The objective of CIFAL Atlanta’s Environmental Sustainability Unit is to provide an international platform for governments, private sector and civil society leaders to share best practices for implementing ecologically sound policies that also support and stimulate long-term economic growth.
Ensuring environmental sustainability by 2015 is the seventh objective of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals, as agreed to by 192 countries and by leading development institutions. To reach this goal, many governments are developing policies that combat climate change, support principles of conservation, work toward carbon neutrality, and implement sustainable business and growth practices.
CIFAL Atlanta’s workshops encourage best practice sharing between government officials and industry experts in the following thematic areas:
Water resource management
Environmental sustainability begins with water. The livelihood of any community, city or ecosystem around the world depends on its access to clean water. Managing water resources, however, varies from region to region and from city to city, especially in the face of climate change. Many local governments have designed innovative ways to improve their water run-off systems, increase the efficiency of their water technologies, and ensure that their citizens have continued access to clean, safe drinking water.
CIFAL Atlanta’s International Water Forums serve as a platform to share best practices and to also learn about local water management plans in such countries as the United States, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Israel and many others around the world.
Solid waste management
Solid waste management is an increasingly important issue for local governments that are running out of space for landfills and incurring the increased maintenance costs of operating them. To overcome these obstacles, many governments are looking to alternative integrated solid waste management and methane capture.
CIFAL Atlanta’s forums provide a platform for local government officials to explore innovative approaches to solid waste management. These include case studies where local governments have successfully implemented zero-waste policies or recycling and diversion programs, and the of landfill gas, methane, as a generator of electricity or heat.
The use of renewable energy sources is a pillar of economic development. It provides economic security as dependence on fossil fuel imports is considerably reduced and has the potential of foster job creation and income as renewable energy sources rely on local labor, land and resources. Furthermore, it attracts investment and promotes the development of new technologies, enhancing the quality of life while stimulating economic growth and protecting the environment.
The Renewable Energy Forum provides a venue for government officials and private sector leaders to identify the opportunities for and obstacles to greater use of renewable energy. It brings together senior energy officials, current and potential private sector investors, and regional stakeholders to share best practice policies and successful implementation strategies.