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International Institute for Sustainable Development

International Institute for Sustainable Development

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is a nonprofit organization that serves as an information and resources clearinghouse for policy makers promoting sustainable development. IISD aims to promote sustainable development in decision making worldwide by assisting with policy analysis, providing information about practices, measuring sustainability, and building partnerships to further sustainability goals. It serves businesses, governments, communities, and individuals in both developing and industrialized nations. IISD's stated aim is to "create networks designed to move sustainable development from concept to practice." Founded in 1990 and based in Winnipeg, Canada, IISD is funded by foundations, governmental organizations, private sector sources, and revenue from publications and products.

IISD works in seven program areas. The Business Strategies program focuses on improving competitiveness, creating jobs, and protecting the environment through sustainability. Projects include several publications and the EarthEnterprise program, which offers entrepreneurial and employment strategies. IISD's Trade and Sustainable Development program works on building positive relationships between trade, the environment, and development. It examines how to make international accords, such as those made by the World Trade Organization , compatible with the goals of sustainable development. The Community Adaptation and Sustainable Livelihoods program identifies adaptive strategies for drylands in Africa and India, and it examines the influences of policies and new technology on local ways of life. The Great Plains program works with community, farm, government, and industry groups to assist communities in the Great Plains region of North America with sustainable development. It focuses on government policies in agriculture, such as the Western Grain Transportation Act, as well as loss of transportation subsidies, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), soil salination and loss of wetlands , job loss, and technological advances. Measurement and Indicators aims to set measurable goals and progress indicators for sustainable development. As part of this, IISD offers information about the successful uses of taxes and subsidies to encourage sustainability worldwide. Common Security focuses on initiatives of peace and consensus-building.

IISD's Information and Communications program offers several publications and Internet sites featuring information on sustainable development issues, terms, events, and media coverage. This includes Earth Negotiations Bulletin, which provides on-line coverage of major environmental and development negotiations (especially United Nations conferences), and IISDnet, with information about sustainable development worldwide. IISD also publishes more than 50 books, monographs, and discussion papers, including Sourcebook on Sustainable Development, which lists organizations, databases, conferences, and other resources. IISD produces five journals that include Developing Ideas, published bimonthly both in print and electronically, and featuring articles on sustainable development terms, issues, resources, and recent media coverage. Earth Negotiations Bulletin reports on conferences and negotiations meetings, especially United Nations conferences. IISD's Internet journal, /linkages/journal/,isa bimonthly electronic multi-media subscription magazine focusing on global negotiations. Its reporting service, Sustainable Developments, reports on environmental and development negotiations for meetings and symposia via the Internet. IISD also operates IISDnet (, an Internet information site featuring research, new trends, global activities, contacts, information on IISD's activities and projects, including United Nations negotiations on environment and development, corporate environmental reporting, and information on trade issues.

IISD is the umbrella organization for Earth Council, an international nongovernmental organization (NGO) created in 1992 as a result of the United Nations Earth Summit . The organization creates measurements for achieving sustainable development and assesses practices and economic measures for their effects on sustainable development. Earth Council coordinated the Rio+5 Forum in Rio de Janeiro in March 1997, which assessed progress towards sustainable development since the Earth Summit in 1992. IISD has produced two publications, Trade and Sustainable Development and Guidelines for the Practical Assessment of Progress Toward Sustainable Development.

[Carol Steinfeld ]



International Institute for Sustainable Development, 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, ManitobaCanada R3B 0Y4 (204) 958-7700, Fax: (204) 958-7710, Email: [email protected], <>

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