- Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
- Stakeholder type: Member State
- Name: Brazil
- Submission Document: Download
Full SubmissionSUBMISSION BY BRAZIL TO THE PREPARATORY PROCESS RIO+20 CONFERENCE This document is Brazil's contribution to the preparatory process of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). It presents the country´s views and initial proposals on the themes and objectives of the Conference. The document was elaborated through broad discussions within the National Commission for Rio+20, and based on extensive consultations with Government institutions and multiple stakeholders from Brazilian civil society. SUBMISSION BY BRAZIL TO THE PREPARATORY PROCESS RIO+20 CONFERENCE Brasilia, November 1, 2011 INTRODUCTION 4 Aspects of sustainable development in the world and in Brazil over the past twenty years 5 CHAPTER I - NEW AND Emerging challenges FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 7 1. Eradication of extreme poverty 7 2. Food and nutrition security 8 3. Equity 8 4. Access to health 9 5. Decent work, job generation, andl croersppoornastieb isloictiya 9 6. Education 10 7. Culture 10 8. Gender and the empowerment of women 11 9. Promoting racial equality 11 10. Reinforcing multilateralism wiptahr tciicviipla tsioocni ety 11 11. The role of the State 12 12. Sustainable production and consumption 13 13. Energy 14 14. Cities and urban development 14 15. Transportation 15 16. Agriculture and rural development 15 17. Promoting innovation and access to technology 16 18. Funding for sustainable development 16 19. Climate change 17 20. Biodiversity 18 21. Combating desertification 18 22. Water 19 23. Oceans, seas, and coastal areas 19 24. Fishing and aquaculture 20 25. Forests 20 CHAPTER II - GREEN ECONOMY IN THE CONTEXT OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND POVERTY ERADICATION 22 CHAPTER II I- INSTITUTIONALF RAMEWORK FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 24 CHAPTER IV - PROPOSALS BY BRAZIL FORR IO+20 26 P1. Global Socio-Environmental Protect ion Programme26 P2. Sustainable Development Goals 26 P3. Global Pact for Sustainable Produumcpttiioonn and Cons27 P3. A. Sustainable Public Procurement 28 P3. B. Efficient Energy Consumption Labelling 28 P3. C. Funding for Study and Researceh Doenv eSluosptmaeinnta bl28 P4. Repository of Initiatives 29 P5. International Protocol for thfe tShues tFaiinnaanbciilailt yS eoctor 29 P6. New Indicators for Measuring Development 30 P7. The Inclusive Green Economy Pact 30 P7. A. Sustainability Reports 30 P7. B. Sustainability Indices 31 P8. Proposals on the Institutional sFtraaimneawbolrek Dfeovre lSoupment 31 P8. A. Institutional Coordination Metcahiannaibslme fDoerv eSluospment 31 P8. B. Reform of the United Nations Eccioanlo mCiocu nacnidl S(oECOSOC), transforming hteh e body into t United Nations Sustainable Development Council 32 P8. C. Perfecting International Envinraonncmee:n tEaslt aGbolviesrhing Universal Membersohiryp and Mandat Contributions to UNEP 32 P8. D. Launch of negotiations on a Gnl oobna lA cCcoensvse nttoi oInformation, Public Participation in Decision-Making, and Access to Justicnet aoln MEantvtierrosn me33 P8. E. Participation of Non-GovernmeMnutlatli lAactteorrasl iPnr ocesses 34 P8. F. Water Governance 34 CONCLUSION 35 INTRODUCTION Rio de Janeiro will host the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, from May 28 to June 6, 2010, twenty years after the historic 1992 Rio Conference on Environment and Development - the Earth Summit . There is widespread national and international expectation that Rio+20 will represent a once in a generation opportunity to mobilize the political resources required to design a lasting solution to the international crisis, taking into account the complexity of economic, social and environmental aspects of development. To meet this expectation, the Conference mandate, as set out in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 64/236, must be discharged. It includes addressing new and emerging challenges of sustainable development (chapter I of this document) and the issues of ?a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication? and the ?institutional framework for sustainable development? (chapters II and III of this document). Among the key outcomes to be achieved at the meeting, Brazil - chair of the Conference, having called for its organization in 2007 - considers that should be: 1 - Permanent incorporation of poverty eradication as an essential element for achieving sustainable development, with particular emphasis on the human dimension. 2 - Full consideration of the concept of sustainable development in decision-making by economic, social, and environmental actors, with a view to forging greater synergy, coordination, and integration among the three pillars of sustainable development and overcoming the continued prevalence of sector-specific visions, twenty years after sustainable development was declared a global priority. 3 - Strengthening of multilateralism, with a clear message on the need to adapt the structure of the United Nations and of other international institutions to the challenge of sustainable development. 4 - Acknowledgement of the ongoing process of redefinition of the world order and of changes in the positioning of countries relative to others, with the ensuing implications for global governance. The opportunity to address this agenda stems from the ongoing debate on sustainable development in the United Nations ever since the publication of the Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Report) in 1987, titled ?Our Common Future,? in which the concept was described as ?development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.? The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, the Earth Summit, built on the concept - and the multilateral documents signed on the occasion reflected this advance - by focusing on the balance between economic development, social welfare, and environmental protection, interdependent pillars of sustainable development. At the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg, in 2002, the opportunities and challenges of implementing the decisions stemming from the Earth Summit were identified and included in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. A full twenty years later, the legacy of Rio, including the Rio Declaration and its 27 Principles, remains relevant, particularly the principle of ?common but differentiated responsibilities,? through which developed nations are expected to take the lead in addressing the challenges of sustainable development, given their historic responsibility for the unsustainable use of global natural resources. The Rio Principles state that developed nations must ensure adequate supply of financial resources and technology transfer to assist developing countries in achieving their sustainable development goals. Agenda 21 recommends practical measures at the international as well as national and local levels. These measures address the social and economic dimensions of development, management and conservation of natural resources, strengthening of public participation and means of implementation of the commitments undertaken, by establishing guidelines and paths for concrete application of the principles set out in the Rio Declaration. The 40 chapters of Agenda 21 remain current and continue to be a reference for development programmes. In Brazil, implementation of Agenda 21 through the Commission for Sustainable Development and Agenda 21 Policies (Comissão de Políticas para o Desenvolvimento Sustentável e Agenda 21) and the establishment of Local Agenda 21 and Local Sustainable Development initiatives are examples of the relevance and importance of the document for addressing the challenges of sustainable development. It is essential that in evaluating the proposals submitted to Rio+20 the discussions be guided by the principle of non-regression, which rejects retreat on previously undertaken international commitments. The principle takes on added importance in the light of today?s global challenges, which demand neither accommodation nor relativism, but innovative and bold solutions capable of providing a broad and balanced response to the needs underlying the three pillars of sustainable development. As such, Rio+20 should look to the future and not the past, in an effort to anticipate the themes and debates of the coming decades. Confident of the renewed role of the multilateral system as a forum for solutions to the major global challenges of our day, it is Brazil?s hope that the outcomes of Rio+20 will become an international reference, indicating an inflection in the way the world is seen. The outcomes must ensure that all countries feel certain of their ability to implement the decisions adopted in Rio, based on the creation of appropriate conditions - the necessary financial, technological, and capacity building resources - to implement these outcomes, establishing a shared vision of sustainability that will hold true for the coming decades. Rio+20 is a Conference about sustainable development, not just the environment. The challenge of sustainability provides an exceptional opportunity to effect a shift in an economic development model that still struggles to incorporate social development and environmental protection issues. The expansion of social frontiers with the creation of mass consumer markets and the diversification of the world?s energy mix, through the expanded use of sustainable sources constitute key elements of this new model. The ?new economy? - of which the world is in particular need at this time of crisis - is an economy based on sustainability and inclusion. Sustainability today is no longer a question of idealism, but of realism. There is a pressing need to redefine the current pattern of development and forge appropriate responses to the global challenge. To ensure the success of this shift, all stakeholders must be mobilized: national and local governments, scientists, scholars, entrepreneurs and executives, workers, non-governmental organizations, social movements, young people, indigenous peoples and traditional communities. Aspects of sustainable development in the world and in Brazil over the past twenty years The situation in the world and in Brazil, in particular, is markedly different today from that of 1992. The geopolitical reconfiguration of the international order is characterized by the growing economic dynamism of the emerging countries, driven by the success of anti-poverty policies and massive expansion of consumer markets. In regard to international governance, greater balance is sought between the developed and developing nations in the discussions on global economic and financial questions. Latin America and the Caribbean have firmly established themselves as region of peace and democracy. According to ECLAC?s report for Rio+20, the region has made progress on a number of social fronts since the early 1990s: extreme poverty fell from 48% to 32%; the average Human Development Index (HDI) climbed from 0.614 to 0.704; income distribution improved (the Gini index fell from 0.54 to 0.52); the proportion of persons living in inadequate housing declined from 34% to 23%; the number of people without access to electricity decreased from 18% to 6%; employment levels expanded from 53% to 58%, a figure all the more impressive considering the increase in population over the same period. However, the statistics should not be used to mask the enormous challenges remaining. On the economic front, the issues of external debt and recurring balance of payment crises have been mostly resolved; economic growth has been steady; inflation has been effectively tamed in most countries. Higher prices for Latin America?s key exports have made it possible to keep trade balances in equilibrium and even surplus, although it is important to note that production remains largely confined to primary goods and that productivity in some cases continues to lag in relation to that of developed countries. On the environmental front, the world has experienced major changes: increases in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have led to the acknowledgement that global warming is a critical phenomenon for the future of mankind and an issue to be considered in the formulation of public policies and development strategies. While unplanned urban growth has produced adverse effects, the telecommunications revolution - primarily reflected in greater access to mobile telephones and the expansion of the Internet - has had profound positive effects on the social and political fields. According to ECLAC, some of the positive environmental indicators in Latin America include the increased proportion of protected land areas from 10% to 21%; the drop in CO2 intensity of emissions from 0.67 to 0.59 (tonnes/dollar of GDP); and the decline in the use of ozone depleting substances from 75,000 to 5,000 (tonnes/year of ODP - Ozone Depletion Potential). The most prominent trends in Brazil in recent years have been consistent robust economic growth closely bound to poverty reduction, rise in formal employment, improved income distribution, enhanced food and nutrition security, a concerted effort to address climate change - including voluntary actions and bold sector plans aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions -, biodiversity conservation, expansion and diversification of the country?s energy mix, with particular emphasis on renewable energy sources, the rise of strong social movements, and advances in gender equality, among others. Brazil, however, continues to face challenges consistent with its development stage, including the need to improve the quality of education, spur scientific and technological progress, promote more suitable urban growth, and foster greater rural development. CHAPTER I - NEW AND Emerging challenges FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT The conceptual basis of Brazil?s contribution to the Rio+20 Conference is the reinforcement of multilateralism. The proposal to host Rio+20, likewise, symbolizes the Brazilian Government?s political commitment to multilateralism as the principal long-term solution to the key global challenges of our age. The outcomes of the Conference should provide the international community with a clear signal of the importance of multilateral solutions for ensuring that all countries feel they have been included and their needs addressed. Yet, the multilateral agenda has been contaminated by deep divisions. As such, any approaches or outcomes that further exacerbate the gap between developed and developing nations would be unacceptable, as it would preclude the possibility of reaching a consensus at Rio+20. New patterns of interaction between developed and developing nations are necessary, and Brazil firmly believes in the possibility of countries working together in partnership, without surrendering their sovereign right to make choices based on their particular circumstances, capabilities, and needs. The central question Rio+20 will have to answer refers to the type of development we seek. In this light and based on the underlying goal of strengthening the multilateral system, elements capable of bringing countries together must be found. There is no shortage of unifying elements. One with particular potential to marshal efforts and generate consensus is technological innovation for sustainability. The issue will require a broad global agreement on the need to generate and disseminate technologies for sustainable development. A global agreement on that would have the power to bring together developed and developing countries, since technological innovation is able to respond to the growing needs of developing countries and to the need for changing unsustainable production and consumption patterns. Brazil identifies three key issues directly related to technological innovation: i) energy security, with emphasis on sustainable sources; ii) food and nutrition security, including the issue of access to water and to technological innovation for agricultural production; and iii) the role of biodiversity resources in social inclusion, such as the production of pharmaceuticals for health, through the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and the fair and equitable access to the benefits of biodiversity. Rio+20 should be an essentially inclusive process in which economic, environmental, and social considerations are given equal weight. In this regard, the concept of technological innovation also encompasses social technologies, an area in which Brazil has made significant strides in recent years. Based on a series of discussions between government and society, Brazil?s contribution document presents the issues that Rio+20 cannot overlook, which lie at the heart of the inclusive sustainable development we seek for the planet. These issues are listed below. 1. Eradication of extreme poverty The eradication of extreme poverty is a necessary condition for achieving the goals of sustainable development. This consensus, as expressed in Principle 5 of the Rio Declaration and other documents, has constituted the basis for a series of international initiatives and processes aimed at combating poverty, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This priority is also reflected in the substantial body of national policies implemented in recent decades to combat extreme poverty. Yet, the tangible results of some initiatives adopted throughout the world to eradicate extreme poverty have proved inconsistent and insufficient. While some countries, such as Brazil, have achieved significant progress in reducing poverty and inequality through expansion of the social safety net and incorporation of large segments of the population into the productive economy, a large number of countries have registered disappointing and limited progress. The disparity in implementing poverty eradication commitments cannot be addressed as a separate issue disconnected from the sustainable development agenda, but must be examined together with the development model pursued. The international commitment to reduce extreme poverty is a core component of the right to development shared by all countries. Rio+20 should contribute to these efforts and strengthen international initiatives to combat poverty, supplementing the programmes already in place. Eradicating poverty is not enough, but it conditions global capacities to build a fairer and more equitable world and provides a benchmark for evaluating and addressing all issues and proposals considered at Rio+20. 2. Food and nutrition security The primary cause of food and nutrition insecurity is lack of income to ensure access to food, and not insufficient food production, which is in fact enough to feed all mankind. The current food and nutrition security scenario is marked by high food prices due to factors ranging from financial speculation in agricultural commodities to climate change. Although the growth in food demand in developing countries contributes to the rise in international prices, it also shows the success of social inclusion policies and generates opportunities for long-term increases in production, with positive impacts on employment and income stability in these same developing countries. The Brazilian State has sought to consolidate the right to food. A major challenge is ensuring that public policies operate in an integrated and cross-sectoral fashion, with a view to fostering initiatives that extend from food production - in which the family farming segment must be included and valued - to food consumption. Integration enables the challenges of environmental conservation, adaptation to climate change, and the pursuit of greater social justice to be addressed. As with all other public policies, those aimed at food and nutrition security cannot succeed without broad social participation. Brazil believes participation is a condition sine qua non for economic and social development with environmental protection, at the national and international level alike. At the international level, Brazil?s food and nutrition security strategy consists of two dimensions: structural and humanitarian. The structural dimension seeks to promote the food and nutrition security model successfully adopted in Brazil?s socioeconomic programmes (land reform, rural development, credit, infrastructure, technical assistance, insurance, storage, minimum price policies, commercialization, agroecological systems, and others), with social participation in their formulation, execution, follow-up, and evaluation. Through the humanitarian component, Brazil aims to contribute to ensure food security for populations in other countries, in particular through food donations, always at the formal request and by consent of the recipient State. 3. Equity Equity is an issue that should go beyond the outcomes of Rio+20. The concept should be considered more broadly than the idea of inter-generational equity enshrined in 1992 to include a more expansive definition of equity, within a country and between countries. The idea of equity cuts across a number of new and Emerging challenges, including gender, race and ethnicity, consumption, access to energy, decent work, food and nutrition security, and others. It should be reflected in the decisions adopted on these issues and in any new goals or indicators for measuring progress and development. Additionally, the international mechanisms arising from the Conference should closely follow the advances in equity at the global level. 4. Access to health In the context of the efforts required to implement sustainable development policies, health - as a universal human right - has gained increasing prominence. Social protection and promotion policies in the field of health should be given priority, given their benefits to social welfare, the economy, and the environment. Health systems should include social participation and continuous dialogue between society and government on public policies, with a view to forging effective sector governance. As such, health systems should represent the true coordination between the economic, social, and environmental pillars of sustainable development. Among the principal challenges for guaranteeing the right to health are population ageing, the high incidence of non-communicable chronic diseases, and increased mortality rates from external causes (accidents and violence). These challenges increase the number of people requiring continuous and prolonged health services and generate the need for assistive technologies and medicines that must be determined on the basis of social, economic, and epidemiological changes in countries, with a view to sustainable development. A series of factors explains the growing ?globalization? of health. Some problems, such as disease transmission, extend beyond borders and adversely affect national development efforts. Other factors relate to funding. Recent international trends have expanded funding to combat what are referred to as neglected diseases. However, an enduring challenge is the shortage of drugs, often produced by private laboratories and sold at prices unaffordable to poor countries, as is the case with HIV/AIDS medications. The difficulty in accessing medications is also due to the absence of research and innovation on communicable diseases, primarily those linked to poverty, such as malaria, dengue fever, and cholera. Recognition of traditional and popular medicine, especially in developing countries, can contribute to progress in these areas, given the close connection between traditional knowledge and practices and environmental and biodiversity resources, while fostering the social inclusion of traditional communities in the health supply chain. 5. Decent work, job generation, and corporate social responsibility Effective implementation of the sustainable development model requires that incorporation in the productive economy within the framework of decent work be a central goal of social, economic, and environmental policies, in order to ensure that the changes generate jobs across the supply chain and, in particular, in strategic and labour-intensive sectors, as part of poverty eradication efforts. Significant job creation opportunities can be created through investments in sustainable land and water management practices, family farming, ecological farming, organic production systems, sustainable forest management, rational use of biodiversity for economic purposes, and new markets linked to renewable and unconventional energy sources. Investments in new sustainable activities will require capacity building courses and professional training offered under sector plans that provide workers with access to new formal job positions and higher salaries and wages. Working conditions and relations that are at least compatible with the standards established by the International Labour Organization must be ensured, with a view to improving these standards to guarantee decent work conditions. In a world of expanding supply chains, it is natural that companies devote growing attention to the activities of their suppliers. However, the responsibility of companies for their suppliers should not replace the enforcement duties of the State nor be used to impose policies and behaviours on suppliers in other countries. The relationship of companies to their suppliers, under the framework of corporate social responsibility, should be based on the concept of sustainable companies and decent work, in accordance with local conditions and priorities. 6. Education The access of all people to quality education is an essential condition for sustainable development. Education constitutes a key driver of social inclusion and upward mobility, in particular when it is democratic and respects diversity. While expanded access should be pursued at all levels, from pre-school to graduate studies, educational practices that contribute to changing the patterns of interaction with the environment must be emphasized. Cross-sectional environmental education programmes should be fostered. By the same token, professional and vocational training must be geared toward innovation and the implementation of sustainable production and consumption patterns, placing a premium on local demands and knowledge. Strategies aimed at democratizing education and the access to knowledge cannot be disconnected from the broader process of digital inclusion and the incorporation of new communications technologies in the learning process. Efforts should be undertaken to reduce existing disparities in access between countries and between individuals. Sustainable learning opportunities should promote strategies to develop a culture of sustainability. Advantage can be taken of these opportunities by adapting existing physical spaces to sustainable patterns, adopting participatory management processes, and incorporating sustainable development topics in political educational proposals. 7. Culture Culture is a signature component in developing a response to the challenges of sustainability at the global, national, and local levels. The contribution of culture is crucial to sustainable development, spanning the social, economic, and environmental dimensions. It is in the cultural sphere that the meaning and spirit of the measures capable of transforming society are recognized. To this end, consolidation of cultural rights as a component of human rights, access to culture, guarantee of cultural diversity, and recognition of the knowledge of indigenous and traditional peoples are essential. The State and organized civil society have the duty to develop broad and collaborative measures to strengthen the cultural dimensions of development, based on the construction of fairer and more conscientious societies. Achieving this goal requires combining cultural, environmental, educational, health, infrastructure, territorial planning, and other policies. The Rio+20 Conference should take into account the potential of culture to develop alternatives to overcome ?consumerism? as a common practice of the current model and to lay the groundwork for a paradigm shift. Sustainability in the knowledge and information society must merge the cultural models of diversity, supply chains, and innovative solutions proposed by the creative economy. Sustainable development should consolidate a cultural citizenship that assures everyone the right to participate in this transformative process. 