Brazil wants Rio+20 meet to impose sustainable development

AFP Yahoo News 3 Apr 12;

Brazil wants the upcoming Rio summit on sustainable development to impose the concept as a development model for the world, one of the organizers said Tuesday.

"We are at a time when crises are multiplying, political crisis, environmental crisis," Ambassador Luiz Alberto Figueiredo told foreign correspondents here. "Rio+20 will provide an opportunity to review those crises triggered by the current development model."

The Rio+20 summit scheduled for June 20-22, the fourth major summit on sustainable development since 1972, is to take up a broad range of issues on the health of the world, including growth, food security, access to water, lifestyles, energy, biodiversity and climate.

Figueiredo said the gathering "will be a success if it adopts clear (sustainable development) goals" for the next 20 years which can balance economic growth, poverty eradication and protection of the environment.

Asked about the lack of sanctions in case of non-compliance with the goals set, he replied: "When one sets development targets for the millennium, one does not think in terms of sanctions."

"Rio+20 will establish bridges between the various perceptions and positions on the green economy," he noted. "Some countries fear that this green economy may be used as a trade barrier."

The first official draft of the June conference released in January recognizes the limitations of gross domestic product as a measure of wellbeing.

It stresses the need "to further develop and strengthen indicators complementing GDP that integrate economic, social and environmental dimensions in a balanced manner."

One of its key proposals involves defining "sustainable development goals" that commit countries to meeting targets in the areas of food security, access to water, green jobs and even "sustainable production and consumption models."

These goals would complement the poverty-reduction Millennium Development Goals set by 192 countries in 2000.

Figueiredo rejected as "unfounded" charges by 39 civil society groups that Brasilia under President Dilma Rousseff had "backtracked" with respect to protection of the environment.

"Brazil will arrive at the summit with outstanding results: It's a country which has made progress, which has fostered social inclusion and which has reduced like never before its deforestation rates," Figueiredo said.