From 20-21 October, at Pace University in New York City, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), and civil society organizations Green Economy Coalition and Stakeholder Forum held an event entitled “Post-Rio to Post-2015: Planning International Stakeholder Engagement.”
Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN) urges Heads of State and government attending the Rio+20 Conference to consider the views and proposals of civil society, and to incorporate key issues such as equity, ecological sustainability, and respect for universal human rights, including gender equality, in the outcome document.
In a statement released on 18 June, civil society organizations are calling for the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative to become more ambitious, accountable and people-driven.
Just a few days ahead of the Rio+20 Conference, the international movement for the defense and promotion of people’s right to food sovereignty, expressed its opinion on the green economy through its monthly newsletter Nyéléni.
Just a few days ahead of the Rio+20 Conference, La Via Campesina, representing the voice of peasants in the global debate, released a position paper in which it states that it will defend a different path to development – one that brings back another way of relating to nature and people; respects food sovereignty; integrates a comprehensive agrarian reform; restores indigenous territories and peasant and indigenous systems of production based on agroecology; and ends the violence of capital.
In an article, published by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung North America, Savi Bisnath, Associate Director of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, examines what has been achieved since the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) 20 years ago from a feminist human rights perspective.
In the lead up to the Rio+20 Conference, Members and Associates of the Climate Change Task Force appeal for urgent action on climate change. They also urge governments to engage public support in defining and implementing a vision and strategy for human progress that is sustainable, inclusive and just.
Recipients of the Goldman Environmental Prize, the world’s largest award for grassroots environmental activists, are calling on world leaders to attend the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro and make real commitments to protect the environment.
The African CSO Dialogue on preparations towards the Rio+20 Conference, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and post-2015 process was held in Dakar, Senegal on 14 May 2012. The Dialogue aimed to discuss African civil society organizations’ engagement in the process towards a new global development framework. It also looked at ways to ensure citizens’ voices – including those of millions of women, men, and young people in Africa – will be adequately incorporated in this process.
Two weeks before the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), a group of 18 leading civil society activists and scholars from around the globe released a joint report titled “No future without justice,” in which they call for fundamental changes to tackle the root causes of the multiple crises in the world.
The NGO Major Groups Organizing Partners recently shared crucial information for NGOs participating in the Rio+20 Conference and related events. This information is available here.
Women’s organizations are mobilizing at Sino de Vale, Brazil, to prepare for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), and aiming to develop a common voice that will help expand the role of women in sustainable development.
On Tuesday, 8 May, three civil society organizations convened a side event to the Eleventh Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) entitled “The Road to Rio+20: Indigenous Peoples’ Key Messages and Actions.”
Jointly implemented by the UN, UNDP and the Brazilian Government, the Rio+20 online dialogues aim to generate an open, democratic discussion around practical and innovative sustainable development recommendations. Open through early June, the dialogue platform provides a unique opportunity for civil society, youth, academia, local governments, and the private sector to engage in the Conference.
Pacific civil society organizations have released an urgent appeal to UN Member States attending the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012. “The Future We Demand” is signed by local, national and regional organizations, networks and allies and calls for strong political leadership, and urgent action towards real and transformative solutions.
On 17-18 March, the Global Transition 2012 hosted a Global Transition Dialogue on “The New Economy” at Pace University in New York. This dialogue was the second in a series of “Global Transition Dialogues” that are being organized in the lead up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) in order to bring together leading new economic thinkers and practitioners who are pioneering the transition to a green and fair economy.
Río+twenties, a platform that facilitates the active participation of youth in the lead up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), published a “Rio+20 Participation Guide” in order to enhance children’s and youth’s understanding of the Rio+20 process.
At the request of the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability (GSP), NGLS conducted a civil society consultation from 1-11 November 2011 to gather inputs for consideration by the GSP before the final meeting of the Panel on 13-14 December 2011.
