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IISD Publishes Papers on Environmental Governance and PPPs in Sustainable Development

October 2011: The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) has published two new pieces on sustainable development, one focusing on the role of public-private partnerships (PPPs) in achieving sustainable development, and the other on the need to reform the current system of international environmental governance (IEG).

The first publication is a policy brief titled, “Sustainable Development: Is there a role for public–private partnerships?” It summarizes the content and observations outlined in IISD's preliminary investigation into the relationship between PPPs and sustainability principles. It observes that PPPs can be used as viable mechanisms for the public sector to "crowd in" private capital, but that there are various issues associated with capacity, motivation and legal, institutional and regulatory frameworks that need to be addressed. It concludes that a substantial re-thinking of the current business and contractual models are needed to enable PPPs to deliver on their potential for long-term sustainable infrastructure provision.

The second publication is a commentary titled, “When the Best Options are Unavailable: What space do we really have?” Asserting that the current IEG system is “broken” and that virtually every branch of the UN system has an environment division, programme or unit, the commentary highlights the need for consolidation and elimination of overlap, which corresponds to a mandate given to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). It notes that many of these agencies are reluctant to give up their autonomy and power, but genuine reform will require “deconstructing before reconstructing." The piece suggests that this could require making some agencies stronger and others weaker. [Publication: Sustainable Development: Is there a role for public-private partnerships?] [Publication: When the Best Options are Unavailable: What space do we really have?]