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EPA at Rio+20: The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

2012 June 14

by Assistant Administrator Michelle DePass

Next week EPA will join people from across the US government to participate in the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20.  Our team of experts will be engaged in government-to-government negotiations, while also connecting with partners from the US and around the world to identify steps we can take as individuals, as institutions, and as a global community to make our world more sustainable and prosperous.

Rio+20 is an opportunity to not only set a vision for the next 20 years of sustainable development, but also strengthen global cooperation at multiple levels – including non-profits and community organizations, students of every age, Fortune 500 companies and small businesses. Rio+20  also gives us the chance to utilize the incredible progress in technology and social media in the last 20 years to engage in a new ways and bring more voices to the discussion. The commitments and actions taken by everyone participating in Rio+20 – physically and virtually – will be as important as any negotiated document, so please take part by visiting http://conx.state.gov/event/rio20/ over the coming weeks!

Here are a couple of items to watch for:

  • There has been considerable discussion about reforming international institutions that focus on sustainable development. We believe that efficient and effective global coordination on sustainable development can be achieved by strengthening existing institutions like the UN Environment Program (UNEP), rather than creating a new institution.
  • We have called on each conference participant to bring their own voluntary commitments to sustainable development. Making clear and transparent commitments, when linked together and made accessible through a global platform, can advance sustainable development by showing what everyone – governments included – can do.  This broad list of commitments should reflect the spirit and goals of the Rio conference, using modern technologies and platforms to share information and increase transparency and accountability.

Keep track of what EPA is doing on the ground by checking back here and following us on Facebook and Twitter using our hashtag #EPArio.

About the author: Michelle DePass, Assistant Administrator for International and Tribal Affairs, US EPA. Michelle DePass has spent her career working to support environmental progress here at home and around the world, at EPA she remains committed to expanding the conversation on environmentalism and ensuring access to clean, safe and healthy communities.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. June 15, 2012

    The Good Force be with you!

    Global Sustainable Development and Prosperity must be the main point of Rio+20. In order to prosper each countries and protect the environment, everyone must plant palm trees in their home.

    Live forever and prosper!

  2. June 15, 2012

    Tibilise – 1972 – 1º encontro de líderes buscando preservar o meio ambiente. Rio de Janeiro – 1992 – Eco92 – depois Rio+10 e agora Rio+20. A Agenda 21 continua na gaveta, pois não fomos educados para aceitar a mudança de comportamento, ou seja, no papel (teoria) ficou perfeito, mas na prática… Bem, na prática e especialmente no Brasil travam uma batalha no sentido de alterar o Código Florestal. Por quê? Ora, porque alcançamos um estágio de desenvolvimento e de degradação que aos empreendedores restaria obedecer a lei. Notadamente, ela teria de ser aplicada e seus efeitos alcançados, assim melhor refomá-la e adaptá-la aos interesses de alguns poucos. Justificam – nós precisamos produzir alimentos para o mundo. No Brasil há 16 milhões de miseráveis, muitos recebem R$70,00 do governo, em tese, para impedir que passem fome.

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