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The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development 2012 (Rio+20) Takes Place on 20-22 June 2012- By Dr. Syed Zainul Abedin

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) is being organized in pursuance of General Assembly Resolution 64/236 (A/RES/64/236), and will take place in Brazil on 20-22 June 2012 to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Rio de Janeiro, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg. This article is prepared on the basis of two websites with the view of inviting the interested persons to follow the events of The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development 2012 (Rio+20):

http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/about.html and http://www.fao.org/rioplus20/en/

Objectives of Rio + 20

1.To secure renewed political commitment to sustainable development
2.To assess the progress and implementation gaps in meeting already agreed commitments
3.To address new and emerging challenges

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1.Definition of Rio+20

Rio+20 – the short name for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012 – is an historic opportunity to define pathways to a safer, more equitable, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all.

Twenty years after the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, where countries adopted Agenda 21 – a blueprint to rethink economic growth, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection – the UN is again bringing together governments, international institutions and major groups to agree on a range of smart measures that can reduce poverty while promoting decent jobs, clean energy and a more sustainable and fair use of resources.

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.

2.Issues to be discussed

The official discussions will focus on two main themes: How to build a green economy to achieve sustainable development and lift people out of poverty, including support for developing countries that will allow them to find a green path for development; and how to improve international coordination for sustainable development.

3.Happenings at Rio+20

Thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other stakeholders will gather in Rio at the end of May and beginning of June 2012 for a strong push towards sustainable development.

The last session of the Preparatory Committee for the Conference and the actual conference will take place there in June 2012.

In parallel with and between the official events, there will be numerous side events, exhibitions, presentations, fairs and announcements by a wide range of partners.

Governments are expected to adopt clear and focused practical measures for implementing sustainable development, based on the many examples of success we have seen over the last 20 years.

Themes of the Conference

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

Seven priority areas

The preparations for Rio+20 have highlighted seven areas which need priority attention; these include decent jobs, energy, sustainable cities, food security and sustainable agriculture, water, oceans and disaster readiness.

How is Rio+20 being organized

Rio+20 is a joint endeavour of the entire UN System. A dedicated Secretariat is responsible for coordinating and facilitating inputs to the preparatory process from all UN bodies. The Rio+20 Secretariat is housed in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and headed by Conference Secretary-General Sha Zukang, who is supported by two Executive Coordinators: Elizabeth Thompson (former Minister of Environment of Barbados) and Ambassador Brice Lalonde (Former Minister of Environment of France). The preparatory process is led by an 11-member Bureau composed of UN Ambassadors from all regions of the world. The host country, Brazil, is leading the logistical preparations on the ground.

What is sustainable development?

Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Seen as the guiding principle for long-term global development, sustainable development consists of three pillars: economic development, social development and environmental protection.

The video at the following link gives some justification of holding the Rio+20.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3KhkYsnAa0&feature=player_embedded#!

One Morning of The Spring in My University Campus – Dr. Syed Zainul Abedin

Life in university is always a memorable event.It is not unlikely that an alumnus feel nostalgic when some thought on the university life comes across his or her memory.I encountered a passionate experience this morning when I went for a visit to the campus for some business.This campus is very special for my life and career.I got admitted in 1972 and left the campus in 1977 after graduation. Though the name of educational establishment was Bangladesh Agricultural Institute when I got admitted,this was transformed into a university later as the Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University.

The campus was decorated by the flowers of mango trees.The lovely inflorescences of mango covered most of the canopies of the mango orchard and plants scattered across the campus.The advent of spring is declared by the emergence of mango flowers.The Nobel Laureate poet,Rabindranath Tagore composed the famous poem,’Amar Shonar Bangla….(My golden Bengal)’ indicating that mango flowers bloom in the spring. The other plants that flower to welcome the spring are bauhinia,coral,shimul,polash,krishnochura and shaddock.All these plants were in the campus with their wonderful blooms.The fragrance emitted by these flowers had made the campus a paradise on the earth.Bees and butterflies were flying on the flowers to collect nectar assisting in pollination.There were birds to collect food from the flowers and other sources.

I walked to the horticultural garden.The protected area accomodated many flowers and vegetables.A large

rose garden was there with many varieties.The roses were pink,red,yellow,white,green and mixed.Some of them were very large while some were miniature types.Some had fragrance while others were without any smell.

The vegetables were tomato,cabbage,spinach,onion and many others.Most of the horticultral crops were grown for experiments to understand the production,profit and promotional potential.I met some teachers and researchers in the garden.

I talked with a teacher-researcher who developed some short duration mustard varieties to fit beteween two rice crops which is staple food of our people.He was a successful innovator and continues his work on mustard genetics and breeding program.I visited his experimental fields which reached the harvesting stage.There were some fields of pulses around the fabulous tower erected for holding permanent agricultural fairs.

There were some experiments on rice and wheat too.Various equipments were being used in the experimental fields by trained personnel.All looked very busy to make use of the cool morning weather.

Then,I went to the large cannon ball trees to see their amazing flowers.All the trees carried flowers on their trunks.The cannon ball tree is said to be a rare plant.It carries wonderful flowers that look like the hood of cobra.It is also said that the fruit which resembles cannon ball are poisonous.However poisonous the fruit or flower of this plant may be,I always felt a crazy attraction for this plant,particularly,its amazing flowers.

After the visit of the campus resources,I met a number of persons to accomplish my business.I was welcomed by them.Shared about my passion with them.It was a wonderful morning of spring in my beloved educational centre.

When coming back I looked to the avenue trees of mast tree and road side jackfruit trees.The jackfruit tree were bearing flowers on the trunks and main branches.The beauty of the campus was enhanced by the trees in the campus.