What is Rio+20 ?

Rio+20 Conference brought together world leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other groups to shape how we can reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection. It was hosted by the Government of Brazil and run from 20-22 June 2012 complemented by a range of events before, during and after.

The Conference focused on two themes: (a) a green economy in the context of sustainable development poverty eradication; and (b) the institutional framework for sustainable development.

Oceans at Rio+20

Issues related to oceans and oceans sustainability figured high on the Rio+20 agenda - it was chosen as one of the seven main issues to be discussed in depth. In the Rio+20 Conference Outcome Document The Future We Want, there is a dedicated section on oceans and seas, and small island developing States (SIDS), which stressed the critical role the oceans play in all three pillars of sustainable development, and commit[ed] to protect, and restore, the health, productivity and resilience of oceans and marine ecosystems, and to maintain their biodiversity, enabling their conservation and sustainable use for present and future generations.

For ocean related events, hosted by UNESCO-IOC, see Events below.

The world's oceans - their temperature, chemistry, currents and life - drive global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind. Our rainwater, drinking water, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food, and even the oxygen in the air we breathe, are all ultimately provided and regulated by the sea. Throughout history, oceans and seas have been vital conduits for trade and transportation. Careful management of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable future.

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