Rio +20

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In June 2012, Rio de Janeiro will be under the international spotlight again when it will host the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development ("Rio+20').

In 1992, Rio hosted the same conference to discuss on a global scale for the first time the challenges and impact of environmental destruction in our contemporary industrial world. Twenty years afterwards, organisers of the conference expect 50, 000 delegates from all over the world and around 150 heads of state or government to come together to discuss topics such as the green economy and the institutional framework for sustainable development. Rio will also host thousands of international press representatives and parallel events being organised by over 500 national governing bodies. The level of preparation involved including security, hospitality, airport logistics, transportation and other services to deliver the Rio+20 Conference turns it into a major event, creating business opportunities in different sectors of the Brazilian economy. Brazilian government officials and businessmen see this event as a test event for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. Activists of the environment agenda also see this event as an opportunity to bring green building into the heart of sporting events organisation. Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme came to Brazil in April 2011 to take part in a special meeting to discuss the organisation of the next major events in Brazil: Rio+20 in 2012, FIFA World Cup in 2014 and Olympic Games in 2016. He mentioned at the time that Brazil was in a favourable position as host of those major events to deeply transform the countrys economic and infrastructure modes to a sustainable one. Ban Ki–moon, secretary general of the United Nations who also visited Brazil this year mentioned that 20 years ago world leaders reached a historical agreement on sustainable development but in practice they were focused on economic growth without taking into account environmental impact. During Rio+20 world leaders must be much more conscious and serious about finding a balance between economic growth and sustainability. In Brazil, two new structures were created to deal with Rio +20. A Special National Commission co–chaired by the Minister of Environment and the Minister of Foreign Relations was established to interface with state governments, city governments and organised groups to articulate the Brazilian official proposal to be taken to the Conferences international debate. The second structure is the National Organising Committee of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development within the Brazilian Ministry of Environment. The Organising Committee is in charge of planning and delivering the logistics in Brazil to host the conference. Parallel to the Rio+20, international non–governmental organisations are mobilising a Peoples Summit 2012 to take place in Aterro do Flamengo, 40 km away from the Convention Centre where Rio+20 will happen. It is expected that the whole city transport system will be overstretched. Although the events in 2012 are getting closer, very little information about their organisation is available. For those wanting to get more details, give their opinion or comment on the Brazilian sustainable economic growth proposal, a public hearing process is open until 25 September 2011. The Brazilian Ministry of Environment is inviting formal questions and comments up to 20 lines in Times New Roman font 12 to be sent to rio2012@mma. gov. br

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