8. Gender and the empowerment of women A UN report reveals that persistent gender inequality is the greatest obstacle to human development. That inequality, according to the UN, leads to losses of up to 85% in the Human Development Index (HDI) and reflects sharp differences between rural and urban areas. Women, however, are central to the success of sustainable development policies, specially in promoting sustainable production and consumptions patterns. Since they are responsible for most household purchase and investment decisions, women should be the focus of educational and awareness-raising policies for sustainable development. Gender perspective and measures to promote women?s participation in positions of power should be considered as cross-cutting issues of sustainable development, within the framework of national public policies and international initiatives. The importance of gender to sustainable development should be recognized in urban and rural spaces alike, as well as in public administration and productive activities. 9. Promoting racial equality All forms of racism are incompatible with sustainable development. For sustainable development is based on social and economic inclusion with environmental equilibrium and responsible technology use, in addition to cultural and regional diversity, and participatory and non- discriminatory decision-making. The ideology of racism has historically been a fundamental tool for organizing production systems based not only on unfair labour relations, but also on environmental destruction. Many of the productive activities of key significance to economic development in the last several centuries were based on the exploitation of slave labour and predatory use of natural resources. The economic and social reality of many societies continues to be strongly influenced by these historical patterns. In many countries, the social groups with the highest poverty levels and lowest indicators of socioeconomic development and of access to goods and services are those segments traditionally linked to these forms of exploitation, including Afro-descendants, indigenous peoples, and migrants. In a vicious circle, expressions of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and all other forms of intolerance are exacerbated by these conditions of poverty and scarcity that remain constant in specific social groups. From an environmental perspective, these social groups have often been relegated to lives marked by substandard housing, sanitation, access to water, and waste management. Some of these social groups live in traditional communities. Racism has had severe effects on these communities by invalidating and denying their ways of life and their own perspectives of development. It is important not only to endeavour on behalf of the right of these communities to preserve and promote their knowledge and collective forms of organization, but also to recognize the significance that traditional communities afford to environmental preservation. 10. Reinforcing multilateralism with civil society participation Civil society participation is essential to strengthen and renew multilateralism. Actively engaged in most multilateral forums, civil society has been a decisive factor in shaping the debates on the international agenda, as well as a key participant in discussions and decision-making in international processes. Civil society?s role in multilateralism has been particularly relevant in forums devoted to sustainable development, having been instrumental in the consolidation of the concept during and following The Earth Summit. Since that time, civil society has assumed an increasingly decisive role in multilateral forums by enriching discussions, acting as a key driver of social mobilization on pressing issues, and assisting in the implementation of undertaken commitments and decisions. Civil society?s enormous capacity for action and reflection could be more effectively integrated in the work of multilateral organizations, which should endeavour to promote even higher levels of participation. This question is all the more relevant in the forums dedicated to sustainable development and should be at the centre of discussions on institutional framework at the Rio+20 Conference. 11. The role of the State Adoption of a sustainable development model requires substantial investments and funding from public and private sources, which have been severely limited by the current scenario of economic crisis and fiscal constraints. In this context, the State must reassert its role as driver and regulator of development, giving priority to innovative economic practices and productive processes based on the rational use and protection of natural resources and the incorporation of excluded population segments into the economy by providing access to employment, decent work, and income. The State should adopt economic instruments and public policies to remove barriers and create positive incentives to encourage the productive sector to embrace more sustainable patterns from an economic, environmental, and social standpoint. To this end, States should adopt strategies to value environmental resources and services. By measuring the economic impact of protecting springs on urban water supply or of protecting forests on rainfall and the ensuing effects on farm production, environmental protection and conservation assume an economic dimension. The State should then regulate access to natural resources, in an effort to align economic and social development needs with a natural resource use that is more democratic, rational, and least harmful possible, with a view to promoting the mutual reinforcement of economic development and protection of the environment. A good illustration of this is the adoption of economic instruments to assign monetary values to standing forests as a sustainable strategy for reducing deforestation and environmental degradation. Regulation and capacity building of the financial sector are fundamental elements to ensure the success of these efforts. Through official credit policies, the State can induce more sustainable and responsible behaviour of economic agents by establishing, for example, public financing conditions that give preference to projects based on the adoption of more efficient production models, compliance with the requirements governing decent work, and consideration of long-term economic sustainability. Private financial agents should be an integral part of these policies, as they have a direct interest in sustainability, not only due to the demands of shareholders and customers, but also to the fact that their performance depends on a balanced calculation of economic, social, and environmental factors. Through an integrated planning effort, the application of environmental compliance and adaptation criteria in loan and financing concessions in the agricultural, industrial, energy, and urban sectors, in conjunction with mechanisms to assist actors engaged in productive endeavours represents yet another effective tool the financial sector could deploy to promote a more sustainable economic model. The State can also exert significant influence on the adoption of more sustainable models based on the methods it employs to collect and use its revenue. Fiscal policy instruments, associated to increasing the value of environmental services, occupy, in this regard, a central position in the State?s policies portfolio, in so far as they can provide positive incentives for the adoption of more sustainable patterns across the supply chain. Public-private partnerships are another effective strategy. They aim at attracting larger resource volumes within a framework of appropriate incentives and tax policies. Public procurement and investment can also play a significant role in this context. The State should promote the commitment of both companies and society to the construction of sustainable development. This process requires knowledge and valuing of local specificities, compatible regulatory frameworks, regulated demand and markets, access to credit, and investments in technological research and development. The State?s role in social inclusion, poverty eradication, and reducing inequality is equally important. Implementation of policies to encourage formal employment and access to social safety nets, as well as extensive direct income transfer programmes and delivery and regulation of public services, are just some of the instruments available to the State to promote social inclusion, greater participation in the economy, and the exercise of citizenship by the poorest population segments. In its efforts to promote sustainable development, the State must also take into account the role of local officials (in the Brazilian case, at the state and municipal levels), who can contribute decisively to addressing the challenges of sustainable development faced by local populations. In this context, the local Agenda 21 processes is of particular importance, as is the search for innovative solutions capable of being adapted to each specific reality. A new economy presumes, in regard to sustainable production and consumption patterns, an ethical global society and transparent nation-States. Strengthening national transparency systems is today as crucial as the public policies adopted to address climate change or eradicate poverty and, in fact, constitutes a requirement for the success of these efforts. For this purpose it is essential to promote ethical principles and mechanisms to combat corruption within the scope of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. 12. Sustainable production and consumption Current production and consumption patterns, which are natural resource intensive and frequently inefficient in the use of those resources, are unsustainable in the medium and long terms. Only if these patterns are reversed will a greater number of people achieve adequate levels of social, environmental, and economic welfare. Developed countries should take the lead in promoting the necessary changes, not only due to their historic responsibility for prevailing consumption habits, but also to the unsustainable natural resources use in their production processes. Paragraph 15 of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation recommends the establishment of a 10-year action plan led by developed countries to support regional and national initiatives aimed at accelerating the shift to sustainable consumption and production. In response to the recommendation, in 2003 the United Nations launched, through the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the ?Marrakesh Process on Sustainable Production and Consumption.? The set of programmes developed under the Marrakech Process provided the elements for a proposal to address the issue, which was submitted to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), with a view to giving the initiative a political dimension and facilitating the determination of programme implementation mechanisms. Based on this experience, international discussions on the issue should be revived to resolve outstanding conceptual matters and to establish funding and technology transfer commitments, as well as implementation arrangements. The goal, therefore, is that as Global Pact on Sustainable Production and Consumption be adopted at Rio+20 guided by the progress achieved under the Marrakesh Process. 13. Energy It is possible to establish incentives and promote regulatory and institutional reforms to expand the use of renewable energies while ensuring the supply of and access to energy sources for populations, particularly those in developing countries and in the least developed countries. Among the renewable energies with potential to generate jobs and spur development are hydroelectric power, biomass-based cogeneration of electric power, wind and solar power, and other non- conventional sources such as solid wastes, microalgae and effluents. The need to implement measures to foster increased energy efficiency should also be considered. Improvements in the technologies used to produce cleaner vehicle fuels should be pursued through increased investments in research, development, and innovation, in particular in projects aimed at large-scale production and distribution. Fuel quality bears a direct relation to pollution levels. Encouraging the use of high-quality renewable fuel sources will contribute significantly towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Biofuels offer a sustainable alternative with demonstrated potential to mitigate climate change and positive effects on emissions, access to energy, and economic development. The expansion of sustainable biofuel production could promote general welfare in urban areas, through reduced atmospheric pollution, and in rural zones, where it would act as a driver for economic, social, and environmental development. 