"Rio +20: what we can learn from the process and what is missing"
Author(s)Oliveira,Jose A. Puppim de
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AbstractThe United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) took place in the city of Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and put the concept of Sustainable Development definitively on policy agendas at all levels from global to local. Twenty years later, even though important progress has been made in several areas, the world still struggles to implement the decisions following up the UNCED and to steer humanity towards a more sustainable path. The UN has set two broad themes for the Earth Summit in 2012, or Rio+20: institutional framework for sustainable development (IFSD) and green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. This article makes an overall analysis of the discussions generated by Rio+20. The article starts with a short overview of the debates on sustainable development since the UNCED, until the recent debates on green economy and institutional frameworks for sustainable development. It then highlights some lessons from the discussions catalyzed by Rio+20 analysing why and how progress has been achieved in certain areas and what the obstacles are to move the agenda of green economy and good environmental governance forward to achieve a more sustainable development. It concludes that, besides the tremendous obstacles to implement the agenda on green economy and IFSD, these themes brought about in Rio+20 are still lacking conceptually in the discussions on important topics such as equity and need to changes in values, as well as the debates on governance beyond the international level.