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Agenda set for earth summit

Posted on behalf of Natasha Gilbert.

At the earth summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June, countries will be asked to sign up for 10 new sustainable development goals for the plant covering priority areas such as oceans, food, and sustainable cities, reports The Guardian.

A draft of the summit’s agenda seen by the Guardian also says governments will also discuss a new agreement to protect oceans, and transform and strengthen the UN Environment Programme body into a world agency for the environment so it is better able to tackle ecosystem decline. The appointment of a global “ombudsperson”, or high commissioner for future generations is also on the agenda (see Nature’s previous coverage of the Rio + 20 earth summit).

The previous earth summit in 1992 was attended by more than 190 heads of state and was considered the world’s biggest ever political gathering. This year’s meeting will be more modest – David Cameron, the UK’s prime minister, for example, is not expected to attend.

Ruth Davis, chief policy adviser at Greenpeace UK, told The Guardian, “This Rio summit comes after two decades of delays and broken promises on sustainable development which has left millions in poverty and pushed ecosystems to the brink of collapse. Whilst this draft text covers the key issues, it also demonstrates a dismal lack of urgency in tackling them.”

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    Yiting Wang said:

    The Guardian article underlines the importance of not leaving Rio Earth Summit 2012 with a bag of hallow legal treaties. Ruth Davis made an excellent point that I could not agree more — The June Earth Summit needs to stimulate real accountable actions. The Natural Resources Defense Council proposed to set up an online platform on which all political commitments will be held accountable and visible with social media interfaces (http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/jscherr/the_greatest_challenge_of_2012.html)

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