What is Rio+20 and its significance?
“Rio+20” is the short name for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development a.k.a. Earth Summit to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 20 to 22 June 2012 – twenty years after the landmark 1992 Earth Summit in Rio and is also an opportunity to look ahead to the world we want in 20 years.
At the Rio+20 Conference, world leaders, along with thousands of participants from the private sector, NGOs and other groups, will come together to shape how we can reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet. It aims to make progress towards global sustainable development.
More about the Rio+20 Conference here.
How is it relevant to us?
A Singaporean, Professor Tommy Koh, played a key role in making the landmark 1992 Earth Summit possible and started Singapore in the journey of making our city rich in biodiversity!
He chaired the Preparatory Committee for the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janerio, also known as the Earth Summit, as well as the UN Conference on the Law of the Sea. Due to his great contributions to promoting international environmental cooperation, he was presented the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Champions of the Earth award in 2006. The prestigious award recognises those who make national and policy decisions for the good of the environment.
Professor Koh has also published widely on the environment. For his contributions, he received the 1996 Elizabeth Haub Prize for international environment law from the Free University of Brussels and the International Council on Environmental Law in April 1997. Professor Koh has also received other international and national awards for his many contributions to the environment, academia and diplomacy.
Prof Koh continues to be closely engaged in the environment sector locally, having supported local environment groups/institutions in the past few years, being patron for the Nature Society (Singapore) and the Singapore Association for Environmental Companies, and chairing NUS’ Advisory Committee on Master’s degree on Environmental Management.