With so many exciting and possibly world changing events coming to Rio in the next several weeks…and years, today I want to talk about:
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development is better known as Rio+20 . In 27 days, the Riocentro in Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro will host this latest Earth summit that will include world leaders (among which may or may not be US President Obama), NGOs, government participants, scientists and various groups. Promising to be an historic meeting that will attempt to, among other things, draft and agree upon a plan to bring the world together to help reduce poverty and increase and improve the use of sustainable practices and clean energy.
Dubbed Rio+20 because this summit marks the twentieth anniversary of the 1992 Earth Summit, where Agenda 21 was adopted by more than 178 governments. A blueprint for actions to be implanted by organizations of the UN, Agenda 21 challenged governments to act locally, nationally, regionally and internationally to help reduce poverty,change consumption patterns, develop better conservation and management of global resources and strengthen the role of women,indigenous people, farmers and children in the hopes of developing a future more sustainable global environment.
Agenda 21 was debated, negotiated and finalized at the 1992 Earth Summit similar to what is happening (or will ideally happen) with Rio+20’s Zero draft of the outcome document. The Zero draft currently includes a challenge to reaffirm principles and past action plans from set forth in Agenda 21. The Zero draft document will be debated, negotiated and hopefully finalized at this year’s summit in Rio.
“Rio+20 is a chance to move away from business-as-usual and to act to end poverty, address environmental destruction and build a bridge to the future.”, the UN’s site for the summit proclaims.
Hopefully a more sustainable bridge at that.
There are still ways for you to participate
If you are a member of a group and have not registered yet, do not worry, hotel rates have been cut by up to 60% and registrations and accreditations have been extended for major groups until 27 May 2012. That’s a small window but you still have time to get through it.
A great way to participate is online through theSustainable Development Dialogues. Separated into ten dialogues (Oceans, Water, Food and Nutrition Safety, Sustainable Development for Fighting Poverty, Sustainable Development as an answer to the economic and financial crises, Sustainable energy for all, The economics of sustainable development for all including sustainable patterns for production and consumption, Sustainable cities and innovation, Unemployment, decent work and migrations and Forests) you can join and participate in one or all of the dialogues. Most of which are still in the accepting recommendations phase. This is where you can be involved!
After recommendations have been voted on (more involvement for you) and chosen they will be “conveyed directly to the Heads of State and Government present at the Summit”.
Or, if you would just like to know more…
The discussions and the recommendations alone are very interesting to read and worth a visit to the Dialogues in and of themselves.
There is also the Rio+20 Resource Page with issue briefs, notes, documents and reports.
The unfolding events and talks at Rio+20 could have a major impact on all of our futures. The discussions alone might bring changes or could possibly shine lights on different countries’ current agendas. Whatever happens, it should be very interesting.