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Rio+20 draft document calls for green economy

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The first draft of an international agreement to safeguard earth’s resources by the United Nations ahead of the Rio+20 conference in Brazil in June this year calls for a ‘prosperous, secure and sustainable future for our people and our planet’.

The draft seeks to reaffirm the determination of member nations to free the humanity from hunger and want through the ‘eradication of all forms of poverty and strife for societies which are just, equitable and inclusive for economic stability and growth that benefits all.

The document lists lifting around 1.4 billion people living still in extreme poverty and one sixth of the world’s undernourished population and eradicating the threats of pandemics and epidemics. It warns, unsustainable development has increased the stress on earth’s limited natural resources and on the carrying capacity of eco-systems.

“Our planet supports seven billion people, expected to reach nine billion by 2050’, says the draft document, prepared on the basis of over 600 official submissions, and inputs from civil society groups and non-governmental organizations.

The draft titled ‘The Future We Want’, calls for support for scientific research and technology transfers in developing countries, strengthening of global environmental governance and creation of sustainable developmental goals, which would complement and eventually replace the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

“…..there have also been setbacks because of multiple interrelated crises – financial, economical and volatile energy and food prices. Food insecurity, climate change and biodiversity loss have adversely affected development gains. New scientific evidence points to the gravity of the threats we face. New and emerging challenges include the further intensification of earlier problems calling for more urgent responses,” says the document.

It also seeks a renewed political mandate for transition to a green economy which would ensure sustainable development and poverty eradication and enhance natural resources and move the world toward low-carbon development.

“…green economy is not intended as a rigid set of rules, but rather a decision-making framework to foster integrated consideration of the three pillars of sustainable development in all relevant domains of public and private decision-making,” affirms the draft document, ‘respecting specific realities of economic, social and environmental development as well as particular conditions and priorities’ of each country.

The document calls for strengthening scientific, technological and innovation capabilities of countries to promote sustainable development and stress the need for effective mechanisms, enhanced means, appropriate enabling environments and removal of obstacles to scale up development and transfer of technology to developing countries.

It urges the participation of scientists from developing countries in the process related to global environmental and sustainable development assessment and to strengthen scientific capacities in these countries.

Initial discussions on the draft document will begin in New York later this month and the final document is expected to be signed at Rio+20 meeting in June. It will not, however, be legally binding on members.

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