and courage to embark on a new course towards turning the unsustainable use of natural resources around. It is my hope we will succeed in setting ambitious global sustainability goals in the UN in 2015 to continue the hard work done at Rio+20. This book highlights that it is not about changing gears. It is about changing lanes." – Ida Auken, Minister of Environment, Denmark
"This is an invaluable contribution to the on-going conversation on the future of our planets and its present and future inhabitants. The ideas for action are anchored in an erudite appraisal of the results of the Rio+20 summit and deserve careful consideration by policy makers, advocacy groups and concerned citizens." –Shafqat Kakakhel, former Deputy Director of UNEP
"This book is an animated, engaging and well documented tour through the recent history of development, culminating in Rio+20 and its declaration. But it goes beyond history and points a path for achieving the kind of development that human beings long for and how we must plan for it. This is probably the greatest challenge of our time and this book gives us hope that we are up to it." – Sir George Alleyne, Director Emeritus, PanAmerican Health Organization, Chancellor of the University of the West Indies
About the other Authors
Jorge Laguna-Celis is the Senior Advisor on sustainable development to the President of the UN General Assembly; prior to that he was a negotiator and expert on international environmental governance and sustainable development. Since 2006 he has been a member of the Mexican Foreign Service and is based in New York, USA.
Liz Thompson is a former Minister of Energy and Environment of Barbados. She was honoured by UNEP in 2008 with the prestigious "Champion of the Earth" award for her work in climate change and environment. She was one of two executive coordinators appointed by the UN at the level of Assistant Secretary General to support the Rio+20 process and negotiations. As a Minister she led the development of national policies on the green economy, energy, environment and sustainable development. She now works in these areas on which she has been an advisor to the Executive Office of the UN Secretary General, UNDP and the 68thPresident of the UN General Assembly. 
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Only One Earth -The Long Road via Rio to Sustainable Development

By Felix Dodds and Michael Strauss with Maurice Strong

Forty years after the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, the goal of sustainable development continues via the Rio+20 conference in 2012. This book will enable a broad readership to understand what has been achieved in the past forty years and what hasn’t. It shows the continuing threat of our present way of living to the planet. It looks to the challenges that we face twenty years from the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, "The Earth Summit," in Rio, in particular in the areas of economics and governance and the role of stakeholders. It puts forward a set of recommendations that the international community must address now and in the the future. It reminds us of the planetary boundaries we must all live within and and what needs to be addressed in the next twenty years for democracy, equity and fairness to survive. Finally it proposes through the survival agenda a bare minimum of what needs to be done, arguing for a series of absolute minimum policy changes we need to move forward.

"At a time of mounting threats to the sustainability of the planet, and as we prepare for the 20 year review of the original Rio Conference, it is essential to understand the road that has brought us to this juncture, so that we can understand the momentous opportunities and tremendous challenges that we face in reaching for a sustainable future. Dodds, Stauss and Strong provide a compelling narrative of the road that brought us to this point and outline a potential path for moving forward."  Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General, International Renewable Energy Agency 

"40 years ago Olof Palme reminded us that we must share and shape our future together – it is a shared responsibility containing difficult choices. A transition towards a green economy is one of those difficult choices. One that requires political leadership. It will not happen unless we make it happen. Let's put the world economies to work for a common, sustainable future – we can't afford otherwise. Dodds, Stauss and Strong provide... suggestions on how we might address these future challenges."  Ida Auken, Minister for the Environment of Denmark. 

"Felix Dodds, Michael Strauss and Maurice Strong uses their intimate experience of UN processes to detail the long and sometimes painful journey from the Stockholm summit of 1972 towards Rio +20 in 2012. The distillation of history would be useful to anyone new to the issues. But more important is the dissection of the various forces at play, including trade, competitive development, aid and environmental awareness. Those forces are still here, and will play a major role in shaping the path towards global sustainability - or not - well beyond Rio." – Richard Black, BBC Environment Correspondent 

"It is a privilege to review the recent history of a remarkable initiative that changed attitudes and perceptions, and introduced a new approach for determining the future of Planet Earth. Written by outstanding players that contributed effectively to the success of this major effort, it covers in detail scientific, diplomatic and strategic aspects of a process that peacefully brought together all nations." – Henrique B. Cavalcanti, Federal Minister of Environment in Brazil. Former Chairman of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development and Former Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Former Deputy Minister of Interior, and  Former President of Siderurgia Brasileira SA – Siderbrás, President of FUNATURA (an NGO), Delegate to Stockholm-1972, to Rio de Janeiro-1992, and Johannesburg-2002. 

"This is a crucial book for any who want to see how much has been achieved and how much remains to be done in combating Climate Change. Incisive and realistic, it provides an essential background for all who want to understand the most important material issue of our time."  John Selwyn Gummer, Baron Deben, PC - Former Secretary of State for the Environment

"The first Rio Earth Conference set us on three tracks to sustainable development – social, environmental, economic. In this definitive book, Maurice Strong, one of the architects of that iconic conference, joins with Felix Dodds and Michael Strauss to review the convergence and collisions on the development journey since 1992 and to consider how Rio+20 can truly become a platform for achieving 'the future we want.' Their relevant and enduring message – we are all shareholders in Earth Incorporated and have a responsibility to take the most sustainable paths to prosperity, for people and planet." – H. Elizabeth Thompson L, Assistant Secretary-General, Executive Coordinator UN Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20 and former Minister for Energy and Environment of Barbados. 

