What is Rio+20?
From 20-22 June this year, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil will be the place to be when it hosts the world’s governments to discuss the state of our planet.
Rio+20 is the 2012 global UN Conference on Sustainable Development (also known as the 'Earth Summit'). It's a major global conference where governments, organisations and people from around the world will come together to reaffirm their commitment to a sustainable future for our planet.
Read our latest blog posts on Rio-related issues.
Why do we need Rio+20?
The individual choices we all make have the potential to create a better world for our children. We must ensure that the legacy we leave for future generations is a positive one. So the challenges of widespread poverty and environmental destruction need to be tackled now.
According to UN figures:
- The world today has 7 billion people - by 2050 there will be 9 billion.
- One out of every five people - 1.4 billion - currently lives on $1.25 a day or less.
- 1.5 billion people in the world don’t have access to electricity.
- Two and a half billion people don’t have a toilet.
- Almost 1 billion people go hungry every day.
- Greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, and more than a third of all known species could go extinct if climate change continues unchecked.
20 years ago, the Rio Earth Summit was a key moment for the global environmental movement. World leaders, NGOs and people from all over the world came together in recognition of the need for a co-ordinated effort to protect the planet from the impacts of modern life.
Rio+20 offers a chance for global leaders to confirm their commitment to creating a sustainable future.
WWF's Living Planet Report and Rio+20
The Living Planet Report is the world's leading, science-based analysis on the health of our planet and the impact of human activity upon it. The latest edition of the Living Planet Report was released in May 2012. You can watch the video of its launch from the international space station here and read all about its findings.
Watch our CEO David Nussbaum talking about Rio+20 at the launch of the 2012 Living Planet Report:
Dave Tickner talks about the issues around water scarcity and water security:
Nick Molho talks about the importance of energy security:
Mark Driscoll talking about the crucial issue of food security:
1992 Earth Summit
The Rio+20 story started 20 years when the first 'Earth Summit' took place in Rio - a ground-breaking meeting which put climate change and biodiversity on the global political agenda.
The 1992 Rio Earth Summit set in motion some of the most important environmental policies that have profoundly affected how we live in society today - both in the UK and globally.
Here's one of the memorable moments from that first Rio Earth Summit. Aged just 9, Severn Suzuki had founded the Environmental Children's Organization (ECO), a group of children dedicated to learning and teaching other youngsters about environmental issues.
In 1992, aged 12, she attended the Earth Summit in Rio and spoke to the delegates about environmental issues from a youth perspective. Here's a (rather blurry) video of Severn speaking at the 1992 Earth Summit, where she became known as "the Girl Who Silenced the World for Five Minutes"...