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Bonn Perspectives // Reciprocal added value

Nexus Conference opens perspectives: The City of Bonn and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) signed a memorandum on 21 July 2011, stating their intent to strengthen Bonn as a United Nations location for international cooperation, development and sustainability.

As a competence centre for the global topics of the future, the location will be further positioned in the international sustainability debate, and its international competitiveness will be enhanced. A series of pioneering conference formats and innovative dialogue techniques will enable new options for action for politics and the private sector to be formulated. All these are symbolised by the new brand "Bonn Perspectives — A fresh look at sustainability'". The first milestone in the initiative is the Federal Government's international "Bonn 2011 Conference: The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus — Solutions for the Green Economy" in November 2011.

The signatories of the memorandum are Hans-Jürgen Beerfeltz, State Secretary at BMZ, and the Lord Mayor of the City of Bonn, Jürgen Nimptsch. The purpose of the agreement is to combine joint strengths in order to increase the global focus in politics and the private sector on the issue of sustainability.

This will not be an easy task, as State Secretary Beerfeltz explains: "Sustainable development is difficult to achieve precisely because a consensus has to reached between social areas that often have diverging interests". As a result, national and international political processes are currently blocking each other in many cases. The new joint initiative will help break up these blockages.

Bonn's Lord Mayor Jürgen Nimptsch emphasised that the memorandum signed today gives the region a key role for the tasks of the future, and will help it evolve even faster as a location for international innovation in the sustainability debate. "Bonn is an ideal place for working together on viable solutions for the future. With the competence of our networks and experience from international debates and conferences, we are able to enrich international discussion on sustainable development with fresh ideas from Bonn".

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The Bonn2011 Nexus Conference on Water, Energy and Food Security is the opening event of the new brand and initiative. It will be held in Bonn from 16-18 November 2011. The ambition of the "Bonn Perspectives" is clear: experts from three sectors will look closely at the conflicts of objectives that arise when issues are jointly considered in different policy areas, formulate policy recommendations focusing on solutions and action to achieve water, energy and food security, and seek to launch concrete initiatives to promote "nexus thinking". "The increasing scarcity of water alone means that the actors responsible for managing water resources must have a common interest in the protection and sustainable use of water resources," as Beerfeltz says. "The development goals in the fields of energy security, food security and access to drinking water crucially depend on the availability of water in sufficient quantity and quality". The results of the conference, which is also the fruit of a one-year preparatory process, will be presented as a German contribution to the Rio+20 summit in Brazil in 2012. Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel is the patron of the Bonn2011 Nexus Conference.

A priority area in sustainable development worldwide is the transformation to a modern social ecological modern economy, or "green economy". BMZ and the City of Bonn will concentrate on associated issues in the first project phase up to the end of 2012, and utilise the momentum from the 2012 sustainability summit in Brazil. These are also the issues where Bonn has already made an international name for itself as a site for political dialogue: climate protection, adaptation to climate change, renewable energies, water, biodiversity, combating desertification, food security, disaster risk management, civil conflict transformation and poverty reduction.

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"Bonn Perspectives — A fresh look at sustainability" is an initiative of the City of Bonn and BMZ, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the NRW-EU Joint Programme goal 2.

Website: {www.bonn-perspectives.de}

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