WED Messages

The range of sustainability
Izabella Teixeira
Minister of Environment
Brazil

Twenty years after it first hosted the event, Brazil will once again lead the global celebrations for World Environment Day on 5 June 2012.

And just two weeks after World Environment Day, Brazil will also host the United Nations Conference for Sustainable Development, or Rio+20.

We are honored by the international recognition Brazil has received for integrating the three pillars of sustainability -- environmental, social and economic.

We reap the fruits of environmental policy progress in combating deforestation, in the generation of clean energy, in reducing emissions of CO2, pollutants and gases that are harmful to the ozone layer, and the preservation of our water resources.

It is undeniable that there are still enormous challenges ahead, not only for Brazilians but for the entire international community in bringing about sustainable development for the 21st century.

But the results of the progress achieved to date are also undeniable.

Since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit - a landmark event of forward-looking and effective international co-operation - we’ve seen significant progress without sacrificing social and economic growth.

The environment is no longer a fringe issue on the margins of international debate. As will be demonstrated at Rio+20, the environment plays a more central role than ever before in debates on economic development and human well-being.

The concept of sustainable development that emerged from the UN Commission on Environment and Development (UNCED) in the 1980s picked up steam in the 1990s and 2000s. Today, there isn’t a single country that can stand in the way of sustainable development. And that is no small achievement.