Almost 20 years since the first “Earth Summit” was held in Rio de Janeiro, preparations are now well underway for the 2012 anniversary conference. With UNEP identifying “global ocean collapse” as a key emerging issue for the event, Rio+20 must deliver to save the seas.

Almost 20 years since the first “Earth Summit” was held in Rio de Janeiro, preparations are now well underway for the 2012 anniversary conference. With UNEP identifying “global ocean collapse” as a key emerging issue for the event, Rio+20 must deliver to save the seas.

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) will take place in Rio on 4-6 June 2012. It is expected that the Conference will result in a declaration promoting a new global political commitment for sustainable development and also help in assessing the outcomes of other major environmental summits.

The Rio +20 conference will focus mainly on two themes: a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and the institutional framework for sustainable development. In the past, oceans conservation has tended to play second fiddle to terrestrial environmental concerns. The threats posed to the oceans have always been serious, but other issues were perhaps seen as more pressing.

This historical assessment however must change, and Seas at Risk supports the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) identification of the “potential collapse of oceanic systems” as a key emerging issue for Rio+20.

The “perfect storm” of overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution and ocean acidification are key reasons for putting the protection and restoration of the oceans at the top of the Rio+20 agenda. Considering that better governance and a move towards a truly green economy will play important roles in safeguarding the marine environment, the Rio +20 conference has the potential to deliver a much needed rescue package for the oceans.


EU calls for Marine Litter Action Plan


Seas At Risk are pleased to see the European Union and its Member States call for a global action plan on marine litter as part of their input to the Rio+20 process.

Amongst numerous proposals regarding the marine environment, the Commission also called for a commitment by those UN Member States that have not yet done so to become parties to UNCLOS and for a new agreement under UNCLOS for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity, to address in particular marine protected areas and environmental impact assessments.

To read the Commission's full input document to the Rio+20 process

Share This

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required