Sustainable development after Rio+20 is ‘in limbo’

January 30, 2013 • Climate Change & Mitigation, Family Planning, Protection of Species, Daily Email Recap

Sustainable development after Rio+20 is ‘in limbo’

The weak wording of the Rio+20 summit agreement and delays in setting up the UN working groups on sustainable development have left progress on some of the post-Rio+20 agenda in limbo, according to a science officer at the International Council for Science (ICSU), which represented the scientific community at the summit.

The scientific community is unsure how to proceed towards setting up the new sustainable development goals agreed at the summit and expected to be finalised in 2015, and is uncertain on what its role within such work might be, Peter Bates told http://SciDev.Net.

Also, not all developments at the Rio+20 summit – which took place last June – were positive, according to a UN Environment Programme (UNEP) perspectives report, ‘Rio+20: A new beginning‘, released on 24 December.

For example, the summit saw the stalling of progress towards a convention to protect marine biodiversity in international waters, as well as the failure to secure support for a global agreement on improving access to environmental, scientific and societal data.

To top this off, the vague language of the summit’s agreement provides “very little detail on how to go forward”, said Bates.

And as the UN only agreed this month on the composition of a working group to take the sustainable development goals forward – the group was meant to have been formed last September – the effect has been a state of limbo, he added.

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