14. Cities and urban development In the context of sustainable development, it is essential to determine the role of cities, the predominant form of human settlement in contemporary life encompassing both the world?s political and economic nerve centres and the loci for the dissemination of consumption patterns, knowledge, and technological information. The world needs to develop a new pattern of urban occupation, stemming the unplanned urban expansion in megacities and strengthening governance of small, medium, and large cities through the delivery of services capable of assuring quality of life and income for local populations. Some of the primary challenges to the development of sustainable cities include: designing policies aimed at integrated planning; fostering sustainable construction, energy efficiency, and reduced water consumption in buildings, with the support of research and the democratic access to new technologies, as well as implementation of environmentally-friendly modern technologies; and progressive (re) qualification of social interest housing projects based on the three basic pillars of sustainable development and cultural diversity, in addition to urban and architectural solutions, while providing and maximizing local bio-geo-climatic conditions and promoting social and environmental justice. Furthermore, public policies should prioritize high- quality public transportation, accessibility, sanitation, waste treatment, restrictions on the occupation of high-risk areas and low-lying areas along rivers, creation of protected areas, and increased resilience to the effects of climate change and global environmental changes. Natural disasters represent an obstacle to inclusive sustainable development. As such, added emphasis should be given to disaster preparedness and response and to promoting good practices in civil defence. In regard to strategies for sustainable cities, specific measures should be adopted for civil constructions and infrastructure. UN data indicate that the global construction sector accounts for one-third of all natural resource consumption, including 12% of the world?s fresh water supplies, and produces up to 40% of the total volume of solid wastes. Promoting sustainability in urban environments requires that the decisions taken on the acquisition of products used in urban development projects take into account the multiplicity of economic, environmental, and social impacts over their entire life cycle. Available information on these impacts is limited, and this lack of data affects all levels of public and private decision-making at national and international levels. This scenario acts as a constraint on the commitment of broader social segments - government, industry, commerce, and consumers in general - to promote sustainability. Rio+20 provides a suitable political forum to establish and promote global initiatives aimed at filling the gaps in reliable and shared information on the life cycle evaluations of construction inputs. In line with the growing attention given to housing policy and to the issue of energy efficiency, the discussion on sustainability in global terms must be strengthened, as urban growth forecasts for the coming decades confirm the need for construction of low-cost housing. According to United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN Habitat) figures, within 40 years two-thirds of the world?s population will live in cities, while approximately 70% of global population growth will take place in developing countries. It is estimated that in 2050, South America will be the most urbanized region in the world with 91.4% of its population residing in urban centres. Another question the Conference should address involves the use of sanitary landfills for energy production. In addition to electric energy production, biogas combustion contributes to reducing greenhouse gases by transforming methane (its principal component) into carbon dioxide, twenty times less harmful to the environment), as well as mitigating the risk of accidents and enhancing quality of life in the surrounding areas. 15. Transportation Sustainable development must encompass measures and policies to strengthen the sustainability of transportation systems. In urban transportation, sustainability is connected to the establishment of efficient public transportation systems, such as Bus Rapid Transit, metro/underground services, trains, light rail and wheel vehicles, and other low emission alternatives to replace, in large measure, the individual passenger vehicle. These alternatives can reduce traffic congestion, air pollution, transportation costs, and accidents - directly impacting public expenditures in health and benefiting, above all, low-income population segments. In regard to cargo transportation, investments should be directed to diversifying the transportation mix in a sustainable way, in particular through the expansion and strengthening of rail lines and water transportation in coasting navigation and inland waterways, in addition to the construction or refurbishing of existing road systems. The economic and environmental efficiency of transportation depends on achieving greater balance of the transportation mix, with an increased role for cleaner modes and the efficient integration and combination of the various modes. Liquid biofuels represent a significant alternative for the transportation sector, both for ground transportation, with bioethanol and biodiesel, and air transportation, since aviation biofuel is today at an advanced stage of development. 16. Agriculture and rural development Agriculture, which is wholly dependent on environmental conditions, is critical to the development of countries, while contributing significantly to the efforts against climate change. It is possible to ensure food and nutrition security, and at the same time promote mitigation of emissions and increased agricultural productivity, reduce production costs, improve natural resource efficiency, specially water, strengthen the resilience of productive systems, promote the sustainable development of rural communities, and foster the adaptation of the agricultural sector to climate change. To this end, a number of measures are required, including investments in agricultural research and support and incentives for the adoption of technologies that increase production and sustainability. Renewed attention of international cooperation efforts to rural development investments and to the dissemination of meteorological technologies and information geared to tropical agriculture is of particular importance. Furthermore, unsustainable agricultural subsidies provided by developed countries that distort the market and render production in less developed nations unfeasible should be eliminated. Among the outcomes that this special emphasis on rural areas should produce are increased sustainable production, stronger food security, and the creation of jobs, work, and income. Food and fibre production is carried out on several scales and is adaptable to sustainable production systems based on low carbon emission agriculture, recovery of degraded pasturelands, organic agriculture, and planted forests, in order to increase the productivity and protection of natural forests. These actions are undertaken in the various productive segments ranging from large-scale producers to small farmers. Rio+20 should pay special attention to the role of family farming, which in most countries accounts for a large share of rural land occupation and of agricultural production. Family farming stimulates the use of more balanced productive processes, such as crop diversification, reduced use of industrial inputs, sustainable genetic resource use, and agroecology. Family farming has the potential to be an example of sustainable development when implemented in an environmentally friendly, economically feasible, socially fair, and culturally appropriate manner. In this light, governments should adopt a set of policies that extend beyond the traditional focus on agricultural production to include the creation of income guarantee mechanisms for farmers and family farming units. 17. Promoting innovation and access to technology It is imperative to strengthen the scientific, technological and innovation capacities of States to promote sustainable development. International efforts to disseminate scientific knowledge, promote capacity building for human resources, and enable joint development of clean technologies are essential to foster greater energy efficiency and reduce environmental impacts of production processes, as well as to eliminate poverty through universal access to the benefits of scientific and technological development. Universal access to broadband Internet service, research into economically sustainable use of forest resources, popularization of science, development and diffusion of social technologies, and introduction of clean technologies in production processes are key elements in this area. Intellectual property plays a significant role in fostering technological innovation. Brazil recognizes international protection of intellectual property rights provided for primarily in the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement of the World Trade Organization. Brazil also recognizes that in some cases intellectual property can create barriers to the dissemination and transfer of clean or socially relevant technologies, such as medicines. Proposals like the establishment of ?patent pools? and funds to finance the transfer of clean technologies and their development in developing countries offer promising opportunities and should be discussed at the Conference. However, these solutions shall not replace the flexibilities built into the international intellectual property regime. 18. Funding for sustainable development The road to sustainable development requires major efforts to mobilize public and private funding. At the national level, mobilizing the necessary capital demands that States promote public policies that steer expenditures and investment to sustainable activities from an economic, social, and environmental standpoint. It is crucial that public-private partnerships be forged to stimulate sustainable economic activities, particularly in innovative fields and incipient industries that depend on initial support to reduce risks and create infrastructure. In the international sphere, it is imperative to apply the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. The historical responsibility of developed countries (who achieved their current level of development through an unsustainable economic growth model) and the need for developing countries to grow on the basis of a different paradigm, at times more complex, challenging, and costly, should guide international initiatives to fund development in developing countries on sustainable parameters. In addition, the coordination and management of international cooperation for sustainable development must be improved to make it more efficient and transparent. Rio+20 should, to this end, establish international cooperation networks by biome to facilitate the exchange of best practices. 19. Climate change The objective of Rio+20 is not to undertake negotiations in the area of climate change: the regime created under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the multilateral process that Brazil supports and believes should be strengthened. However, the relationship between climate change and sustainable development is inescapable. In recent years, all Governments have incorporated climate change in their planning processes. In this regard, sustainable development offers the most effective response to climate change. Adverse natural impacts and effects from climate change are already evident. In general, low-income countries have been severely affected by natural events, by virtue of inadequate infrastructure and limited economic and social assistance capacities and because their disproportionate reliance on economic activities inextricably bound to the natural environment. The climate question will affect everyone - developed and developing countries alike - and the latter most severely. While the developed countries bear the major share of responsibility for emissions over time, it is estimated that the bulk of climate change effects will fall on developing nations. Investments directed toward the adoption of adaptation measures for the effects already experienced, including floods, droughts, and wildfires, are necessary to enable timely responses. The central priority of developing countries is to meet their immediate social and economic demands. However, social and environmental questions need not be necessarily contradictory, quite the opposite is true. Climate change is also an opportunity for the current and future development of countries. The need to adopt new models can forge a development path that reduces inequalities and boosts income and that, at the same time, is anchored to an economic dynamic designed to avoid repeating the patterns of emissions, consumption, and waste that marked the industrialization process in developed countries. There are a number of tangible climate change mitigation and adaptation measures that will have a significant influence on the manner in which countries develop. Expansion of best practices and dissemination of existing technologies could reduce emission rates, without adversely affecting economic and social development. The appropriate flow of public funding, technology transfers, and capacity building initiatives from the developed countries, based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, will be critical elements in this effort. South-South cooperation opportunities should be considered. Finally, it is important to note that private financial resources can also contribute to promoting development and to the large-scale implementation of new clean technologies. 