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Hakone Vision on Governance for Sustainability in the 21st Century

Today’s problems are characterized by temporal, spatial, and sectoral interdependencies, complexity, as well as uncertainty. While incremental changes have enabled certain progress towards sustainability, the current system governing sustainable development is no longer sufficient given the number, impact, interdependence and complexity of problems associated with global change. Governance for sustainability requires transformative reforms with clear vision. 

The “Earth System Governance Hakone Vision Factory: Bridging Science Policy Boundaries”, held 27-29 September 2011, in Hakone, Kanagawa, Japan, addressed the key issues required for a fundamental transformation of global sustainability governance in the 21st century.

The main outcomes of the Earth System Governance Hakone Vision Factory are summarized in the statement “Towards a Charter Moment. Hakone Vision on Governance for Sustainability in the 21st Century”.

The document is available for download →here.

This document will also serve as input to the current preparations for the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (“Rio+20”). The Rio+20 conference could be a charter moment—the beginning of a reform process leading to transformative change of sustainability governance.

The Earth System Governance Hakone Vision Factory: Bridging Science Policy Boundaries was organised by the International Environmental Governance Architecture Research Group and the Earth System Governance Project, in collaboration with the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and United Nations University Institute for Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS), and the Tokyo Institute of Technology and was supported by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.

The Hakone Vision Factory built on the Conversation Café at the Colorado Conference on Earth System Governance in May 2011, and the comprehensive Policy Brief “Transforming Governance and Institutions for a Planet under Pressure. Revitalizing the Institutional Framework for Global Sustainability”. More information is also available at the → workshop’s website.

This Hakone Vision Factory is a key activity within the Earth System Governance Project’s initiative on the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development and International Environmental Governance, contributing to the preparations of the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) – Follow the initiative on FacebookLinkedIn, or Twitter, for frequent news and information.

For further correspondence, please contact the workshop chair Norichika Kanie (kanie [at] or Ruben Zondervan, the Executive Director of the Earth System Governance Project (ruben.zondervan [at]].

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