Rio+20 in one year from now - what have we achieved in the last 20 years?
Next year it will be twenty years since the first ever Earth Summit was held in Rio de Janeiro by the United Nations.
The Earth Summit was conference where 172 governments participated and around 2,400 representatives of NGOs attended.
The future environment was the central theme of this conference and it resulted in several ground breaking initiatives for environmental protection, including the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Agenda 21, Convention on Biological Diversity, Forest Principles, and the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
In June 2012, exactly in one year’s time, Brazil will host the follow-up conference Rio+20. This time the focus will be on the green economy in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development. The focus will be to assess the progress made since the last conference and address future challenges, as well as to secure political commitments- a moment of stock-taking and defining the path forward.
So, it is now time to for us to come together and think about what we actually want from this conference. GBM plans to attend, our founder Wangari Maathai was at the original event. We, along with many other organisations, are starting the call for a conference which results in more than vague promises about tackling the environment. We want real commitments for the present, as well as the future, because what was a distant threat 20 years ago is now a danger for our present reality.