20. Biodiversity As with climate change, Rio+20 will not include negotiations on biodiversity. Like the UNFCCC, the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity is the multilateral process supported by Brazil. However, biodiversity issues should be addressed in the context of sustainable development. Biodiversity conservation, the sustainable use of biodiversity components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge are measures intrinsically connected to sustainable development. Recent rates of biodiversity loss in the world illustrate the importance of the issue for all countries. In nature manifestation of biodiversity is complex, which only underscores the importance of the systemic conservation of land and aquatic biomes. In this light, the value of establishing protected areas not just for biodiversity conservation, but also for job and income generation and improved quality of life, is undeniable. Biological diversity is related to flood, disease and pest, and nutrient cycle control systems, all of which are essential to sustaining life. Ensuring these systems function properly requires guaranteeing the sustainability and protection of all biomes on the planet. Of particular importance in the Brazilian case are the Amazon, the Caatinga, the Cerrado, the Pantanal, the Atlantic Rainforest, and the Pampa. All of these biomes demand appropriate and specific attention. It is estimated that developing countries hold more than 70% of the planet?s biodiversity, with 20% of the world?s known species located in Brazil alone. In addition, the country is endowed with rich socio-biodiversity as represented by the more than 200 indigenous peoples and traditional communities in the country - caiçaras, seringueiros, quilombolas - the true keepers of the nation?s biodiversity. Valuing the different ways of life contributes to fostering a diversity of responses to the challenges of sustainable development. In this context, developing countries, in particular Brazil, assume a relevant role in the sustainable development effort. Ensuring the optimal use of biodiversity resources requires that developing countries invest in research and training. To this end, international cooperation is essential, with special emphasis on adequate public and private financial flows, technology transfers and capacity building from developed countries. Moreover, opportunities for South-South cooperation should be considered as well. An economy founded on valuing biodiversity is viewed by the market as a distinguishing feature. This new economic perspective, driven by the elements of biodiversity, builds a new model that values and quantifies natural resources. This approach, which emphasizes the extent to which natural systems provide goods and services to society, is associated to the notion that those same systems are limited, a notion not yet incorporated to the language of economic theory. Valuing biodiversity is not intended to commercialize the related resources, but assigning value to them as a way of preventing damage and promoting their rational use and conservation. 21. Combating desertification As with climate change and biodiversity, Rio+20 is not intended as a negotiating forum on the question of desertification, insofar as it has its specific multilateral process in this area, supported by Brazil, within the framework of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. However, to date the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification has not obtained the necessary results to address the environmental, social, and economic impacts of desertification. The widely recognized unsatisfactory implementation of the Convention must be overcome through a greater ethical and political commitment by countries based on new forms of international cooperation to assist those suffering from the effects of desertification and drought. Arid and semi-arid regions, with a population of more than one billion people, register some of the highest poverty levels in the world. In these regions, the natural resource base has frequently been the target of predatory human activities, which, in many cases, have exacerbated the phenomenon of desertification. These areas are subject to severe water shortages and food and nutrition insecurity and are far more vulnerable to the potential impacts of climate change. In this light, Rio+20 offers an opportunity to renew the global understanding on goals and strategies to spur international efforts to combat desertification, soil degradation, and the effects of drought from a sustainable development perspective. 22. Water Sustainable water use is one of the key challenges facing developed and developing countries alike. In the present-day context, national actions should be guided by more appropriate water use, with a view to promoting conservation and stimulating the application of more efficient treatment and recovery methods. At the same time, public policies designed to foster access by millions of people to drinkable water should be disseminated. Although there is no specific international inter-governmental forum to address the issue of water resources, the question is widely discussed within the United Nations and has been the subject of relevant decisions, including the targets established in Agenda 21, the Millennium Declaration, and the Johannesburg Summit. The issue has been the subject of wide-ranging technical and political discussions in an international forum in which representatives of government, non-governmental organizations, private enterprises, users, financial institutions, and scientists participate. Rio+20 offers an exceptional opportunity to promote international debate on sustainable water use, as well as on the development of potential mechanisms to coordinate achievement of the decisions and monitoring programmes currently in place at the international level. Additionally, the Conference could promote the exchange of innovative and successful experiences in sustainable water use based on the three pillars of sustainable development. 23. Oceans, seas, and coastal areas In recent decades, the concerns of scientists and conservationists have centred on the protection of land ecosystems, due, among other reasons, to the fact that the impacts on those environments are readily visible. However, silently and almost imperceptibly, coastal areas, seas, and oceans across the world have increasingly suffered the effects of expanded human occupation and activities. Management of marine and coastal territories requires an integrated approach that takes into account the simultaneous convergence of a variety of pressure points, including urbanization, energy production, tourism, and fishing. Knowledge and use of living and non-living ocean resources pose technical, scientific, and institutional challenges. In addition to the challenge of promoting the sustainable occupation of countries? Exclusive Economic Zones, extensive areas of the ocean are not under the direct jurisdiction of any nation, a fact which does not diminish the common interest and responsibility in its discovery, exploration, and conservation. The threat of climate change is of particular concern to coastal and marine areas, with the potential for adverse effects depending, to a greater or lesser extent, on local vulnerabilities and the intensity of the respective phenomena. While wholly local adaptation measures are required, these demand resources and technologies often beyond the reach of nations. Chapter 17 of Agenda 21, which is devoted to the protection of oceans, seas, and coastal areas, provides an extensive discussion of the measures that were to be adopted, yet more than twenty years later much remains to be done. The issue should receive special attention at Rio+20, and the problems and opportunities facing coastal and marine regions need to be considered on the basis of the three pillars of sustainable development. Rio+20 should clearly signal the need to give priority to the multilateral treatment of the oceans, including enhanced coherence of the system through the improved effectiveness, transparency, and response of UN-OCEANS, the mechanism responsible for coordinating the relevant United Nations agencies. 24. Fishing and aquaculture Resolving the conflicts over use of potentially scarce resources - farmland and water - includes valuing aquatic resources through rational fishing and expansion of aquaculture, while not losing sight of the energy potential of algae, which could become an important input for bioenergy production. Rio+20 should offer guidance on the proper harvesting of fisheries within a context marked by growing global demand for food and evidence of overfishing and the depletion of fish resources. Aquaculture is of strategic importance to inclusive sustainable development, since it creates jobs, constitutes a highly nutritional source of protein, contributes to eliminating hunger and poverty and promotes food and nutrition security, while preventing deforestation and environmental degradation. Government support for sustainable use of fish resources, such as artisanal fishing, should be strengthened together with the adoption of management plans, fishing exclusion zones, and marine conservation units for sustainable use, with a view to preserving the regenerative capacity of the oceans and estuarine ecosystems. Traditional populations should be given a voice and made a priority in the processes for planning, building, and implementing these actions, given the long-standing use and ancestral cultures consolidated in these territories, with a view to making increased fishing and aquaculture production compatible with the preservation of sustainable traditional use of the oceans and estuarine areas. The rational use of water resources requires the adoption of innovative measures for aquaculture production and for the preservation of estuaries and management of aquatic organisms, in order to promote sustainable food production and job, work and income creation. These measures include, among others, the maintenance and recovery of fish stocks to sustainable levels, as well as greater transparency in fish stock management, and the development of increasingly advanced fish location and capture technologies and use of previously discarded species. Similarly, a review of the subsidies that contribute to overfishing is of particular importance in the area of ocean fishing, without compromising, however, the development of sustainable fishing activities by developing countries with incipient commercial fishing fleets. 25. Forests The forest areas distributed across the various regions of the planet perform important social, economic, and environmental functions. They offer a variety of goods, such as timber and non-timber forest products, in addition to providing essential environmental services, such as water resource and soil conservation, biodiversity conservation, and climate stability. Furthermore, forests are the repositories of cultural values essential for social development and poverty eradication. The responsible management of all types of forests for sustainable goods and services production poses a challenge and provides an opportunity for all of society, since it provides a source for the production of raw materials and biomass for energy generation, in addition to being a valuable tool for forest conservation and decent work. Forest preservation gained prominence through the advances promoted by the United Nations conventions on Climate Change and Biological Diversity, which attach special emphasis to the reduction of carbon emissions, biodiversity conservation, and the sharing of the benefits arising from genetic resources. Brazil has been an active proponent of ideas in connection with the two Conventions. Without colliding directly with the specific Conventions, Rio+20 could play a significant role by emphasizing the value of forests to national economies for the purpose of preserving environmental services as well as enabling their economic use and, in this way, fostering the production of goods and services, mitigation of climate change, and, above all, social inclusion. The effort is critical given the pressure exerted on forests by other predatory activities and the attendant vicious circle of economic, social, and environmental impoverishment that these activities engender. CHAPTER II - GREEN ECONOMY IN THE CONTEXT OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND POVERTY ERADICATION At this particular crossroads in the world economy, Rio+20 represents an opportunity to review current development patterns, above all in the light of the inadequate economic, social and environmental outcomes they have produced to date. It is time to reflect on inclusive economic growth models based on the incorporation of sectors traditionally excluded from the formal employment market, on income distribution, and on the construction of a broad social safety net to ensure that the lowest income segments are provided access to consumption on a sustainable basis. Rio+20 should strive to renew the commitment of world leaders to sustainable development as a major goal, capable of reconciling environmental concerns with social needs, without abdicating the imperative of economic development. For Brazil, the theme of the Conference - green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication - implies stimulating the linkages between the general intentions and objectives of sustainable development with the tangible economy to become, in this way, an instrument for the implementation of Agenda 21. To achieve this goal, it is important to underscore the connection between the concept of green economy and sustainable development, so as to ensure that the green economy concept is not interpreted as favouring aspects of commercialization of advanced technology solutions over the pursuit of solutions adapted to the distinct realities of developing countries. Moreover, efforts should be made to prevent the goals of economic growth and sustainability from being set in opposition to each other. Thus, a green economy should be an instrument for mobilizing countries towards sustainable development. This connection could be made by defining green economy as a sustainable development