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Challenges to Environmental Sustainability in Latin America

October 24, 2007

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MACOMB, IL - - Robin Rosenberg, president of RLR Associates in New York City and a senior associate at the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development in Geneva, Switzerland, will address "Challenges to Environmental Sustainability in Latin America" Monday, Nov. 5 at Western Illinois University. The 7 p.m. talk, followed by a question and answer period, will be held in the University Union Lamoine Room.

Latin America is at the forefront of the global debate on sustainable development, and is experiencing unprecedented environmental change. The region is home to the Amazon rain forest – arguably the world's most important environmental endowment – and other natural resources crucial to biological diversity and global environmental sustainability, said Virginia Leonard, a Western Illinois University professor of history who specializes in Latin America and who arranged for Rosenberg to speak at Western.

Rosenberg will cover the major challenges to environmental sustainability in Latin America, including the impact of international trade on the environment, the politics of global warming, and the conservation of natural resources, within the context of a region struggling for economic development and the alleviation of poverty.

His approach to the issue of environmental sustainability combines academic expertise with experience as a public policy practitioner. In addition to his senior associate role in Geneva, Rosenberg is an independent consultant for agencies in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere that deal with environmental issues. A former college professor, Rosenberg is the author of numerous articles and books on inter-American policy issues, including "Difficult Liaison: Trade and the Environment in the Americas."

His speaking engagement, which complements Western Illinois' yearlong University theme, "Global Challenges and Personal Responsibility – Environmental Sustainability," is supported by the University Theme Committee. Additional campus sponsors include the Environmental Sustainability Committee; Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA); College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Office; history, political science and foreign languages and literatures departments; the Center for International Studies; and Casa Latina.

Rosenberg's presentation is open free to the public and is also a First Year Experience event.

For more information, contact Leonard by e-mail,, or by phone, 309/298-1053.

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