1,400 Young People Demand Results at Earth Summit: Will Governments Listen

Over 1,400 young people descended on Indonesia last week in the biggest youth gathering on the Race to Rio yet. Coming from 118 different countries, it was also the most global gathering. With the Rio+20 Earth Summit just nine months away, young people at this year’s TUNZA International Children and Youth Conference hosted by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) made clear that Rio+20 must be a significant milestone for global efforts to stop environmental destruction and promote sustainable development.

Young people have the most to lose at next year’s Earth Summit and it’s no wonder that sense of urgency was reflected in the outcome document of the conference, the Bandung Declaration:

Yet, our planet’s future – our future – is in peril. Our generation has seen the warning signs in Rio 1992 become the realities that face Rio+20: poverty, climate change, harmful pollution and depleting natural resources are all symptoms of our unsustainable development patterns. We feel, understand and know that we cannot wait another generation, until a Rio+40, before we act.

The tenor quickly shifted, however, to creating solutions and making concrete demands of governments and businesses toward sustainability. Throughout the week, the participants learned about how to identify the green economy in their communities, how to find green jobs, and how to mobilize themselves and the 3 billion other young people around the globe for a transformative Rio+20.

What four things will these young people and their communities do when they get home?

Original article published at www.uncsd2012.org

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