Thursday, March 24, 2011

Earth Talk at 2nd Global Sustainability Forum

Arnold Schwarzenegger is the opening speaker at the 2nd Global Sustainability Forum. Photos from Getty Images.

IN a few hours Arnold Schwarzenegger will be jawing about “Public Policies for Sustainability.”

Shortly after his speech, director/producer James Cameron will join the actor and former California governor to answer questions on the subject.

The two men are in Manaus, Brazil – in the heart of the Rainforest – for the 2nd Global Sustainability Forum, (Fórum Mundial De Sustentabilidade). It opens today and closes on Saturday (26 March). The main theme of the meeting is "Economic, Environmental and Social Sustainability of the Amazon and of the Planet."

The objectives of the Global Sustainability Forum are threefold: disseminate successful practices and mechanisms for the sustainable development in the Amazon and the world; show the economic and environmental value of a standing rainforest as well as its implications to the region and the world as a whole, and build political and entrepreneurial commitment for the sustainable development of the planet.

Richard Branson appears at the 2nd Global Sustainability Forum to speak about decreasing the size of carbon footprints.

Lofty objectives all. This is only the second year of the forum, therefore too soon to gauge whether Brazil and the world at-large are sincere about preserving the Amazon and other vital egosystems throughout the world or whether this is another occasion for paying lip service and backslapping.

The Brazilian government – which is superintending the world’s fastest-growing economy at the moment – seems to be signaling its commitment, on the surface anyway. It is represented at the meeting by Environment minister Izabella Teixeira who opens the proceedings.

Two others – former president Bill Clinton and Virgin Group founder and CEO Richard Branson – well-known to the masses and with a stated interest in the health of the environment will also add their voices to the conversation.

Bill Clinton speaks about humanism and sustainability at the 2nd Global Sustainability Forum.

Attendees will no doubt listen with some interest as RB holds forth Friday on "Entrepreneurial Strategies for De-carbonizing the Economy." During the Q&A following his talk will it be any surprise if he is asked whether he took a commercial or private jet to the meeting? In fact, that is a simple question to be put to all 600 of the entrepreneurial, political and environmental leaders expected to attend, including the former president. BC will consider the subject of "Humanism and Sustainability" on closing day.

Global Sustainability Forum closes with Earth Hour at 8:30 p.m. Brazil time. For 60 minutes, the lighting in the meeting venue will be extinguished. The forum will also close with fireworks – actual fireworks. Hmmm …

To learn more about the2nd Global Sustainability Forum visit the English- or Portuguese-language site: and

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