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State of the Planet Declaration

UNCED, March 2012


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Resource information:
Resource IDpupsotpd2012
Resource titleState of the Planet Declaration
Author(s)Planet Under Pressure
Publication/ sourceUNCED
Date publishedMarch 2012
Summary text/ abstractThe State of the Planet Declaration is by the Co-Chairs of the Planet Under Pressure conference, Dr Lidia Brito and Dr Mark Stafford Smith, supported by the conference Scientific Organizing Committee. We believe this statement reflects the key messages emerging from the proceedings of the Planet Under Pressure conference.
Library categoriesClimate Change, Economics, Energy, Food & Agriculture, Land Rights, 'Limits to Growth', Peace, Politics, Simplicity, Toxics
Download file(s):

file iconState of the Planet Declaration [681.3 kilobytes]
This file is not located within the Free Range Activism Website

file iconRio+20 policy brief no.1: Water security for a planet under pressure [847.2 kilobytes]
Water is the common thread that links all aspects of human development. Water security is therefore vital to all social and economic sectors as well as the natural resource base on which the world depends. But an expanding population, growing economies and poor water management are putting unprecedented pressure on our freshwater resources. We simply cannot continue to use water as wastefully as we have in the past; we have to change the way we manage our water resources. Scientists and policy makers have a joint responsibility to work together in the development of more sustainable solutions to existing and emerging water problems. This policy brief aims to highlight the integrated and coordinated nature of the response needed to fully incorporate water into the new green economies of the world.
This file is not located within the Free Range Activism Website

file iconRio+20 policy brief no.2: Food security for a planet under pressure [903.6 kilobytes]
The challenge of feeding the world efficiently and equitably is considerable, but not insurmountable. Achieving food security for all, both now and in the future, depends on putting in place a strong foundation of multi-lateral and cooperative mechanisms that work across disciplines, sectors and national boundaries. Institutions operating effectively at multiple levels will be at the centre of sustainable food systems; these will need to be flexible, promote appropriate use of innovative technologies and policies, and recognize the increasingly important role of non-state actors in enhancing food systems. Above all, there is need for a strong focus on resilience, equity and sustainability. This brief sets out broad guidelines to help policy and decision makers work towards adopting a more coordinated and integrated approach to food security issues.
This file is not located within the Free Range Activism Website

file iconRio+20 policy brief no.3: Transforming governance and institutions for a planet under pressure [875.4 kilobytes]
Global environmental protection has featured high on the international political agenda since the United Nations (UN) Conference on the Human Environment in 1972. Yet, despite more than 900 environmental treaties coming into force over the past 40 years, human-induced environmental degradation is reaching unprecedented levels. Human societies must change course and steer away from critical tipping points in the earth system that might lead to rapid and irreversible change, while ensuring sustainable livelihoods for all. This requires a fundamental transformation of existing practices. If we are to achieve more sustainable development in the future, we have to reorient and restructure our national and international institutions and governance mechanisms. Incrementalism will not suffice to bring about societal change at the level required; the world needs structural change in global governance. The 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development must become a major stepping stone towards introducing a stronger institutional framework for sustainable development. We urge decision makers to seize this opportunity to develop a clear and ambitious roadmap for institutional change and bring about fundamental reform of current sustainability governance within the next decade. This policy brief outlines the core areas needing most urgent action.
This file is not located within the Free Range Activism Website

file iconRio+20 policy brief no.4: Biodiversity and ecosystems for a planet under pressure [1015.8 kilobytes]
We share this planet with millions of other species and varieties of life, and depend on ecosystems for all our basic needs. While current trends in biodiversity and ecosystem services are sharply and dangerously negative, the right actions, developed and implemented promptly, can restore a biologically rich and ecologically viable planet. This policy brief sets out the main challenges facing the world as we seek to protect and enhance our vital biodiversity and its human benefits. In addition, we suggest pathways that will lead us towards a more sustainable future.
This file is not located within the Free Range Activism Website