programme, that is, a set of concrete initiatives, policies, and projects that contribute to transforming economies by integrating economic development, social development, and environmental protection. To ensure that goals of a green economy are met, measures that result in obstacles to trade must be avoided. Similarly, caution should be taken in adopting environmentally-based trade measures, given their potential use as protectionist instruments, in particular against the exports of developing countries. This vision of inclusion with sustainability could be made clearer and reinforced further through the concept of ?inclusive green economy,? which would have the effect of drawing the social dimension to the forefront of the discussion and of the stated goals while effectively synthesizing the Conference?s theme. The concept of ?inclusive green economy? would provide space for introducing social policy into the Rio+20 discussion in a more direct and encompassing manner, conferring, at the same time, a distinctive feature to the Conference and putting forward an issue in which all countries could participate. Through this important conceptual shift, the focus would centre on a sustainable development cycle with the incorporation of billions of people to the economy on the basis of sustainable and feasible consumption of goods and services. Social protection and promotion policies would secure greater momentum and priority, generating significant redistributive effects and positive impacts on employment and wages, while contributing to mitigate the adverse consequences of international economic crises. A number of social policies could be adopted to this end that combine universal services with assistance to specific groups in the fields of health, education, social assistance, decent work, and gender, racial, and ethnic diversity. In the light of high commodity prices and growing climate concerns, policies to promote and guarantee food and nutrition security could play a central role in ?inclusive green economy? strategies. Examples of the integration of economic, environmental, and social strategies which should be extended and replicated include: programs to transfer income and foster environmental conservation or recovery, support to population segments engaged in recycling of solid wastes, dissemination of best agricultural practices based on technologies accessible to small establishments and family farmers, and incorporation of more energy efficient technologies in low-income housing programmes. Work, employment, and income generation programmes - through the concession of financing for production - and productive and targeted microcredit arrangements are just two examples of policy instruments employed in the Brazilian experience that could contribute to fostering the inclusive green economy. These approaches are also applicable to developed countries in which income concentration grew significantly in recent decades. Stagnating wages and reduced social benefits have placed those countries on a negative path. The inclusive green economy could help those countries restore income levels for the lowest earning segments of their societies through implementation of a new consumption pattern that is more responsible and sustainable. This would require a cultural and ethical shift committed to combating waste and promoting the reutilization of resources. CHAPTER III - INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT The consensus forged on the links between the three pillars of sustainable development - economic, social, and environmental - was one of the Earth Summit´s great achievements. Consequently, the development strategies of national Governments, on the one hand, and the long- term initiatives of international organizations, on the other, should be aimed at fulfilling this consensus. As a result of the current global economic crisis, the need to incorporate sustainability to the activities of private actors and to the formulation of public policies has taken on added urgency, because in times of austerity, as now, financial resources for environmental protection will be in short supply if the issue is treated separately from the global strategic planning process. At the national level, States must unify their actions and their words on the drive for sustainability not only at the various levels of government (national and sub-national) and among the various branches of government (in the Brazilian case, the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches), but most particularly in the many areas of actions of the Executive Branch. Intergovernmental institutions are guided by their Member States. However, these assume different positions in each institution, leading to uncoordinated and, often, opposing directives. Unifying the positions of individual States within the various international organisms would go a long way to imbuing the system with greater coherence and consistency. Similarly, international organizations should base their activities on an integrated view of development. To ensure sustainability is incorporated, in practice, in the activities and functions of economic, social, and environmental institutions, the creation of a permanent high-level mechanism to coordinate international institutions acting in the area of development is called for. Through this three-way process - internal coherence at the national level, coherence from individual States within intergovernmental institutions, and coherence at the global inter- institutional level - more effective integration of the three pillars of development would be possible. It is particularly important to note the fragmented nature of the governance structures underlying international financing for sustainable development. These structures include agencies and programmes of the United Nations, multilateral development banks, multi-donor trust funds, regional initiatives, and international cooperation agencies in developed and developing countries. Yet, notwithstanding the diversity of institutions and instruments, the challenges of sustainability are far from being resolved. Despite advances on this front, funding remains unpredictable and undermines stable programmes and actions aimed at achieving long-term outcomes. The difficulty in accessing resources - which are not sufficient to meet the effective financial needs of developing countries - continues to pose one of the key obstacles to the implementation of development decisions. Similarly, the alignment of official financing with the priorities of partner countries is inadequate, often resulting in undue interference in domestic priorities involving the imposition of values, models, and technologies - above all, in the least developed countries. The proliferation of mechanisms and actors has led to overlapping and redundant actions, even to contradictory initiatives. A large number of efforts that could be directed to target activities are steered toward repetitive or excessive bureaucratic policies and processes of different development partners. In this context, discussion of a new and more effective institutional financing framework is imperative. It requires moving forward with the implementation of the principles agreed to in the Monterrey Declaration, above all with respect to governance reforms and the effective participation of developing countries in multilateral forums. Concrete mechanisms need to be established to coordinate and to foster partnerships between the various agencies and institutions, with a view to promoting synergies. In addition, intermediation with civil society at the international level should be inclusive and provide for adequate representation of developing countries, a plurality of views, geographic representation, and local engagement. CHAPTER IV - PROPOSALS BY BRAZIL FOR RIO+20 P1. Global Socio-Environmental Protection Programme Brazil proposes the creation of a Global Socio-Environmental Protection Programme. The aim of the programme is to guarantee income as a means of overcoming extreme poverty throughout the world and of promoting essential actions that will be capable of guaranteeing the quality of the environment, nutrition security, adequate housing and access to clean water for all The programme would seek to ensure that all multilateral structures operate in ways that deliberately facilitate access to technology, financial resources, infrastructure and skill building to ensure that everyone is guaranteed food and water in adequate quantity and quality, and a healthy environment. At the center of the programme would be a strategy to guarantee income, adapted to each country?s conditions. The programme is socio-environmental by definition insofar as it brings together, in a single set of actions, equal in priority, the social and environmental protection objectives that converge on the beneficiary populations. At a moment of international crisis, when vast global sums are being mobilized to recover the financial system, the programme would place its emphasis, instead, on the social component that has been so vital in the Brazilian solution for facing the crisis. As part of the Brazilian experience, investments in social protection and development have been intensified and strengthened - by expanding programmes like Bolsa Família [Family Grant] and Luz para Todos [Light for All], and the creation of others like Minha Casa, Minha Vida [My Home, My Life] and Brasil sem Miséria [Brazil Without Extreme Poverty], which includes the Bolsa Verde [Green Grant] -.Brazil has also reiterated its commitment to environmental protection, visible in the significant drop achieved in deforestation in the Amazon, in the announcement of its national commitment to reducing emissions and in its increased investment in sanitation. The goal of the programme is to achieve a situation in which quality of life and environmental conditions are fully incorporated into the rights of poor populations. That goal per se is a platform for global dialogue that could represent a crucial step towards sustainable development with strong potential for boosting the outstanding role of multilateralism. Economic inclusion on a massive scale is an innovative model, and one that fosters growth. The socio-environmental concept recognizes the truly strategic nature of those issues that not only constitute the core of the challenge to sustainable development but also produce intense impacts on the majority of the population. P2. Sustainable Development Goals Based on an inclusive green economy, instead of complex negotiations seeking to establish restrictive and binding goals, objectives infused with a spirit of guidance and addressing a wide range of issues could be established, similarly to the Millennium Goals, in areas where there is already a high degree of convergence of opinions, which would be capable of providing impetus and guidance to the countries towards sustainable development. This instrument could clearly indicate the macro-objectives that are being sought and allow society to follow them, make its demands and contribute to their achievement. Thus, while an inclusive green economy programme would establish a group of concrete initiatives focused on national and international cooperation instruments, guiding political commitments would identify the priority goals for sustainable development. Those objectives, in turn, would guide the policies and actions of countries, international organizations, multilateral development banks and other public and private actors, inducing the adoption of more sustainable behaviours with an established horizon - for example, 2030. The strategic areas of those commitments could be defined at first, setting in motion a broad participatory process, from which the effective objectives would gradually emerge. Issues such as urban development, health and water would reinforce the Millennium Development Goals while incorporating much broader aspects of sustainable development. In a more ambitious spirit, the definition of certain objectives with high capacity for aggregation - ?Ten Sustainable Development Goals?, for example - could be achieved at the Rio+20 Conference itself after negotiating the strategic issues during the preparatory process. Establishing Sustainable Development Goals, however, needs to obey certain criteria. The Sustainable Development Goals must not be expected to replace the Millennium Development Goals, but rather, to complement them and bring them up to date. Like the Millennium Goals, the Sustainable Development Goals need to contain concrete objectives that are quantifiable and verifiable with specified deadlines and giving due consideration to national realities and priorities. They could subsequently be transformed into indicators to monitor achievement. The goals should be universal in nature, targeting developed and developing countries in equal measure. The Sustainable Development Goals must be based, whenever possible, on existing documents that have already been the object of agreement; the Agenda 21 for example, and other products of the various multilateral forums that provide a great deal of material to engender discussions. In that way, reopening debates on issues that have already been agreed to can be avoided. For each goal, there should be clear indications of the concrete means of attaining it. Some of the Sustainable Development Goals could be associated to: · Eradication of extreme poverty · Food and nutrition security · Access to decent work (socially fair and environmentally correct) · Access to appropriate sources of energy · Equality - intra-generational, inter-generational, among countries and within them · Gender and the empowerment of women · Micro-entrepreneurship and micro-credit · Innovation for sustainability · Access to appropriate sources of water · Adjustment of the ecological footprint to the planet?s capacity of regeneration P3. Global Pact for Sustainable