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THE ENVIRONMENT: RIO+20 MUST SPARK REAL ACTION
By Maurice Strong
NOVEMBER 2011, 2011 (IPS) - The progress made since the 1972 UN Stockholm Conference in our understanding of environmental issues and our capacity to address them effectively is impressive. Unfortunately, the lack of sufficient progress in the implementation of the commitments made by governments at the 1992 Earth Summit have left us on a course that is unsustainable and indeed threatens the future of humankind, writes Maurice Strong, Senior Adviser to the Secretary-General of Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.
In this article Strong writes the objective of the Rio+20 Conference (4-6 June 2012) is to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress made to date and the gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits, and address new and emerging challenges.
Current economic and political difficulties, however, now pre-empt the attention of governments and the public, undermining the prospects of effective action at Rio+20 to establish the green economy. Rio+20 must produce powerful new momentum towards its realisation at the national, local, and global level. Strong writes that cities are the centres of our civilisation -the principal sources of environmental deterioration but also the principal sources of solutions. The greening of our cities must be at the centre of our efforts.
(*) Maurice Strong is Senior Adviser to the Secretary-General of Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. He was the Secretary-General of the 1992 Earth Summit and the first Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (www.mauricestrong.net). (END)