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International Environmental Commitments & Accountability

International Environmental Commitments & Accountability
  
  

 

Why this is important to me

The Rio +20 Conference taking place on June 20 to 22 seeks to build a green world economy upon the common goals and principles that were established at the Rio Conference in 1992. However, the progress made towards these goals has been completely insufficient. We need to be honest and acknowledge that policy makers have failed at solving many of the most crucial issues. Reaffirming past commitments will not be enough. The world does not need new promises when the old ones are not kept and delivered.

We hereby stress the critical commitments which have not been met and urge the delegates at the Rio +20 Conference to fulfill their obligations:

In the past 20 years, the dynamics of consumption patterns have not changed. Although not as drastic as in the 1960’s and 1970’s, per capita consumption of basic resources (industrial minerals, fossil energy and biomass) continues to increase, pushed further mostly by countries with very high human development indexes.

Approximately 15% of world’s population is experiencing hunger, with the rate of progress towards the elimination of extreme poverty being insufficient since 2000-2002. The gap between the rich and the poor, though having narrowed slightly, remains enormous.

The goal of slowing the global decline in biodiversity by 2010 has failed. The overall level of funding for biodiversity conservation remains inadequate to meet established targets.

Progress towards sustainable agriculture and rural development has been slow. External assistance to agriculture has fallen steadily since the 1980’s, and spending on agriculture as a part of agricultural GDP has shown minimal improvement in the past 20 years.

The implementation of the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous People has been sporadic, with some states not even acknowledging the presence of indigenous people in their country. In other areas, indigenous peoples are still marginalized in policy making, both in terms of direct political participation and indirect recognition in politics.

Gender discrimination still persists in many aspects of life. Women account for the major part of unpaid work and are more likely to have low-paying jobs. Moreover, only 10-20% of landowners worldwide are women, thus limiting both their access to natural resources and their ability to gain more independence.Not only has the overall amount of worldwide

CO2 emissions increased by 38% since 1990, the rate of increase is also growing. International agreements on limiting emissions have repeatedly met with failure due to the inability to overcome national interests.

The international student community demands that efforts should be concentrated on effectively meeting the goals outlined in Agenda 21 two decades ago. The progress of these commitments makes us express a growing concern that global leaders are not following through on the promises they have made. We ask for a strong political commitment to bridge the gaps between the promised and the accomplished. Commit or quit!

Posted May 13, 2012
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