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Twenty years on

Historical content can put present achievements into perspective

This time 20 years ago, the United Nations Conference on Earth and Development (aka the Rio Summit or Earth Summit) was drawing to a close. Next week, to mark the anniversary, Rio de Janeiro will again play host to a similar gathering.

Known as Rio+20, there are three major objectives:

  • Securing renewed political commitment to sustainable development.
  • Assessing the progress and implementation gaps in meeting already agreed commitments.
  • Addressing new and emerging challenges.

But how far have we come in 20 years? The Internet was in its infancy, social media was unevolved and content could be found only in traditional sources. And yet it would seem the bigger-picture challenges remained the same.

This video of 12-year-old Severn Suzuki (daughter of famed environmentalist David Suzuki) speaking at the 1992 conference may show that while we are forging ahead in some areas, in others we are sadly lacking.

 

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