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Home / News-archive / The 2012 Earth Summit: Time to re-think About Sustainable Development

The 2012 Earth Summit: Time to re-think About Sustainable Development

The Rio+20 or 2012 Earth Summit has taken place from the 20 to the 22 June in Rio de Janeiro.

The aim of the meeting was to renew political commitment to sustainable development, to assess progress towards agreed goals and address new challenges. In particular, the Summit was intended to draw attention on the importance of green economy in poverty eradication and on creating an institutional framework for sustainable development.


The broad scope of sustainable development requires cooperation from groups and stakeholders from the economic, social and environmental sectors.  For this reason, the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 encompassed different actors committed in achieving a sustainable development.

In “Agenda 21”, the outcome document of the Summit, nine stakeholder major groups have been defined. Those groups are: indigenous people, farmers, workers and trade unions, local authorities, business and industry, science and technology community, women, children and youth, NGOs. The document also high lightened that a  fundamental step to achieve sustainable development is broad public participation in decision-making processes. The Agenda established a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, engaging different actors in in policy development and implementation.

However, different actors engaged in promoting sustainable development have asked decision-makers to take the right steps to tackle inequality and eradicate poverty rather than simply establishing new development goals. In other words, they are working to re-think economics and equity as the Millennium Development Goals deadline gets near. In this sense, Kate Raworth (Oxfam) has presented some solutions at the Rio+20 summit, combining planetary boundaries with social boundaries and the need to enhance human rights.

Francesca Ghersenti, International Democracy Watch. 20 June 2012.

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