Sustainable Tourism at RIO+20

From the 20th to the 22nd of June 2012 one of the most important summits on the yearly agenda of policy makers, the “RIO+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development”, will take place in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). World leaders, including Heads of State and Government, along with thousands of participants from the private sector, NGOs and other groups, will attend the event to discuss how poverty can be reduced, social equity advanced and environmental protection ensured on an ever more crowded planet to get to a better future.

Tourism will be one of the topic under debate: two relevant events will take place previously to the main Conference, the “World Summit on Green Tourism and Creative Economy” organised by the United Nations on June, 16  and the official side event “Green Innovation in Tourism”, on June, 19, attended by representatives of UNEP, UNWTO and WTTC, among others.

In parallel with the RIO+20 agenda, the official side event “Tourism for a Sustainable Future”, organised by UNWTO and the Ministry of Tourism of Brazil, will take place. Participants will discuss how tourism can be an instrument to drive positive change, both for developing and developed countries, and should be mainstreamed in the global development agenda for the next programming decade and beyond.

Meanwhile, in the EU context, Janez Potocnik, Commissioner for Environment, made a statement on lack of progress in RIO+20 negotiations after the talks held in New York last week, calling “for a strong engagement by all parties and notably the host country who will have a particular role in securing a success for the Conference”, remarking also that “There will be no added value for the Summit if we get entangled in procedures or just good intentions. We all need to wake up to the reality of the situation facing the world and to take concrete steps to deal with it”.

The Conference will result in a focused political document pursuing the overall objectives of the summit: to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, to assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and to address new and emerging challenges.

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