Creating Green Economies to Eradicate Poverty


In 1992, the United Nations held its Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was at this Conference, which came to be known as the Earth Summit, that more than a 178 governments adopted Agenda 21, a program of action for sustainable development for the 21st Century. Recognizing that economic development and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive ideas, Agenda 21 outlined measures that combat poverty while conserving natural resources.

Rio-20-hunger-environment-agriculture-economyTen years later, at the Johannesburg Summit, a plan of implementation was agreed upon by participating countries, along with a commitment to achieve theMillennium Development Goals by 2015. In 2009, the UN General Assembly adopted a Resolution agreeing to have a United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) in 2012, also referred to as “Rio+20”. The three objectives of this summit are to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the remaining implementation gaps of commitments that have already been agreed upon, and to address emerging challenges. The Conference will focus on two main themes, establishing a green economy within the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and creating an institutional framework for sustainable development.

The Rio+20 Summit, taking place in May 2012, and the Worldwatch Institute’s State of the World 2012publication, will focus on what needs to be done to achieve these goals. Nourishing the Planet will look in to how the food and agriculture sector can contribute to the green economy and address potential challenges to the creation of sustainable economies.


Danielle Nierenberg
Danielle Nierenberg, an expert on livestock and sustainability, currently serves as Project Director of State of World 2011 for the Worldwatch Institute, a Washington, DC-based environmental think tank. Her knowledge of factory farming and its global spread and sustainable agriculture has been cited widely in the New York Times Magazine, the International Herald Tribune, the Washington Post, and
other publications.

Danielle worked for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic. She is currently traveling across Africa looking at innovations that are working to alleviate hunger and poverty and blogging everyday at Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet. She has a regular column with the Mail & Guardian, the Kansas City Star, and the Huffington Post and her writing was been featured in newspapers across Africa including the Cape Town Argus, the Zambia Daily Mail, Coast Week (Kenya), and other African publications. She holds an M.S. in agriculture, food, and environment from Tufts University and a B.A. in environmental policy from Monmouth College.
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