The Bonn 2011 Process
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Process // The Bonn 2011 Process

Consultation process shaped by representatives from the spheres of politics, business and civil society

The development of a global strategy on sustainable water, energy and food security is a central aspect of Germany's contribution to the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development, scheduled for 2012 in Rio de Janeiro. The German Federal Government has opted for a participatory approach: Two bodies of experts, along with representatives from the politics, business and civil society, will be engaged in a consultation process known as the Bonn 2011 Process, which culminates next November in an international conference on the topic of water, energy and food security in Bonn.

The consultation process was kicked off in Bonn last December by the first meeting of the German Advisory Group (Deutscher Beraterkreis). This body consists of fourteen experts from the spheres of science and research, civil society, the private sector and the media. Its task is to advise the Federal Government in the technical, political and institutional questions that arise in the Bonn 2011 Process. At least two further meetings of the German Advisory Group are planned in the course of 2011.

A second body of experts, the International Steering Committee (Internationaler Lenkungsausschuss), also met in Bonn for the first time in December. The committee consists of 35 international experts from the fields of politics, civil society and the private sector. Its remit is to advise the Federal Government from an international perspective throughout the Bonn 2011 Process. The International Steering Committee is expected to meet three times during the run-up to the conference, with its next meeting set for March 2011.

Running in parallel to the work of these expert bodies, there will also be a series sector discussions and dialog fora with representatives from the private sector and civil society. The outcomes of this ongoing conversation are also to be fed into the Bonn 2011 Process. The International Steering Committee and the German Advisory Group will hold their concluding meetings in the autumn of 2011.

The Bonn 2011 Process culminates in an international conference on water, energy and food security.The conference will be held in Bonn from 16 to 18 November 2011, with delegates meeting in the former seat of the German Bundestag. Participants will include around 400 decision-makers and decision-shapers from the spheres of politics, academia, the United Nations, civil society and the private sector. The conference results represent an important aspect of Germany's contribution to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, scheduled for 2012 in Rio de Janeiro. The concept of a "green economy" will form a key focus of conference discussions on approaches to sustainable development and poverty reduction.

Responsibility for the Bonn 2011 Process is borne by an organizing committee overseen by Germany's Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) and Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The organizing committee is made up of representatives of the BMU, BMZ, Foreign Office (AA), Bonn City Council and the Conference Secretariat. The Conference Secretariat is provided by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), the newly formed implementing agency (under the BMZ) that combines German technical cooperation, development services and capacity building. The conference secretariat is in charge of managing the preparatory process as a whole and organizing the conference. Possible formats for the results of this process will be discussed by the International Steering Committee and chosen by the end of the preparatory process. Conceivable options here are action recommendations, specific codes of conduct for water management, and voluntary commitments by the various actors.

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