Rio+20 can contribute to corrective action. The financial and economic crisis was a painful reminder that relying on market forces alone to fuel development is a dangerous and volatile path.
A few months from now, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, or more popularly called Rio+20, will be held inRio de Janeiro,Brazilfrom 20-22 June 2012.
Rio+20 will commemorate twenty years of efforts by the sustainable development movement launched at the historic Earth Summit in 1992. Sustainable development is not only concerned with the environment. It was conceived as an effort to ensure that human needs, now and the future, met through economic and social development, are fulfilled while not destroying the natural system that sustains life on our planet.
Unfortunately sustainable development’s relevance for human civilization – and its future – was side tracked by the end of the Cold War, globalization, and the economic boom of the 80’s. The unbalanced approach of greedy capitalism in the 80’s to achieve growth spurred living beyond limits that led to several crises. Falling short of meeting the international financing and technology transfer commitments in the Monterrey Consensus also contributed to sustainable development’s decline.
In the domestic front of most countries, sustainable development was misinterpreted as taking care of environmental concerns only, and thus the lack of awareness and attention by the relevant sectors has hindered integrative and inter-sector policies and decision making.
Rio+20 will consider two thematic areas: the green economy in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development; and the institutional framework for sustainable development. The objectives are to secure political commitment to sustainable development; assess progress towards internationally agreed commitments; and address new emerging challenges.
For Indonesia and the world, the significance of Rio+20’s outcome is profound.
Rio+20 can contribute to corrective action. The financial and economic crisis was a painful reminder that relying on market forces alone to fuel development is a dangerous and volatile path. The global economic system should be rebalanced, and shift from single track economic development to an approach that seeks to achieve the triple goals of economic, social and environmental sustainability in the long term. Corrective action must steer along the lines of integrating economic, social and environmental costs in development policies and decision making. Rio+20 is happening at a timely juncture, where it can serve as a platform to launch that effort.
Additionally, in our quest to meet our human needs within the context of globalization that promises abundance, we are faced with planetary boundaries. We have to recognize that Indonesia’s population is growing as is the global population. By 2050 it is predicted that 9 billion people will inhabit this planet, which means increased demand for basic necessities including food and energy, water and other resources. How can we find a balance between using the earth’s resources responsibly to sustain the growing population?
Indonesia’s unique contribution to the conference is valuable in three ways.
From a historic perspective, Indonesia has played an active role in linking the issue of poverty, development with the environment since it became a member of the United Nations. From Stockholm, Rio, and Johannesburg, Indonesia played a key role in shaping the sustainable development concept. Indonesia’s experiences can help reenergize the sustainable development movement; encouraging the much needed departure from business as usual.
From a national perspective, Indonesia could share its experiences in implementing a four track development strategy of pro-poor, pro-job, pro-growth and pro-environment, which aligns with the sustainable development approach.
From a global perspective, Indonesia along with an increasingly influential group of emerging markets, including Brazil, Russia, India, China, is expected to play significant role to back a global shift towards a fair, humane, and sustainable model of growth. Their common experiences offer an opportunity to introduce development paradigms that promote more than a single track of economic development.
TheRio+20 Conference provides an opportunity to agree on a global commitment to revitalize sustainable development, which leads to economic growth, social justice, and protection of the environment.
Answering this generational challenge requires bold action and commitment, by Indonesia and the world.
It is beyond a doubt that Indonesia’s global voice matters.