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Earth Summit Blog

Tuesday, 11 October 2011 12:28

UN's New Sustainable City Effort Starts With Asia

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We all need to reinvent urban planning for the 21stcentury.

Never has the need been greater for integration across urban management, systems, experts, policies and technologies.The world is rapidly becoming more urban,especially in Asia, where hundreds of millions have begun moving to cities.This massive migration, largest in human history, will produce colossal impacts--including innovation--in energy use, transportation, housing, water and resource use. Economies will be impacted at every scale, especially beyond burgeoning metro areas in national and global markets.

While the discussion around ‘green economy in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development, has gained ground globally, it is less pronounced here in Uganda. Part of the problem is that the Conference seems ‘still far’ compared to other biting needs such as the mounting fuel, food and energy prices and the political debates that are preoccupying the mainstream media and public discussions.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011 15:06

Only One Earth

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We are only ten months away from possibly the most important conference on sustainable development this decade.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011 13:20

Rethinking Growth and the Green Economy

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Despite two decades of policy discussions since the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio, policymakers have failed to apply the recommendations outlined in its comprehensive implementation plan, Agenda 21. In the build up to the upcoming Rio+20 summit, many civil society groups remain deeply sceptical about the possibility of creating a ‘green economy’ without first rethinking some of the widely accepted fundamentals of economic policy.

Achieving the three pillars of sustainable development – economic development, social development, and environmental protection – is impossible without oceans, coasts, and small island States.  The world’s oceans play a central role in global climate processes, are a major source of energy, an important means of transportation, provide sustainable livelihoods as well as the essential elements for life, including food, medicines, and freshwater, and are an important source of cultural and spiritual value to millions of people around the world. 

Monday, 06 June 2011 10:43

Why Rio+20 represents a major global opportunity

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One year from now, from 4th -6th June 2012, world leaders will gather in Brazil for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development – widely referred to as ‘Rio+20’ after the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. The conference has a number of objectives and themes – including a focus on the green economy and institutional reform for sustainable development.

Species extinctions aren’t the only signs that the natural world is being over-exploited. The warnings are all around. Recent rises in the price of oil, foods and metals are signs that the world economy is coming up against the limits of a finite planet. The consequences are far-reaching, for the environment and the economy, unless we make urgent changes now.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011 17:12

Analysis of CSD 19 outcomes

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In light of the failure for CSD 2011 it is useful and important to reflect why this has happened.

There was considerable consensus on every single item on the table by Friday. This was due to the hard work done in the preparatory process by the UN system, governments and stakeholders alike.

UNCSD 2012 is focused on “the transition to a green economy.”  At its heart, talk of the “Green Economy” is talk about green technology.  But what counts as a “green” technology?  How would we know a green technology from a brown one, or a grey one?

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