Time Running Out to Change Direction

This briefing outlines the key opportunities for the Australian Government to contribute to the type of progressive, global change required for a healthy and habitable planet free from extreme poverty. The briefing addresses such opportunities from the perspective of the Australian non-government aid and development sector, represented by the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID). The following is a compendium of recommendations from ACFID members, with contributing members listed at the end of the document.

Twenty years ago at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, where Governments adopted Agenda 21 - a blueprint to rethink economic growth, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection. While many achievements have been made since this time, not enough progress has been made in reaching the goals of this adopted strategy to overcome the environmental, social and economic problems facing the planet. The Earth’s oceans remain at risk, our climate is predicted to spiral out of control without serious and concerted intervention, species are becoming extinct due to human-linked impacts at unprecedented rates, millions of people starve and the world’s food systems are failing or are under extreme threat from the impacts of climate change. There are also deep inequalities between and within nations.Without significant collaborative global action being taken, these conditions and predicted impacts from inaction are only expected to worsen.

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