Keeping track of our changing environment: from Rio to Rio+20 (1992-2012)

Keeping track of our changing environment: from Rio to Rio+20 (1992-2012)

The environmental changes that have swept the planet over the last twenty years are spotlighted in a new compilation of statistical data by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), released in a report entitled "Keeping Track of our Changing Environment: From Rio to Rio+20". The report is produced as part of UNEP's "Global Environmental Outlook-5" (GEO -5) series, the UN's most authoritative assessment of the state, trends and outlook of the global environment. The indicator report gets us all back to basics, underlining the rapid buildup of greenhouse gases to the erosion of biodiversity and the 40 per cent increase in the use of natural resources-faster than global population growth. But the report also underlines how, when the world decides to act it can dramatically alter the trajectory of hazardous trends that threaten human well-being-action to phase-out ozone damaging chemicals being a spirited and powerful example. Rio+20, under the two themes of a Green Economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and an institutional framework for sustainable development, can with the requisite level of leadership trigger the necessary switches that may ensure that the balance of negative versus positive trends moves from the red into the black and that the Right to Development is enjoyed by the many rather than the few.

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