Stakeholder Engagement & Capacity-building

As highlighted in our mission statement, Stakeholder Forum work provides a bridge between those who have a stake in sustainable development and the international forums where decisions are made in their name. To this end, we work with a diversity of stakeholders globally on international policy development and advocacy; stakeholder engagement and consultation; media and communications, and capacity building – all with the ultimate objective of promoting progressive outcomes on sustainable development through an open and participatory approach. The documents found on this page reflect the diversity of that work now and over the years.

The People’s Environment Narrative – the PEN

The PEN is a product of the Towards Stockholm+50 project, an initiative by Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future and Forum for Utvikling og Miljø (the Norwegian Forum for Development and Environment – ForUM). Supported by the United Nations Environment Programme’s Civil Society Unit with financial support from the Government of Sweden, the PEN publication commemorates 50 years of work for the environment carried out by the United Nations Environment Programme, Civil Society, and other relevant stakeholders. It can be downloaded here. The PEN was introduced at the People’s Environment Narrative Webinar on Oct.13th, 2022.

2022 marked 50 years since the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment Stockholm took place, and 50 years since the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) was established. The People’s Environment Narrative is a comprehensive report that describes and portrays 50 years of civil society’s and other non-state stakeholders’ efforts around environmental policy.

The report provides a historic overview of how stakeholders have engaged in consistent and continued work to safeguard the environment, how they have brought new issues to the global environmental agenda, and how they have contributed to developing environmental law and governance. By bringing together authors with expertise in a wide range of disciplines – who have been following the course of UNEP and working for the environment for 50 years – we present stories of success, challenges, and struggles, personal experiences as well as the outcomes from major stakeholder consultations, meetings, and conferences.

In addition, the PEN focuses on five legacy themes, all of which found their inspiration in 1972 and have since been a foundation for UNEP. As UNEP is the global authority on the environment, the five Legacy Themes continue to influence the environmental agenda. These are:

  • Environmental Diplomacy and Multilateralism;
  • Environmental Rights, Human Rights, and Environmental Justice;
  • Connecting the Dots – Making a Forceful Canon of the Rio Conventions and the Multilateral Environmental Agreements;
  • The Environment and Education Looking to the Future; and
  • Science and the Environment.

The PEN report aims to further increase the visibility of civil society and other stakeholder efforts and accomplishments. Despite a troubling trend today, where civic space and stakeholder participation are shrinking rather than expanding, the PEN recognizes civil society and other stakeholders’ huge contributions as central actors in the development of global environmental policy. Thus, the PEN, a joint effort by key civil society and other non-state stakeholder groups and individuals, offers the reader a unique window into their efforts to advocate for a safe, healthy, and equitable global environment.

The reader will find that the PEN is divided into eight sections:

Section One: An introductory background

Section Two: A contextual and fact-based background to commemorate 50 years of work for the environment, including UNEP and Civil Society – a necessary partnership: 14 case stories showing the outcomes of this collaborative effort

Section Three: Civil Society Organizations and other stakeholders recommendations – tapping on what needs to be improved

Section Four: The Five Legacy Papers – Executive Summaries (full versions of which can be downloaded via links found within the PEN)

Section Five: Outcomes by UNEP

Section Six: Civil Society and non-state stakeholders – key environmental concerns for the future

Section Seven: What happened with Stockholm+50 and the 50th anniversary?

Section Eight: Who contributed to this document? Acknowledgments, pictures, and staff and author bios

The PEN Editorial team hopes that you will find the People’s Environment Narrative enlightening. It also hopes it will give you valuable insight into what happened at Stockholm+50 in June 2022, its preparatory process, and into the 50 years that preceded this conference.

We welcome all comments and feedback to [email protected]

Kind regards,

The PEN Editorial team

With more than 10,000 accredited and participating stakeholders, and over 82 million more connected virtually, Rio+20 was seen as a UN summit with one of the largest contingencies of non-state actors present. In principle, and also to a large extent in practice, the Rio+20 has been the most open and interactive in history.

This report explores the nature and impact of the Major Groups and other stakeholders in the Rio+20 process, including their influence on the outcome document. The report also looks at the role of social media in raising awareness of the conference and provides a summary of Stakeholder Forum’s capacity-building and engagement activities in the lead-up to and at Rio+20.