Towards Johannesburg. (Essay)

By Ruyt, Jean De | UN Chronicle, December 2001 | Go to article overview

Towards Johannesburg. (Essay)


Ruyt, Jean De, UN Chronicle


"If national governments are basically unilateral in their attitudes towards global problems, anarchy will prevail over international governance and what should be our global village may turn into a global jungle."

-Gro Harlem Brundtland, addressing the "Earth Summit", Rio de Janeiro, 13 June 1992

World leaders will gather in JOHANNESBURG, South Africa from 2 to 11 September 2002 for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Their task will be to undertake an overall review of the decisions taken at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development--the Earth Summit--including the Rio Declaration and Agenda 21, created to provide a comprehensive road map towards sustainable development.

One in two jobs worldwide--in agriculture, forestry and fisheries--depends directly on the sustainability of the ecosystems. But today's environmentally unsustainable practices are in fact plundering our children's future heritage. We have certainly made progress since the Earth Summit, but we must face an inescapable reality: our responses are too few, too little and too late. Against this backdrop, expectations will be high at the Johannesburg Summit. How do we address these and together build a new ethic of global stewardship?

National preparations are well under way to produce crucial tools for the implementation of sustainable development goals. These tools, rather strategies for sustainable development, will provide the cornerstone for implementation at the domestic level in the years to come. They will be all the more effective if they include targets to reverse the current trend of environmental loss, as well as intermediate and sectoral, quantitative and qualitative targets on environmental and resource productivity. The intergovernmental regional events are also under preparation and cover extraordinarily diverse processes, ranging from climate change negotiations to the International Conference on Financing for Development. These events will be instrumental in renewing consensus and commitment for sustainable development. The challenge will then be to build ownership of these regional processes at UN Headquarters in New York and somehow reach consensus at the international level.

At Johannesburg, we should first take measures to protect the natural resource base of economic and social development. We need to commit ourselves to new international targets to reverse the trend in loss of environmental resources and enhance eco-efficiency. As a number of conflicts revolve around the exploitation of natural resources, we should also address the security aspects. Specific initiatives are of the essence on some key issues: on fresh water--if present trends continue, two in every three people will live in water-stressed conditions by 2025; on land--each year an additional 20 million hectares of agricultural land become too degraded for crop production or are lost to urban sprawl; on biodiversity--one in every plant species is at risk of extinction, many once-valuable fisheries have already collapsed and half of the world's coral reefs are currently at risk; and on energy, in order to come to grips with global warming.

The Summit should discard artificial oppositions between economic well-being and environmental protection, and instead promote actively the integration of environmental concerns with poverty eradication. The poor are best served by programmes that aim to secure sustainable livelihood and reduce vulnerability, while promoting sustainable land use and agriculture, access to safe drinking water and sustainable energy, better local air quality and lower exposure to toxic substances. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Towards Johannesburg. (Essay)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.