The Nature Conservancy’s Closing Statement about the Rio+20 Summit
The Nature Conservancy's Andrew Deutz shares his closing remarks about the Rio+20 summit.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil | June 22, 2012
“After nearly 40 years of developing international environmental treaties, declarations and action plans, the Rio summit rightly did not focus on new international treaties but on recommitment and on implementation. There are pressing global conservation issues and we pretty much know what needs to be done. "
“The task now is to roll up our sleeves and start crossing things off the Global To Do List.”
“There have been some gains at the Rio+20 summit. A bright spot has been the focus on the value of nature - the conference has highlighted the case for communities, companies and countries to value and invest in natural capital. We’ve seen this play out in multiple ways—we are seeing major companies, leading countries and innovative communities stepping up and showcasing ways to invest in natural capital because it provides cost-effective solutions to their challenges.”
“Indonesia has committed to invest in the health of the oceans because it’s a necessary and smart way to address its food security and national development objectives. That’s why we are seeing Australia committing to the largest network of marine protected areas and to supporting sustainable ocean management with many of its developing country partners. That is why Colombia is committing to achieve better water management and water security in the Magdalena basin and to reform infrastructure development policy to actually improve the quality of the lands and waters its people depend on.”
“Leading island nations of Seychelles and Antigua and Barbuda both committed to explore debt-for-adaptation swaps - innovative financial mechanisms which can potentially leverage public and private funding to help them adapt to climate change. TNC committed to help execute these transactions. There are plenty of other countries making these kinds of bold and innovative commitments to invest in nature.”
“There’s also good news at the conference coming from the progressive private sector which stepping up in understanding the value of nature - in seeing how environmental degradation is a business risk and how environmental improvement is an investment opportunity. Major companies are making commitments to go beyond corporate social responsibility and value natural capital as an important productive asset alongside financial capital and human capital.”
“The conference has also focused the world’s attention on oceans, and launched the Global Partnership on Oceans. It has also initiated a process to elaborate ‘sustainable development goals’ – potentially a new set of targets and indicators to measure if the world is making progress on sustainability.”
“One of the challenges of this conference has been the missed opportunity of many of the world’s leaders to make the connection between the G20 and Rio+20 this week. The G20 was focused on how to solve the world’s short term financial debt crisis. The Rio conference was focused on how to solve the long-term ecological debt crisis. We have not fully exploited the opportunity to solve the first problem by addressing the second.”
“Monday morning, the challenge will be to go back home and hold governments and companies accountable for the commitments they made here and help them get things done.”
“The real value of the summit will only be manifest if we see real action in real places to improve the lands and waters upon which all life depends.”
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.