United Nations Earth Summit: June 20 - 22 2012, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The world is facing a mounting crisis. In recent years we have experienced a combination of a global financial crisis, a food crisis, volatile oil prices, accelerating ecosystem degradation and an increasing number of climate-induced extreme weather events. These multiple and inter-related crises call into question the ability of a growing human population to live peacefully and sustainably on this planet, and demand the urgent attention governments and citizens around the world.
Earth Summit 2012 was the fourth Summit of its kind and represents another milestone in ongoing international efforts to accelerate progress towards achieving sustainable development globally.

Read the Rev. Neddy Astudillo's special reports from the Peoples' Summit at Rio+20.

Lutheran Youth at the Earth Summit
You can read about Lutheran youth participation in the Summit on the Lutheran World Federation's Youth Blog.

The World Council of Churches at Rio+20
A message from the General Secretary of the WCC before Rio+02

Final Rio+20 Message from the WCC - download at the bottom of this page.
Additional information on the World Council of Churches and Climate Change, including news from Rio+20

More about Rio+20

A synopsis of some of The Guardian Weekly newspaper front page story of 15-21 June 2012, "Many Treaties to Save the Earth, But Where's the Will to Implement Them?" relates what is at stake this week at the Rio+20 Earth summit.

1. international goals, pledges, targets, protocols, treaties;

2. promises to commit to sustainable development, protect the Earth, use resources more wisely;

3. Increasing ecosystem decline, speeding climate change, continuing soil and ocean degradation, growing air and water pollution, growing rubbish and waste, and still getting sustainable development disastrously wrong;

4. "Treaty congestion" consists of, over the past 50 years, 500 internationally recognized agreements, including 61 atmosphere-related; 155 biodiversity-related; 179 related to chemicals, hazardous substances and waste; 46 land conventions; 196 conventions broadly related to water issues.

5. After trade, environment is the most common area of global rule-making.

6. Examples of agreements include protection of the ozone layer, removing lead from petrol, sharing genetic resources, preserving the Antarctic ice, reducing overfishing, curbing water pollution and giving people more access to food.

7. One study, by Global Environmental Outlook, concluded a study of 90 goals and found:

  • ... "some progress" in 40 goals (expansion of protected areas such as national parks and efforts to reduce deforestation);
  • ..."little or no" progress in 24 agreements (climate change, fish stocks, desertification and drought);
  • ..."further deterioration" in 8 goals, such as the state of the world's coral reefs;
  • ..."no data" on 14 other goals.

The article goes on to offer explanations for the history of governments ignoring the goals. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment

Search for articles by John Vidal, Jonathan Watts, Abby Deveney

The Guardian Weekly incorporates material from the Observer,Le Monde and the Washington Post.

Also see http://bit.ly/Riosummit

(Contributed by Michael Ochs)

Peter Bakken,
Aug 31, 2012, 8:52 PM