Forty years after the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, and twenty years after the first “Earth Summit” (UN Conference and Environment and Development) held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992, the world community came together again in Rio to review pro- gress and outline the future steps we need to take towards a more sustainable world. The 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), also known as “Rio+20”, was a his- toric event in the sense that it secured renewed political commitment to sustainable develop- ment and addressed new and emerging challenges. The summit was also important in moving forward two specific themes: the green economy in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development; and the institutional framework for sustainable development. UNCSD also offered a unique opportunity to discuss the extent to which universities have been providing a meaningful contribution to efforts towards shaping a better world and, perhaps more importantly, to discuss what remains to be done. It was against this background that the World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities (WSSD-U-2012), organised by the Research and Transfer Centre “Applications of Life Sciences” of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany) and London Metropolitan University (UK), under the auspices of the RCE Hamburg and Region, took place in Rio de Janeiro on 5 and 6 June 2012. The aims of the World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities (WSSD- U-2012) were: i. to provide universities all round the world with an opportunity to display and present...
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