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FEATURE STORY

High Stakes at Rio: The World Bank's Key Issues for Rio +20

May 30, 2012

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A fisherman on Lake Iranduba, in the Amazon region of Brazil, near Manaus.

© Julio Pantoja / World Bank

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Rio+20 is expected to draw 75,000 people including over 100 heads of state
  • The event offers the opportunity to discuss the economic, environmental, and social pillars of sustainable development
  • Inclusive green growth, natural capital accounting, oceans, landscapes, urban development, and sustainable energy are on The World Bank’s agenda for the UN Conference

These are the stakes: In the next 40 years, the Earth’s population will expand from 7 billion to 9 billion people, and they will all count on the planet to provide them with energy, water, and food. The course we are on right now will make that extremely difficult.

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, known as Rio+20, offers an opportunity to build the planning and policy structures, measurement systems, and ambition that we need to prepare for the future and to deal with the converging food, water, and energy crises that we face today.

Around the world, there is a growing understanding that to make progress we must give equal attention to the economic, environmental, and social pillars of sustainable development. The conference—expected to draw 75,000 people including over 100 heads of state and thousands of people from the private sector to Rio de Janeiro in June—offers the following chances for the global community:

  • To harness the power of inclusive green growth as the pathway to sustainable development;
  • To move beyond just GDP and incorporate natural capital and ecosystem services into national wealth accounting;
  • To scale up new integrated public and private sector approaches to cityscapes, landscapes, and oceans.

" We’re seeing the nexus of food crises, water insecurity, and energy needs, all made much more complicated by climate change. Countries and communities need to build resilience and grow more efficiently. Green growth is at the heart of that. It is the path to sustainable development. "
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Rachel Kyte

Vice President, Sustainable Development, World Bank

At Rio, the global community can also begin developing a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) for energy, food, and water to complement the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and put us all on a better path that benefits planet, people, and progress all at the same time.

The World Bank Group has been working closely with governments, civil society, and the private sector and will be going into Rio +20 with six key messages on inclusive green growth, natural capital accounting, oceans, landscapes, urban development, and sustainable energy.

 


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