Production and Consumption Brazil proposes that Rio+20 should adopt a Global Pact for Sustainable Production and Consumption, taking as its reference framework the progress achieved in the sphere of the Marrakech Process. The Global Pact for Sustainable Production and Consumption is a set of initiatives that seek to foster changes in production and consumption patterns in various sectors. Initiatives could be adopted, on a priority basis, offering political support to: P3. A. Sustainable Public Procurement Policies for sustainable public procurement are based on the premise that governments can play an outstanding role in changing sustainability patterns in production and consumption. The acquisition of goods and services by public bodies - the so-called public contracting or public procurement - represents a significant share of the international economy; around 15% of the Gross Global Product. Adopting horizontal criteria that foster the useful product life-cycle, for example, or their re-use and recycling, or the reduction of toxic emissions, the reduction of raw materials and energy consumption, or measures that benefit small-scale farmers or extractive communities, would all have a significant impact in promoting sustainable development. The use of such social and environmental sustainability criteria in government contracting processes could also foster the adoption of sustainable production patterns by private entities, creating market and guaranteeing scale for the implementation of new technology. With all due recognition of the sovereign nature of each country?s decisions on its purchasing policies, Rio+20 could, nevertheless, encourage national initiatives in the field of sustainable public procurement and promote an intense exchange of related knowledge and experience within the sphere of the discussions on Sustainable Production and Consumption. The Conference must also strive to imbue the issue with political impetus, declaring it to be a principle that should underpin public administration. In that sense, Rio+20 could provide the opportunity for countries to present their national sustainable procurement plans and, in doing so, stimulate the discussion of a conceptual framework into which such plans can be inserted, guaranteeing the necessary safeguards to ensure that they are unfolded in a transparent and non-discriminatory manner and in compliance with respective national legislations. P3. B. Efficient Energy Consumption Labelling The Rio+20 Conference could promote the energy consumption and energy efficiency labelling programmes employed by various countries, including Brazil. This measure enables private entities, notably consumers, to evaluate and optimize the fuel/energy consumption of their appliances and achieve savings in energy costs. On the basis of the various national energy efficiency initiatives, many of them voluntary, a proposal could be put forward to create an international multi-sector initiative. It would be necessary to examine any existing international standards to see if they could constitute the foundation for such a process. P3. C. Funding for Study and Research on Sustainable Development In an effort to qualify high-level human resources (technical, undergraduate and graduate) and provide support for scientific, technological and innovative projects, fellowships, study grants and scholarships, largely backed by public financing, have considerable powers of inducement. In recognition of that fact, countries could come to an agreement that sustainable development and the inclusive green economy will be priority considerations in determining the concession of financing for science, technology and innovation and could consider the possible allocation of a target percentage of resources to be dedicated to those areas. Under this same initiative the possibility could be examined of creating an institute attached to the United Nations University and dedicated to studies on the trends of sustainable development and the common future of humanity. P4. Repository of Initiatives However indispensable new research and new solutions may be, much of the technology and many of the practices needed to achieve sustainable development are actually already available. There are innumerable examples of successful ventures in the areas of urban development, sustainable consumption, health, housing, sanitation, energy efficiency, sustainable agriculture, and others. Important lessons have been learned from both the successes and the mistakes made in the process. Thus, what is needed now is to disseminate these experiences and to increase their scale. One suggested product for the Conference could be the establishment of a mechanism specially designed to disseminate good practices, such as a repository of ideas and tried and tested initiatives. Such a repository, closely linked to an international secretariat and, if possible, actually based on a pre-existing organization, could harmonize and classify information on successful initiatives presented by countries, to facilitate their adoption and use by other countries and by the mechanisms of international cooperation. By maintaining an active dialogue between its secretariat and the member-States, the repository could examine the conditions that made each experience successful and thereby establish the pre-conditions for its successful replication and any singularities that could lead to its non-recommendation. Thus the focus would be on the characteristics associated to feasibility. There could also be an evaluation of the initiative?s potential for integration with existing programs and with the social needs of the countries that seek to replicate it. Furthermore, the secretariat could provide technical assistance to developing countries in preparing their projects and in elaborating the structures for monitoring them. The experiences compiled in this manner would boost national mechanisms and those of international cooperation, including the use of resources of multilateral organizations, by facilitating project preparation. However, the body directly responsible for the repository would not be a direct funder, to avoid the risk of distorting its objectives through the expectation of beneficiaries of accessing financial resources or through donors taking control of the mechanism. P5. International Protocol for the Sustainability of the Financial Sector The financial sector has a unique capacity for stimulus and inducement in the economic arena. In recognition of that capacity, various national and international initiatives have been developed in recent decades for the adoption of more responsible social and environmental standards. In the international sphere, in 2002, on the initiative of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private branch of the World Bank, the Equator Principles were established. This set of principles is used by the 72 signatory financial institutions as a framework for risk evaluation, assessment and management in all their projects involving outlays of over 10 million US dollars. In 1995, Brazilian public banks signed a Letter of Intent, known as the ?Green Protocol?, which was updated in 2008 and signed by private banks in 2009, through the Federation of Brazilian Banks. In signing the Green Protocol, the signatory institutions committed themselves to include the environmental dimension in all their risk analysis and project evaluation procedures and also to give priority to actions designed to support sustainable development. The great challenge that Rio+20 faces is how to expand the scale of all those experiences. The Brazilian Green Protocol has a far greater scope than the Equator Principles and could be the basis for launching an initiative with a wider extent and commitment of countries to adopt it. P6. New Indicators for Measuring Development The quest for the full implementation of sustainable development must be guided by a clear understanding of the reasons that have kept the concept from being effectively put into practice over the last twenty years. One of the underlying reasons is that the implementation of sustainable development has never been endowed with sufficiently clear, practical or measurable means. This has led to sustainable development being seen much more as a cost than a benefit, particularly because it has constantly been identified as an environmental issue associated to the environmental sector alone. The most widely recognized systems for measuring development are the Human Development Index (HDI) and the Gross National Product (GNP). As measurements of sustainable development such metrics are obviously inadequate insofar as they fail to integrate the great diversity of social and environmental aspects with the economic values and consequently induce erroneous perceptions of the extent of development and progress made by the respective countries. The HDI is certainly a step forward insofar as it attempts to indicate the state of well-being of populations, but it too is incomplete because it fails to include questions associated to scarcity of natural resources and to economic development. Furthermore, it is an initiative that is peripheral to the economic system. Because development is measured on the basis of a very narrow set of indicators, public and private agents alike are led, voluntarily or involuntarily, to develop actions that are destined to generate equally imperfect results. Brazil supports the establishment of a process to set new ways of measuring progress that reflect the environmental, social and economic facets of development. This process should have a clearly defined period for its completion, that is, for all the relevant actors to become engaged; and it should be constructed on the basis of already existing experiences. The process of revising the metrics must be conducted with caution and must avoid the proposal of indices that are overly complex, or that have too many components P7. The Inclusive Green Economy Pact P7. A. Sustainability Reports Several corporations have voluntarily adopted the practice of regularly publicizing actions that reveal their concern and sense of responsibility with regard to sustainability. This corporate practice of publishing sustainability reports is not only directed at company shareholders but also at a variety of other target audiences, including their employees, the media, the government, consumers, and civil society in general. Thus it constitutes both an image strategy and strategic positioning by the company. Such reports do not only publicize, but also encourage and disseminate sustainable experiences and, in that way, stimulate and disseminate the adoption of good practices. An initiative designed to expand this practice could be agreed to at the Rio+20 Conference, whereby state-run companies, development banks, sponsors of private pension funds, open capital companies and large corporations could publish complete, timely and objective reports on their activities that, in addition to the usual economic-financial aspects, must include information on their social and environmental performance and corporate governance. Such a measure would make a significant contribution to getting these issues firmly included on the strategic agendas of major organizations and, thus, help to foster an inclusive green economy. P7. B. Sustainability Indices In recent years, many investors have gone beyond their concern for economic sustainability and begin to pay attention to the social and environmental sustainability of companies as well, in the belief that those aspects also generate value for shareholders in the long run. The result has been that several initiatives have been launched to identify the more sustainable corporations. In 2005 in Brazil, BM&FBOVESPA established a Corporate Sustainability index that measures the return on share portfolios of companies renowned for their commitment to sustainability. Another index, launched in 2010, the Carbon Efficient Index, (ICO2), recalculates the IBrX (an indicator related to 50 of the most actively traded securities on the Brazilian Stock Exchange) and the recalculation takes into account the companies? greenhouse gas emissions. Based on experiences like these, a discussion could be promoted regarding the possible adoption of comparable sustainability indices as references for stock exchange investments. Indices, like the sustainability reports, would widen the focus of attention on company performance and boost the adoption of good corporate practices. Special attention must be paid to indicators that are capable of detecting structural trends, or long-term tendencies in regard to the compatibility of the company or its business activities with the sustainable development paradigm. Among the metrics that could be useful would be measuring the ratio between production increases and impacts generated and/or excessive demands on natural resources P8. Proposals on the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development P8. A. Institutional Coordination Mechanism for Sustainable Development Any effort that is intended to endow the institutional arrangement for sustainable development with greater coherence must make the provision of real incentives its main goal so that existing institutions can start to work towards common objectives and pursue them using convergent strategies and coordinated activities. To do so, it is essential to develop an integrated information platform with information on sustainable development issues and also to adopt specific mandates for international bodies to establish joint programmes and strategies enabling them to address cross-cutting problems in an integrated manner. The creation of a high-level permanent coordination mechanism among all the international institutions that address development would be an effective initiative that could have considerable political impact. The coordination mechanism could