file iconRio+20 policy brief no.5: Interconnected risks and solutions for a planet under pressure [1.3 megabytes]
The 2012 United Nations Rio+20 Summit must be seen in the context of a significant expansion of the scientific knowledge base since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. We now know definitively that humans have become a prime driver of change at the planetary level, significantly altering Earth's biological, chemical and physical processes. There is increasing evidence that humans are driving the Earth system towards dangerous thresholds or tipping points. The functioning of the Earth system as we know it is at risk. We know that solutions exist, but, as the international community contemplates action, the natural resource in shortest supply is time. The urgent global risks and challenges facing all nations are interconnected: poverty alleviation; the financial crisis; economic development; political stability; pollution; food, water and energy security; health; wellbeing; climate change; ocean acidification; and loss of biodiversity, to name just some. Understanding this interconnectedness is crucial for tackling these challenges and improving the wellbeing of all societies. This policy brief outlines key interconnections at a global level and makes six recommendations for lowering the risk of catastrophic change to the Earth system, achieving sustainable prosperity and wellbeing for all, and protecting natural capital (land, water, soil, biodiversity and ecosystem services). These actions underpin the shift to a green economy and the transformation of the world's institutional frameworks for sustainable development.
This file is not located within the Free Range Activism Website

file iconRio+20 policy brief no.6: Human well-being for a planet under pressure [1.4 megabytes]
Our rapidly increasing and urbanizing global population is facing unprecedented food, energy, economic and security crises, which are being compounded by climate change and extreme environmental events. As planetary boundaries are placed under increasing stress, so too are social bonds, relations and thresholds. This policy brief examines the need for urgent, innovative solutions and sets out key messages and recommendations that will guide humanity on the road to a more sustainable socioeconomic and ecological future.
This file is not located within the Free Range Activism Website

file iconRio+20 policy brief no.7: A green economy for a planet under pressure [2.4 megabytes]
Humanity is at a crossroads. Social, economic and environmental crises that have played out in recent years offer a unique opportunity for a step change in the way humanity does business. Although the concept of the 'green economy' was introduced to address today's challenges, its continued dependence on traditional – and questionable – trickle-down economic growth theory has rendered it inadequate. A fast-growing population, rapidly diminishing resources and planetary boundaries are forcing humanity to find innovative ways to use resources more efficiently, to work within the limits of the Earth's natural capital, and to make fundamental changes to our economic systems. This policy brief sets out the guidelines for the social and technological transformations needed for a new economic system, as well as the new ways in which we will need to measure and monitor this system.
This file is not located within the Free Range Activism Website

file iconRio+20 policy brief no.8: An energy vision for a planet under pressure [1.4 megabytes]
Worldwide, global energy systems face an array of challenges, from access for the poor to reliability and security. Meanwhile, the provision of energy creates local human and ecological health impacts as well as dangerous global climate change. Addressing these issues simultaneously will require a fundamental transformation of the energy system. Recent assessments show that such a transformation is achievable in technological and economic terms, but it will present formidable supply- and demand-side challenges as well as problems of governance, transparency and reliability across scales. This policy brief presents a long-term vision for the energy system and describes the elements required for the transition towards this vision. To succeed, this transformation must integrate several key components, including a focus on high levels of energy efficiency and the scale up of investments in technology deployment as well as research, development and demonstration (RD&D).
This file is not located within the Free Range Activism Website

file iconRio+20 policy brief no.9: Global health for a planet under pressure [1.4 megabytes]
"Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature." Principle One of the Rio Declaration. Multiple environmental stresses and rapid social change reinforce the need for better evidence – evidence that is robust and the product of interdisciplinary and intersectoral collaboration. The potential benefits to health from sound environmental policies are significant. Human health is a key indicator of sustainable development. We need to monitor changes in human population health in order to evaluate progress on global sustainability.
This file is not located within the Free Range Activism Website

file iconRio+20 video: "We have entered the Anthropocence" (MP4 format) [16.7 megabytes]
Watch a 3-minute journey through the last 250 years of our history, from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the Rio+20 Summit. The film charts the growth of humanity into a global force on an equivalent scale to major geological processes. The film is part of the world's first educational webportal on the Anthropocene, commissioned by the Planet Under Pressure conference.

file iconRio+20 video: "We have entered the Anthropocence" (OGV format) [16.4 megabytes]
Watch a 3-minute journey through the last 250 years of our history, from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the Rio+20 Summit. The film charts the growth of humanity into a global force on an equivalent scale to major geological processes. The film is part of the world's first educational webportal on the Anthropocene, commissioned by the Planet Under Pressure conference.


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