On 14th May, 2014, over 40 experts from the academia, governmental agencies, financial institutions, enterprises, and international organizations participated in the SDSN-IGSNRR-WWF Expert Roundtable workshop concerning the extractive industries in Beijing.
The overarching goal of the workshop is to bring Chinese experts, policy makers, entrepreneurs and academics, experts from the Sustainable Development Solutions Network(SDSN) and global counterparts together into a long-term discussion and engagement on developmental impact of natural resource-related infrastructure globally (roads, rails, ports, power, water, information and communication technologies), particularly in Africa, and ways of enhancing sustainable development in the future. Meanwhile, this event is an opportunity to learn about China’s contribution to infrastructure development in Africa, related especially to oil, mining, forestry and agriculture, and how sharing the use of such infrastructure can help serve the broader needs of the economy.
Prof. SHEN Lei in Opening remarks
In the opening remarks, Prof. SHEN Lei from the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR), Chinese Academy of Sciences, introduced the institute’s role in the arena of extractive industries, and briefed the country’s vast involvement in Africa in the last few years, especially in the extractive industries.
Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, director of the SDSN and Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-
Keynote speech by Prof. Jeffrey Sachs
General, delivered a keynote speech, in which he introduced the establishment and development of SDSN, as well as SDSN’s initiatives and ambitions. Then he illustrated the extractive industries could play essential role in the economy and social development, and the challenges industries would face toward local wellbeing, social justice, and environmental sustainability. The three pillars toward sustainable development of the extractive industries were proposed for SDSN as its missions to curb the challenges of the industries.
After the keynote speech, the workshop was followed by three sessions to discuss China’s perspective on natural resources/infrastructure and development, SDSN’s work on shared-use infrastructure, and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of Chinese enterprises operating in Africa. In each session, active discussions took place among the speakers and the participants, concerning various aspects of the topic and the presentations.
The workshop was co-organized by SDSN, IGSNRR and the World Wild Foundation (WWF). Launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in August 2012, the SDSN mobilizes scientific and technical expertise from academia, civil society, and the private sector in support of sustainable development problem solving at local, national, and global scales. The workshop also offers a valuable opportunity to the Center for World Geography & Resources Research of IGSNRR to improve its connections with various institutions and enhance its capacity for international cooperation.