draw on the experience of the meetings that are being promoted by ECOSOC with Bretton Woods institutions, the WTO and UNCTAD since the Monterrey Conference. It would, however, represent an advance in relation to those meetings, as it would provide the political dimension so necessary to true coordination. The coordination mechanism could hold a meeting twice a year on the fringes of the United Nations General Assembly and the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Another effect of adopting the coordination mechanism would be the attribution of responsibility for institutional coherence to the Member States themselves. The secretariats of the various institutions and conventions connected to the issue of sustainable development, which are often faced with the need to carry out that task, would actually have more resources available to enable them to effectively implement the decisions and commitments made by the Member States. P8. B. Reform of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), transforming the body into the United Nations Sustainable Development Council Twenty years after the Earth Summit, which was the year when the concept of sustainable development really took hold, there is global consensus that the United Nations and the countries that compose it have shown themselves to be incapable of offering an all-embracing, coordinated and coherent approach to the implementation of that idea and of the immense set of actions, policies, plans and strategies that have been developed to that end. The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was intended to be a high level sustainable development forum but in fact it was created, from the beginning, in a relatively low hierarchical sphere and lacked the necessary means and political force that would enable it to play the expected coordinating role, so that its actions have been fairly ineffective and inconsistent in regard to its goals and objectives. ECOSOC is the natural place to start thinking about reforms in the field of governance for sustainable development. It is one of the United Nations? principal bodies, as it coordinates the economic and social actions of 14 other specialized agencies, regional commissions and functional commissions and also receives reports from eleven programs and funds. The council itself has calculated that its mandate is so vast that it actually involves 70% of the United Nations? human and financial resources. Its institutional framework, however, which was conceived when the nature of global problems was much clearer, has made ECOSOC impotent in the face of today?s problems. Rio+20 could launch a process to reform the ECOSOC so that the council could become the central forum for sustainable development discussions, treating the social, environmental and economic dimensions of the issue with an even hand and enjoying enough political backing to enable it to offer guidance and coordination to all the UN system?s actions in the field of sustainable development. P8. C. Perfecting International Environmental Governance: Establishing Universal Membership and Mandatory Contributions to UNEP Perfecting international environmental governance does not mean pre-judging or excluding the need to strengthen the other pillars of sustainable development. Furthermore, in Brazil?s view, the discussions on governance for sustainable development and environmental governance are neither alternative nor opposing but complementary. Accordingly, Brazil defends the idea that the results of Rio+20 should include the strengthening of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). UNEP was created forty years ago and designed in the context of the environmental challenges of that time. Nowadays, however, the sheer size of the global environmental crisis calls for an institutional model far better equipped to address all the new challenges. Part of the problem stems from the large number of UN agencies and programmes that are active in the environmental field but that lack the necessary coordination and this has led to overlapping, duplication of initiatives and an inadequate allocation of the scanty resources that are available. This means that Rio+20 must make progress in the debate and in the various processes that have already been established to address the question of international environmental governance. At the very least, it will have to make decisions about establishing universal membership in the UNEP Governing Council and on mandatory contributions, according to a scale that will be established along the same lines as the other organizations under the aegis of the United Nations. Establishing universal membership in UNEP is a measure that has been under discussion for a long time now and, in practice, there are no disadvantages to it. It could actually aggregate an important element of political reinforcement to the Programme. Furthermore, adopting it would not be a pre-judgment of any other question or decision in the complex debate revolving around international environmental governance, which calls for more wide-reaching institutional reforms and additional actions in various other spheres. The justification for changing the contribution criteria lies in the fact that many of UNEP?s current difficulties stem from the lack of stable and reliable funding mechanisms: Programme funding is actually based on voluntary contributions from the United Nations Member States. That unpredictable and highly discretionary financial arrangement has jeopardized the organization?s financial stability and impaired its ability to plan beyond the budget cycle in course. It also jeopardizes the Programme?s autonomy insofar as it becomes very dependent on certain Member States, who, in turn exert an undesirable influence on UNEP?s agenda. The last few years have witnessed a substantial reduction in the voluntary contributions to the UNEP environment fund and these have increasingly come to be replaced by ?rubber stamp? contributions that now represent a considerable proportion of the total UNEP budget. P8. D. Launch of negotiations on a Global Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making, and Access to Justice on Environmental Matters Support is proposed for setting in motion a negotiating process at Rio+20, for a global Convention that will ensure the implementation of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration which establishes that ?Environmental issues are best handled with the participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each individual shall have appropriate access to information concerning the environment that is held by public authorities, including information on hazardous materials and activities in their communities, and the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and participation by making information widely available. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy, shall be provided.? This principle has already been the object of regional instruments designed to increase opportunities to access environmental information and ensure the transparency and reliability of procedures. Such mechanisms contribute towards improving environmental governance by introducing the element of mutual confidence in the relations between civil society and governments, including the decision-making bodies in the sub-national authorities. The process of developing an instrument of this kind must be able to count on the participation of all civil society sectors and all spheres of government. P8. E. Participation of Non-Governmental Actors in Multilateral Processes The proposal to launch a negotiating process for a global convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making processes and access to justice in environmental matters applies to national States (multilateral agreement with national implementation). Even though many national States already base their decisions on some degree of participation of non-governmental stakeholders, that perspective is still far from being present in the multilateral system. In that context, it would be desirable that the Rio+20 Conference, with due respect paid to the principles of multilateralism and the sovereignty of States, should achieve among its results the promotion of effective and creative connections between the non-governmental world and the multilateral decision processes, improving the multilateral decision-making process which is currently based strictly on inter-governmental decisions. The attempts to make the participation of the non-governmental world in multilateral processes feasible have so far been very modest or have been merely pro forma, in a bid to legitimize processes in which, strictly speaking, their presence has had no real effect. One great result for Rio+20 would be to revert this situation and recognize the demands, aspirations and proposals of actors, both individuals and organizations, that are not just influenced by, but also profoundly influence the ways in which the international community organizes itself. P8. F. Water Governance Currently there are several United Nations agencies and programmes addressing the question of water resources. However, in spite of the creation of the inter-agencies mechanism UN- WATER, the responses in terms of efficiency, coherence and coordination have been ineffective in influencing the development of the agenda of UN system agencies and very modest in comparison with the real problems that the countries have to face. To overcome this situation, the UN?s water resource management system needs to be reinforced towards a more integrated approach to the various aspects of the sustainable use of water. The discussion should also take into account the existing initiatives outside the sphere of the United Nations system in which governments, the private sector, development banks and multilateral bodies all participate. CONCLUSION The Rio+20 Conference is a unique opportunity to identify long-term solutions for challenges the world faces right now. Sustainable development involves three areas that have been undergoing very serious crises in the last few years: the economic area, affected by the financial sector crisis that is raging in the developed countries and threatening growth in the developing world; the social area, where stability in employment and access to the most basic goods has still not been guaranteed to a large part of the world?s population; and lastly, crisis in the environmental area created by the excessive pressure on natural resources and the consequences of climate change. Any coherent, coordinated stand against those crises will necessarily have to involve the actions of a whole variety of social actors. National governments play a key role and local governments will also be fundamental. Another essential factor will be the continuous empowerment of civil society through the mediation of social movements, workers and business organizations, academia, and non-governmental organizations. The role of individuals should also not be underestimated, particularly because they are at liberty to exercise their freedom of choice, which endows them with considerable power in the evolution of sustainable development. All these actors need to be increasingly aware of the importance of a long-term vision, bearing in mind that many of the responses that have been preferred in addressing these crises have concentrated predominantly on short and medium-term actions. The challenge of finding long-term solutions should be particularly reflected in multilateral discussions. While groups like the G20 get together once a year to find urgent solutions, as crises unfold, the Rio+20 Conference, is part of a set of conferences that are only held every ten or twenty years and accordingly it needs to concentrate on solutions that are projected much further into the future. Brazil expects a number of conclusions from Rio+20 that will contribute to strengthening sustainable development as a paradigm for all relevant stakeholders in the economic, social and environmental areas. The equilibrium among the three pillars of sustainable development will be further strengthened by the Conference if it brings in concrete results in the following areas: 1) In the realm of local and national actions, sustainable development strategies formulated by countries, and regions (in Brazil?s case, states and municipalities) conceived in light of national and local specificities, with clear identification of exactly what can and must be done; 2) At the multilateral level, significant progress in strengthening sustainable development from the point of view of action, governance and information, by means of: a) Sustainable Development Goals that will determine the areas where national and international cooperation efforts need to be concentrated with a view to fostering sustainable development and taking equity among nations into due consideration; b) Governance structure that ensures that the concept of sustainable development is given due consideration as a paradigm by all the United Nations system?s specialized agencies and organizations, including the World Bank and the World Trade Organization. This structure could promote integrated analyses of the already vast store of sector knowledge (energy, finance, population, environment, agriculture and others), thereby improving the interpretation of the links among the different sectors and making coherent actions feasible in the economic, social and environmental areas. Through decisions that ensure suitable treatment of sustainable development in national and local strategies, in objectives and in multilateral governance, with a significant level of understanding of inter-relations among the various sectors, the Rio+20 Conference can go beyond the universalization of the Rio Principles and to consolidate Sustainable Development as a long- term response to address economic, social and environmental crises.