Was Rio+20 beneficial to International Cooperation on the Environment?

Was Rio+20  beneficial to International  Cooperation on the Environment?

Achim Steiner: UN Under Secretary General & Executive Director of UNEP

Mar 05, 2013

Basel, 1 March 2013- Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have been asked to reflect on whether the Rio+20 Summit has taken forward international cooperation on the environment and sustainable development.

Perhaps more importantly, to address whether Rio+20 has made any dent, any fundamental difference, to the current unsustainable pathways and sobering scenarios science is increasingly signaling.

And whether Rio+20, in the markedly different geopolitical landscape that defines our world today, has brought fresh perspectives and international understanding on the cultural dimensions underpinning sustainability in the 21st century.

Let me first address the science - the impartial science - that in many ways set the scene for Heads of State and ministers attending the Rio+20 summit last June.

In advance of Rio+20, UNEP launched its Global Environment Outlook 5 - the fifth flagship report in a series that began shortly after the Rio Earth Summit of 1992.

* GEO-5 was produced over three years in a global process that involved more than six hundred experts, who collated and analyzed data from every continent to build up a detailed picture of the world's wellbeing.

It assessed 90 of the most-important environmental goals and objectives agreed over the past 20 to 40 years and found that significant progress had only been made in four.

These are eliminating the production and use of substances that deplete the ozone layer, removal of lead from fuel, increasing access to improved water supplies and boosting research to reduce pollution of the marine environment.

* Some progress was shown in 40 goals, including the expansion of protected areas such as National Parks and efforts to reduce deforestation.

Read more  at