Rio+20 talk point: your message to the summit on the future you want

Next month, heads of state, world leaders, academics, researchers, NGOs, activists and indigenous groups will gather in Brazil for the Rio+20 UN conference on sustainable development.

Two decades after the Rio Earth summit, the first UN conference to address issues relating to development and the environment together, Rio+20 is billed as providing a “historic opportunity to define pathways to a safer, more equitable, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all”. But which paths should we be heading down, and which ones should we be avoiding? We want to hear from you.

Rio+20 has seven priority areas – decent jobs, energy, sustainable citiesfood security and sustainable agriculture, water, oceans and disaster readiness – covering the commonly held pillars of sustainable development (economic development, social development and environmental protection). Which of the seven areas matters most to you? Or perhaps you think a key theme is missing?

The Guardian’s Liz Ford and Jonathan Watts will be in Rio reporting from the conference and the other events running alongside it, including thePeople’s Summit.

Over the weeks leading up to Rio+20, and during the event, we want you to contribute to the debate and tell us if there is anything specific you would like us to try to find out.

There are three initial ways you can get involved. First, the Rio summit will be the subject of May’s Global development podcast, looking specifically at whether the summit is likely to improve the lives of the poor; tell us what you would like us to discuss.

Second, we want to see your photo messages to the Rio+20 summit submitted to our Flickr group. We’ll feature some of our favourites on and maybe in the print version of the Guardian as well. For inspiration, take a look at these past galleries of readers’ global education messages, or your messages to UN women, which were submitted from around the world. You’ll find further instructions on how to submit a picture to Flickr here. If you have any problems, email[email protected].

Please note, by posting your pictures in this group, or sending them to us in response to this request, you agree to let us use them on our site and potentially in the newspaper (copyright remains with you at all times, and you will be credited).

And third, we are very keen to hear from you if you were at the Rio talks in 1992. What were the priorities then, and have the hopes of that summit been realised? What should be the focus of Rio+20?

The UN says: “Rio+20 is a chance to move away from business as usual and to act to end poverty, address environmental destruction and build a bridge to the future”; we’re looking forward to hearing what that means to you.

As always, if you have any problems posting a comment below, or if you would prefer to comment anonymously, email us at[email protected] and we’ll add your thoughts.

To have your say click here.

To see which events have affected public opinion on Rio+20 hot topics click here

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