This June will see representatives from governments, the UN, major groups, business and a range of international organisations come together in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, better known as the Rio+20 Earth Summit. Ten years ago I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be involved in the Rio+10 event in Johannesburg South Africa so I am excited to be able to participate in this historic event again. I will be tweeting (gweybrecht) and blogging (primetime.unprme.org and here) from Rio+20 but here are a few points to get you up to date on what is happening in Rio starting next week.
1. The first Earth Summit, the Conference on Environment and Development, took place in Brazil in 1992, the second happened 10 years later in Johannesburg, South Africa. The 20thanniversary Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20 will take place June 20-22, 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The aim of Rio+20 is to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and address new and emerging challenges.
2. At the first Earth Summit in 1992, there was a realization that sustainable development could not become a reality without the active participation of stakeholders. Agenda 21 formalized nine groups that include Business and Industry, Children and Youth, Farmers, Indigenous Peoples, Local Authorities, NGOs, Scientific and Technological Community, Women and Workers and Trade Unions. Each has been contributing to the process and have quite a few events happening throughout the next two weeks. Their position papers can be accessed online.
3. The private sector plays a crucial role in moving sustainable development forward. Over 2,000 participants from business are expected to attend the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum: Innovation and Collaboration for the Future We Want, which will take place on 15-18 June 2012 in Rio. This event will inform the proceedings and outcomes of the Rio+20 high-level meetings. For more information on the business contribution, read their input to the preparatory process, Corporate Sustainability Leadership: A Framework for Action at Rio+20 and Beyond.
4. The 3rd Global Forum for Responsible Management Education is the official platform for management-related Higher Education Institutions at Rio+20. On 14-15 June, 2012 in Rio, the Global Forum will focus on the role of management education in society for the future we want and how the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) can facilitate individual and systemic change within higher education as the community mobilises action toward achieving the Rio+20 vision on sustainable development. The event will be highly interactive, with an ultimate goal for participants to agree on concrete actions items and next steps. The formal outcomes of the Global forum will also inform the proceedings and outcomes of the Rio+20 Summit.