When we discuss the United Nations sustainable development goals (SDGs) today, we have to trace back to half of a century ago, when the idea of sustainable development was started from the Conference of Human Environment in 1972 and introduced in the UN Conference for Environment and Development in Rio, 1992. It is integrated into the UN Millennium Declaration and mainstreamed in the World Summit for Sustainable Development. The concept of sustainable development kept fusing economic development and environmental protection into one narrative. Environmental protection accounts for one of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Now it accounts for seven of the 17 SDGs. The process for sustainable development promotes international cooperation with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. It envisioned inter and intra generational equity, tries to eliminate poverty and protect the environment at the same time. This process sets the great historic background of Greenovation Hub (GHUB)’s works. GHUB’s first project was building an NGO delegation to the Rio+20 conference. With GHUB’s facilitation, the Chinese NGO delegation organized a whole day side event called “Green China, Race to the Future”at the UNEP pavilion and published a case study collection of green business practice and a NGO review of sustainable development in China.
GHUB’s current climate programme is mostly working on the processes under the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change, which was signed at the 92’Conference for Environment and Development. GHUB’s work on marine protection is directly related to the Goal 14 of the SDG. They can also be traced back to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity signed in Rio 1992 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) agreed in 2002. Reviewing the process of sustainable development could remind us why we started in the first place and help us move forward with clearer direction and stronger conviction.