What is the Rio+20 Earth Summit?
On 20-22 June 2012 representatives from governments around the world will meet at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for a United Nations Summit called Rio+20. This meeting will commemorate the ‘Earth Summit’ held in Rio twenty years ago. More than 500 on-site events organised by governments, major groups, organisations from the UN system and other international organisations will take place in RioCentro during Prepcom 111 (13-15 June), the Sustainable Development Dialogue Days (16-19 June) and the Summit (20-22 June).
Twenty years ago the 1992 ‘Earth Summit’ adopted the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention to Combat Desertification. The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was also established to ensure effective follow-up of the ‘Earth Summit’.
It was through the 1992 ‘Earth Summit’s’ Agenda 21 initiative that UN member states, including the UK, agreed to put into effect global efforts to shift to less unsustainable ways of thinking and doing focused on community action. In the UK this led to the establishment of Local Agenda 21 programmes, then Local Strategic Partnerships and Sustainable Community Strategies.
Unfortunately successive UK governments have processed out any credible community action on sustainability concerns. Instead processes now concentrate on the privatisation of public services and built environment regeneration. The lack of support for Rio+20 is in stark contrast to the local activities encouraged for 1992’s ‘Earth Summit’.