The global spotlight will be shining on Rio de Janeiro from June 20-22 when the Brazilian city stages the Rio+20 conference on the environment. The name refers to the UN conference that was held 20 years ago in Rio. The 20th anniversary event is expected to attract more than 130 national leaders plus 50,000 business and academic representatives all working to create a new blueprint for a "green economy" and a stronger collaboration for global governance.
The work has come a long way: Rio+20 is the sequel to two predecessors _ Stockholm in 1972 and Rio in 1992. At the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, state leaders agreed to a blueprint on sustainable development called Agenda 21. They also launched three important multilateral environmental agreements on biodiversity, climate change and desertification.
Why does Rio+20 matter? In the future, the way we consume and dispose of water, food and energy has to change. If not, our future generations will be forced to live in a degraded and destructive environment and society.
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