Rio Pavilion Celebrates 20th Anniversary of the Rio Conventions

21 June 2012: The Rio Conventions Pavilion celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Rio Conventions at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), with events on 21 June 2012. Four panel sessions addressed: the launch of the pilot partnership on national implementation of synergies among the Rio Conventions; the launch of Mozambique's Green Economy Roadmap; the importance of the three Rio Conventions for poverty eradication; and integration of environment within the development framework by the UN system.

At the launch of Mozambique's Green Economy Roadmap, presenters lauded Mozambique President Armando Emilio Guebuza's leadership and vision, noting that Mozambique is redefining the growth process from an African perspective. Presenters also drew attention to a sub-regional collaboration among Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania to promote the green economy.

A panel on the critical role of the Rio Conventions in achieving poverty eradication explored synergies between issues related to human well being and natural resources. Participants stressed the Conventions' "failing grades" on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, reducing biodiversity loss and reversing desertification. Suggestions to achieve the Conventions' aims and targets included, inter alia: thinking about implementation differently; emulating the success of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer; promoting simple sustainable development goals (SDGs) and targets; and increasing ambition.

On how the UN system can better integrate the environment within the development framework, presenters called for, inter alia: integrated approaches to sustainable development pillars; new metrics, information systems and governance frameworks; and integrating science, poverty and environment.

The celebration concluded with a high-level panel and reception in honor of the 20th Anniversary of the Conventions. UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Executive Secretary Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias emphasized that while not all targets and goals have been met, progress should be celebrated. Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), recognized the hard work by the Executive Secretaries of the Rio Conventions and urged their continued commitment.

The Pavilion is a collaborative outreach activity of the Secretariats of the Rio Conventions (the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the CBD), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and 25 other international, national and local partners. [IISD RS Coverage of the 20th Anniversary of the Rio Conventions] [GEF Press Release on the Pilot Partnership] [Joint Statement by the Executive Secretaries of the Rio Conventions]