Rio+20, 20 - 22 June 2012
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil


Highlights of Rio+20 and UNEP Side Events June 18

On Monday June 18th negotiations continued considering Oceans, an Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development (IFSD), Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the Means of Implementation (MOI), Energy, Sections I and II, and Section V.A. Late Monday night, delegates were informed that a plenary would convene at 11:00 pm to discuss a new version of the outcome document. At 2:18 am, Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio de Aguiar Patriota informed the delegates that a final text would be available by 7:00 am, that a plenary would convene at 10:30 am, and that he would announce to the press that the elaboration of the text has been concluded.

Sixteen UNEP related side events took place.  At the UNEP Pavilion, Eye On Earth: Eye On Oceans And Blue Carbon event, speakers addressed the issue of coastal and marine ecosystems and the potential of the oceans to sequester blue carbon. The preliminary assessment by GRID-Arendal revealed that oceans could potentially sequester approximately 50% of the world's carbon output. 

It was noted that the exploitation of the high seas is an issue not being addressed by UNCSD, although Small Island Developing Countries (SIDS) are dependant on oceans for food security & coastal tourism. For example in The Seychelles, 50% of GDP comes from oceans and coastal areas. Incentives are needed to protect coastal areas. SIDS are ready to support future blue carbon initiatives. 

The World Congress On Justice, Governance And Law For Environmental Sustainability, a four day event, continued into it's second day. Other side events taking place at the UNEP Pavilion included How Research Can Inform The Green Economy Transition – Discussion Tables With EU-Funded Project Officers,  Natural Capital And Economic Development: Bridging Or Breaking?  UNEP-SEE Joint Event: China Going Green – Forum On Civil Society And Green Economy In China, and Achieving Social And Environmental Goals Through Sustainable Public Procurement  

At Banco de Caixa, the Marine Litter - Preventing Our Oceans From Becoming Dumps, a lively discussion extended for an hour over the scheduled end time for the event.  UNEP reconfirmed its commitment to assist with implementation of the Honolulu Strategy, proposed the establishment of a Global Partnership on Marine Litter and committed to programme USD$0.5M through its 2012/13 Work Programme of the GPA to take concrete actions. Key recommendations included improving the legal, policy and regulatory environments for managing marine litter, improving materials use efficiency, supporting recycling efforts, tackling the pollution problem at source and identifying clear goals and targets for the work of the partnership.

At RioCentro, the Promoting A Green Economy In Africa With LDCs, SIDS And LLDC  event brough together key African decision and policy makers, to discuss and identify opportunities, gaps, and challenges for advancing a green economy transition in Africa tailored to its specific development needs. Minsters from Brazil, Congo, Sierra Leone and South Africa highlighted national experiences, critical issues and challenges that countries may face, and discussed potential ways to address them. 

At the Global Townhall, the side event on 'Cities And Sustainable Development – Contributions Of Local Authorities And Businesses To Achieving Sustainable Development. Special Focus On China' addressed issues such as how can cities become eco cities?  

At the Windsor Guanabara Palace Hotel, TEEB Day At The ISEE 2012 Conference took place, and at the Hotel Othon Palace, the full-day Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues On Trade Opportunities In The Context Of A Green Economy Transition concluded.

Other events also took place on Building A Common Framework For Resource Efficient Cities And Buildings, Legal Preparedness For The Green Economy, Leadership By Business To Account For Natural Capital, and Aiming Higher: Unlocking Tertiary Education’s Potential To Accelerate Sustainable Development And The Transition To A Fair And Green Economy, alongside a TEEB Advisory Board Meeting.