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Biodiversity and Ecosystem Insecurity

Publication, now available

"Biodiversity and Ecosystem Insecurity: A Planet in Peril" has been produced by Stakeholder Forum and edited by Ahmed Djoghlaf and Felix Dodds and includes chapters by: Gusti Muhammad Hatta, Thomas E. Lovejoy, Craig Bennett,Johan Rockstrom, Bob Watson, Achim Steiner, Jan McAlpine and Monique Barbut. The book provides an authoritative and comprehensive assessment of the threats presented to human security and well-being by the loss of ecosystems and biodiversity – recently confirmed as one of the critical 'planetary boundaries' that has already been exceeded.

Contributors examine the current trends and state of biodiversity globally, the drivers of biodiversity loss including climate change and economic and population pressures, and the mechanisms and policies needed for conserving and restoring biodiversity in the future. Strong emphasis is placed throughout on the fundamental importance of placing a realistic economic value on nature and the services that ecosystems provide if we are to manage our natural resources successfully; and also on the crucial role of international institutions and government policies achieving this goal.

As the recent high-profile meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan, underlined, the scale and pace of the destruction of natural habitats and species imperil us all. This volume is an invaluable resource for conservationists, students and those in the private and public sectors concerned to redress the damage being done to the natural world.

'Many people around the world remain totally unaware that the Earth is losing its incredible array of plant and animal life at an unprecedented and alarming rate. The dangers to our global biodiversity and the impacts this will have on human society are clearly spelled out in this book which stresses that if we continue with business as usual, we will soon reach a tipping point, causing irreparable and irreversible damage to the major ecosystems that support life on our planet.'

Edward Norton, United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity

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Climate Change and Energy Insecurity


At last the new book is out Climate Change and Energy Insecurity -- edited by Andrew Higham, Richard Sherman and Felix Dodds with the Foreword by UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner: chapters by Lord Stern, Linda Adams, Nnimmo Bassey, Ambassador Stuart, Beck, Craig Bennett, Barbara J. Bramble, Gidon, Bromberg, European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas, Director General UN Foor and Agriculture Organisation, Jacques Diouf, Executive Secretary of the Convention for Biological Diversity Ahmed Djoghlaf, Felix Dodds, Michael K. Dorsey, former Executive Director of UNEP Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Ladeene Freimuth, former German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel, Winston Gereluk, Devyani Gupta, Andrew Higham, Steve Howard, Nader al Khateeb, Melinda Kimble, Johan Kuylenstierna, Jürgen Maier, Munqeth Mehyar, Michael Moore, Derek Osborn, Lucien Royer, South African Tourism Minister and former Environment Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk, Richard Sherman, Andrew Simms, Chris Spence, Nicholas Stern (Lord Stern of Brentford, Kt, FBA), Dave Trouba

Maurice Strong the Secretary General of the Rio and Stockholm Earth Summits said of the book;


“'We must treat climate as a security issue, the most important threat to global security we will ever face. Energy is at the heart of this transition. Climate security and energy security are two sides of the same coin: one cannot be achieved without the other. This book is an important contribution to exploring this vital part of the environmental security agenda."

P. Simran Sethi, Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communcations, University of Kansas and Founding Writer/ Co-Host of Sundance Channel's environmental programming "The Green" said:

Climate and energy are two of the most urgent and formidable issues of our times. This seminal text comprehensively details our challenges and explains the ways in which they are inextricably linked to human rights and environmental stewardship.'

and Ashok Khosla, Chairman, Development Alternatives and President, IUCN and the Club of Rome

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Gatecrashers, controversial organisations, what future for NGOs in the new global governance


New book out 'Gatecrashers, controversial organisations, what future for NGOs in the new global governance' - publisher: Dalloz. Chapter by Felix Dodds entitled: 'The conditions necessary for the success of an NGO Coalition'.


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Into The Twenty First Century




Edited by Felix Dodds

A passionate indictment of the major political parties in Britain today for their failure to face the biggest issues on the British political agenda.

These are issues of survival / not just of ourselves or our families, not just of the immediate environment or of our own country, but of the world itself. Politicians of every tradition have let us down, They offer the superficial appeal of a temporary prosperity. They make no promise for the future.

This book brings together prominent people from socialist, liberal and green traditions together with those from whose experience lies in pressure groups. What they have in common is more remarkable than what divides them despite the fact that they have been candidates for opposing political parties. The empty rhetoric of the twentieth century politics has proved of no worth. This book explores the opportunities for a new and green parliamentary politics which will take us beyond the politics of Thatcher and Kinnock and into the 21st century

Preface Felix Dodds

Green Values Jeremy Seabrook

A Critique Towards Realignment Michael Meadowcroft (former MP)

Liberal Values Into the 1990s Simon Hebditch

Ecological Sustainability Peter Tatchell

We are all Connected Meg Beresford

The Environmental Crisis Simon Hughes MP

Creating the New Economic Orthodoxy Liz Crosbie

Reclaiming the Politics of Emancipation Hilary Wainwright

Towards a Green Europe and a Green World Petra Kelly (former member of the German Parliament)

Liberal Roots to a Green Future Tim Cooper

Moves Towards a Green Future Jean Lambert (now MEP)

A Strategy for New Alliances Peter Hain (now MP)

Green Strategy Sara Parkin

The Politics of Realignment  Felix Dodds and Mike Harskin

Realigning the Vision Jonathon Porritt


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