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Geologické dědictví kladského pomezí

Klima

Klima neboli podnebí je definováno jako průměrný stav atmosféry v daném místě; projevuje se charakteristickým počasím v období mnoha let. Nejdůležitější charakteristikou klimatu je teplota...

 

 

Reportáž z mezinárodního semináře

Geologické dědictví Kladského pomezí

Rio +20 III

However, the Earth Summit itself was a follow-up to the UN Conference on Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972 which was an even more important milestone than the Earth Summit. For the first time in history, its Declaration  expressed grave and urgent concerns on environmental dangers threatening our “Only One Earth” as reflected in the motto of the Conference: “A point has been reached in history when we must shape our actions throughout the world with a more prudent care for their environmental consequences. Through ignorance or indifference we can do massive and irreversible harm to the earthly environment on which our life and well being depends” (UN 1972).

UN Summits together with numerous other actions firmly established the concept of sustainable development and its three pillars – social, environmental, economic – that became “an overarching objective” or framework of virtually every country and international and intergovernmental organization including the UN and OECD. Despite this, as stated in the recent authoritative Report by the High-level Panel on Global Sustainability entitled Resilient People, Resilient Planet: “…sustainable development remains a generally agreed concept, rather than day-to-day, on-the-ground, practical reality” (UN 2012). This is the reason why the UN General Assembly in the above quoted Resolution in 2009 decided that: “The objective of the Conference /Rio+20/ will be to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assessing the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of major summits and addressing new and emerging challenges” (UN 2009). To put it bluntly, sustainable development in all its three dimensions (and in particular within the environmental one, as has been repeatedly stressed) is still very far from reality.

Resolution 64/236 called upon national governments, UN bodies and all 9 “major groups” (NGOs, Business Community, Workers, Farmers etc.) to start a broad preparatory process. Indeed, the major groups have been very active as proven by the great number of submissions received by the Secretariat of the Conference upon which the basis of the Conference document entitled “The future we want” has been drafted. Let us focus on the activity of the major group entitled “Scientific and Technological Community” represented by the International Council of Science (ICSU) which has been very active within the preparatory process. An important contribution to Rio+20 resulted from the major conference Planet under Pressure held in London in March 2012. The Conference not only presented a great volume of new, important knowledge but very vigorously stressed the urgency of environmental and sustainability issues. It underpinned the importance of a successful outcome of Rio+20 as follows: “Society is taking substantial risks by delaying urgent and large-scale action. …A strong contribution from all stakeholders should make the UN´s Rio+20 Conference a defining moment that sparks global innovation to move us towards a sustainable future. We urge the world to grasp this moment and make history” (PUP 2012). The same sense of extreme urgency is expressed by many non-governmental organizations: “The major groups are urgently bracing themselves to restate what should be the true goals of the Rio process… Citizens, the global Sustainable Development Revolution is in danger. We must rally to the barricades” (Osborn 2012).

Resolution 64/236 declared that: “The Conference will result in a focused political document.” The “Zero Draft” of the final outcome resulting from the submissions to the Secretariat in November 2011 was indeed a brief, succinct text but during subsequent negotiations it was significantly lengthened. Such a development, however, seems to be inevitable, and the ideal of a short, punchy product is now rather remote. On the other hand it is important that the stated objectives of the Conference should be thoroughly executed, requiring a more detailed document.

The original Resolution defined two goals: the first is for a Green Economy in the Context of Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication. This is seen as a major vehicle to help put the sustainability ideal into practice. However, there many difficult issues and concerns expressed by representatives of developing countries who are afraid of, among other things, the risks of using the environment to manipulate trade protection, of a “one dimensional approach”, of imposing environmental standards on products, in short, of a new “green conditionality”. The second goal is entitled Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development, the most significant part of which is the proposal to transform the rather weak United Nations Environmental Program into a fully fledged UN Agency with more competencies (akin to the World Trade Organization or World Health Organization).

The already quoted report Resilient People, Resilient Planet identified two main reasons why the sustainable development ideal is not yet implemented despite all the endless rhetoric. First and foremost is “a failure of political will….There  are few incentives to put it into practice when our policies, politics and institutions disproportionately reward the short term. In other words, the policy dividend is long-term, often intergenerational, but the political challenge is often immediate” (UN 2012). Rio+20 will do its best to secure this gravely needed political will.

References

Osborn, D. 2012: The future we do not want. Outreach, Stakeholder Forum, March 2012, p.1

PUP 2012: State of the Planet Declaration, Planet under Pressure, London, March 2012

UN 1972: Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, Stockholm, June 1972

UN 2009: Resolution 64/236, UN, New York

UN 2012: United Nations Secretary-General´s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability. Resilient People, Resilient Planet, UN, New York, p.13