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On December 1, 2014, the Brazil SDSN Leadership Council convened for the first time in Rio de Janeiro, to discuss the objectives and next steps of the Brazil SDSN, officially launched on March 17th, 2014. Present at the event were 12 members of the Leadership Council, as well as several other key stakeholders.

Due to the prominence of the city and its extensive work in sustainable development, Rio de Janeiro has been selected as the first city in the Brazil SDSN, focusing on the Urban Thematic Group 9: “Sustainable Cities: Inclusive, Resilient, and Connected.” Four institutions serve as co-hosts of the Brazil SDSN: Conservation International-Brazil, the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, and Instituto Pereira Passos (IPP) of the Rio City Government.

Issues discussed at the meeting include: the global importance of Rio de Janeiro in urban sustainable development, organization and governance of the Brazil SDSN, and network operations and financing. In addition, the co-host institutions presented three projects focusing on social inclusion, resilience, and connectivity, which have been selected as the first anchor projects of the Brazil SDSN. The Leadership Council provided expert guidance on objectives, strategic operations, and financing of the Brazil SDSN, based on their wide ranging expertise.

Several important network advancements will take place in early 2015, including the development of a comprehensive network work plan, and the launch of a dedicated Brazil SDSN website to facilitate communication and knowledge-sharing among network members and stakeholders.