Saturday, May 10, 2014

Understanding Rio+20


At the Rio+20 Conference, world leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other groups, came together to shape how we can reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet to get to the future we want.

Rio+20 - the short name for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development that toke place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012 - was an historic opportunity to define pathways to a safer, more equitable, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all. Nearly 100 heads of state and government gathered to establish "sustainable development goals," a U.N. drive built around economic growth, the environment and social inclusion.

While some governments were reasonably satisfied with the outcome document for the Rio+20 summit, others were disappointed and even angry with a perceived lack of ambition and sense of urgency to deal with the problems arising from rises in consumption, population and industrialization.

Twenty years after the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, where countries adopted Agenda 21 - a blueprint to rethink economic growth, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection - the UN is again bringing together governments, international institutions and major groups to agree on a range of smart measures that can reduce poverty while promoting decent jobs, clean energy and a more sustainable and fair use of resources.

The objective of Rio+20 was to find ways to move away from business-as-usual and to act to end poverty, address environmental destruction and build a bridge to the future.


WILL THERE BE A RIO+30 OR RIO+40?

A follow-up to the Rio+20 summit of the same scale in 10 years or even another 20 years has not been set, but many observers at the summit say progress on some of the issues in Friday's agreement needs to be measured.

Some of the timelines in the Rio+20 agreement are so far into the future that measures may be too late to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and globalization.

"We don't have 20 years or even 10," said Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International. "History tells us little will happen in real terms and definitely not at the timescale of urgency climate science tells us is needed," he added.


Sources:
http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/22/un-climate-idUSL5E8HLEDL20120622

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