Getting ready for Rio+20 – The Nine Major Groups (Part 1)

Sustainable development cannot be achieved by government action alone. It requires the participation of all sectors of societies. At the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, a document called Agenda 21 was released that, among other things, formalized groups whose contribution is crucial to making sustainable development a reality. Since then, these nine groups have represented the voice of their respective constituencies within UN meetings, including all subsequent Earth Summits.

Each of the nine major groups (Business and Industry, Children and Youth, Farmers, Indigenous Peoples, Women, Local Authorities, NGOs, Workers and Trade Unions and the Scientific and Technological Community) has submitted position papers leading up to the Summit as well as commented on drafts of the prospective outcome document. These documents are all available via the websites below. The groups will be involved in a wide range of side events, workshops, presentations, exhibitions, etc., including the People’s Summit, and, of course, the official events of Rio+20.

With Rio+20 fast approaching, here is a brief overview of some of the activities that the different groups have planned (for more on Business and Industry, check out an earlier blog).

  • Children and Youth: Youth comprise nearly 30 per cent of the world’s population, which means that their involvement in environmental and development decision-making is critical. Youth are always very active in the Summits, and many official government delegations send a youth representative. Youth from around the world will come together at the Conference of Youth for Rio+20 (aka Youth Blast), taking place from 7-12 June in Rio. The group is coordinated by Rio+twenties.
  • Farmers: Since agriculture occupies one third of the land surface of the Earth and is a central activity for much of the world’s population, farmers play a crucial role in sustainable development. Their calls for action include increasing the proportion of overseas development assistance focused on agriculture and rural development, increasing support for participatory approaches to farmer to farmer training, developing new approaches to reward farmers for ecosystem services, and securing land tenure for rural women (to see the full list read their statement online). The group is coordinated by La Via Campesina – International Peasant Movement.

5 thoughts on “Getting ready for Rio+20 – The Nine Major Groups (Part 1)

  1. I hope agriculture gets some serious focus as its long overdue and a primary cause of climate change. Thanks for a great post – I look forward to the entire series!. I have reposted this hoping that my readers will also become better educated. Cheers!

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