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Rio+20 will be important!

By Aksel Naerstad

Twenty years after the Rio Earth Summit, the UN Conference on Environment and Development (1992), and forty years after the first huge UN Conference on Human Environment, held in Stockholm (1972), a new UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) will take place in Rio, June 4-6, 2012, preceded by the third and last Preparatory Committee (PrepCom).
The preparation process started a year ago. Everyone who really care about environment and development should be aware of the Rio+20 Conference in  2012. It  might be a good possibility for some important and positive decisions, but could also do more harm than good. Our engagement, over the next  14 months, will be crucial on the outcome.

Objective and main themes
According to the UN, the objective of the Rio 2012 Conference is “to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and address new and emerging challenges.

The Conference will focus on two themes: (a) a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; (b) the institutional framework for sustainable development. Other  emerging issues will also be on the agenda.

Agriculture: the main issue?

Agriculture should be the core issue  for the  Rio 2012 Conference because food production is the most important human activity. Strengthening small scale food producers  is essential in order to eradicate hunger and poverty. Industrial agriculture is causing enormous environmental damage, including substantial contribution to climate change, while small scale ecological food  production preserve the environment, cool the planet and contribute significantly to the fight against hunger.

An informal group including social movements, NGOs and individuals from different institutions is now working to get sustainable agriculture as the core issue  at the Rio 2012 Conference. More and Better is actively taking part in this group.  In May, we  will send out more information about this work and how other organizations and people can engage in the process.

Good side event and dialog with governments
During the second UN  PrepCom for the Rio 2012 Conference, this year, More and Better,  together with FAO, UNCTAD, the Millennium Institute and Biovision Foundation, organized a successful side-event on sustainable agriculture and green economy. We were also, together with other CSOs, active in discussions and dialog with governments, institutions and other organizations. 

Some web-pages about Rio 2012

Some important conferences  in connection with Rio 2012
In 2011

Preparatory regional meetings
In 2012