Making data accessible to all, especially emerging economies, to address environmental and social concerns was the focus of the recent Eye on Earth Summit.
NGLS interviews Cyprien Walupakah Wangoy, President of the Administrative Council of “Groupe-Ecos,” an NGO located in the City of Bukavi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that initiated the “Programme Ecosystème 2020” (Ecosystem Programme 2020).
William Brown, of the Brookings Institute, analyzes the lead up to Rio+20 calling for the summit to avoid sophistry but not ambition. He makes nine recommendations including establishing a more credible assessment of environment and development; a new organizational framework for international leadership; increasing transparency of commitments through common measures for monitoring; and, above all greater investments.
NYU Center of International Cooperation publishes a paper analyzing the necessary steps to achieve a positive and meaningful outcome at Rio +20. The paper identifies three main areas as crucial to Rio’s success: greening growth, resource access and resilience building.
In this article Sarah Best, of Oxfam International, reviews the political process leading to Rio +20 so far and offers some suggestions and analysis to raise the ’political ambition’ of the Conference.
Fundamental changes are occurring in our world today, as the global scale of human activity pushes against and often exceeds nature’s capacity to support life. Climate change, peak oil reserves, fresh water shortages, waste overload, and rapid bio-diversity loss are just a few signs that humans are exceeding the planet’s natural resource limits.
I’ve got good news and bad news about the future of the planet.
Good news first. Next year, a honking big global Earth Summit is coming our way — one with a proud heritage. Formally titled the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development, the meeting is known as RIO+20 because it will come 20 years after the first Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. That original Earth Summit (itself 20 years after the equally important Stockholm Convention on the Environment and Human Development) gave us an embarrassment of policy riches: the Climate Convention, the Convention on Biological Diversity, Sustainable Development Commission, the Precautionary Principle, a long and ambitious list of promises called Agenda 21, The Forest Principles, and much more. Over a hundred heads of state turned up to Rio Di Janeiro last time amidst intense global attention. This time, the reunion party is going back to Rio again on 4-6 June 2012. Chances are it will all be a big deal again.
Many of you reading this are under 30. So the Earth Summit 1992 is simply history for you. If you were thinking about Rio today at all - you were probably thinking about carneval, not politics.
Pity Brazilian diplomats and bureaucrats, then, who are not dancing on the streets today. Instead, they are at the United Nations Headquarters in New York with me, Daniel, Greenpeace´s Political Director. We are attending a pretty humdrum meeting preparing to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Earth Summit 1992 in Rio de Janeiro next year.
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy is the second in The Pardee Center Task Force Reports series, and, as it happens, the timing for this report could not have been better. Recent and upcoming international meetings convened by the United Nations are focused on the challenges of actualizing the promise of sustainable development, of recreating a world economy that is “greener” and more sustainable, and identifying institutional frameworks that could help achieve this vision. Marking the 20th anniversary of the historic Rio Earth Summit of 1992, the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD)—popularly called Rio+20—has set for itself the goal of deliberating upon and designing such an architecture. This Pardee Center Task Force Report is a contribution to these deliberations.
Rio+20 could be our best opportunity to tackle the intertwined environmental, economic, food and climate crises, or it could be the launching pad for an unprecedented attack on the Earth’s natural systems and the most vulnerable populations on the planet. There are two paths we could take: one relies on market mechanisms and technological fixes and will be led by bankers and engineers. The other relies on fostering greater global equality and democratic governance, and it will bring affected communities and countries into the centre of decision-making.
As the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, aka Rio+20) approaches, a growing number of Brazilian civil society organizations, social movements and networks encompassing all major groups are getting ready to play their role in making this a major milestone in the history of sustainable development.
Jan-Gustav Strandenaes has worked on UN environment and sustainable development issues since the Stockholm Conference in 1972. Having covered every CSD since 1996 as well as helping coordinate civil society at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in 2002, he is now centrally positioned in the Rio + 20 process working to facilitate the contribution of the global NGO community into the process.