Thursday, June 21, 2012

20 years after their birth, three sister Rio Conventions reaffirm their collective responsibility for sustainable development

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 21 June 2012 – The heads of the secretariats of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reaffirmed their determination to work to generate synergies in national implementation in support of sustainable development.

In a joint statement issued today, the Executive Secretaries of the three Rio Conventions committed to tackle sustainable development challenges by focusing on prioritized cross-cutting themes. These include landscape and ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation, generating and sharing information on climate change impacts and vulnerability when considering biodiversity and land use and mainstreaming gender into activities related to the implementation of the conventions act.

The three top officials of the three Conventions that came of Rio in 1992 emphasized the need for “coordinated, concrete, concerted, simple and attainable solutions” to achieve “a truly sustainable future”. To this end, they called on countries and governments to set sustainable development goals, including achievable targets on land, biodiversity and climate change.
Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the CBD said: “Twenty years of experience under these three agreements has produced the body of policy that we need to realize sustainable development. We now need to accelerate the implementation of this framework – at all levels, and in so doing, increase coordination so we can realize the important synergies that are needed for development.”

Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of the UNCCD said: “Further commitment by the international community is needed to achieve The Future We Want. Going carbon neutral, becoming land degradationneutral and halting the loss of biodiversity are intertwined goals. Countries and governments should set sustainable development goals that take into account existing inter-linkages among the three pillars of sustainable development and that recognize the important goals and targets already agreed upon among the Rio Conventions."

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC said: “Governments are on the right track in terms of designing international policy frameworks. Under the UNFCCC, they have set the goal of a maximum 2 degrees Celsius temperature rise, with a view to considering 1.5 degrees Celsius. They are building the support infrastructure for developing countries and are working towards a new universal climate change agreement, whilst increasing ambition now. There is no doubt that the scope and speed of action urgently needs to be stepped up, and that holds true for all three Conventions."

The joint statement was first disclosed on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the three Rio Conventions by their respective Executive Secretaries at a breakfast round-table with the current Presidencies of the respective Conference of the Parties. The Anniversary was celebrated with a full day programme at the Rio Conventions Pavilion (

The Rio Conventions have played a key role in framing global and national policy responses to the challenges of climate change, loss of biodiversity, desertification and land degradation. Their collaboration is facilitated in the context of the Joint Liaison Group run directly by the Executive Secretaries of the three Conventions.

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