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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Planet under Pressure

Last week I attended the 2012 Planet Under Pressure Conference, which convened under the theme “New Knowledge Towards Solutions.” The conference issued the "State of the Planet Declaration," which includes statements of support from the Planet Under Pressure Board of Patrons, the UN Secretary-General, and the youth movement. The conference largely appeared to provide the leadership of the sustainability research community an opportunity to demonstrate the relevance of science and research for meeting the challenges of sustainability in advance of the Rio +20 conference. However, the disconnect between the apparent state of emergency in which the planet finds itself and the support for actions to put the planet on a sustainable path appears quite profound. Meanwhile, given the conference declaration's support for "fundamental reorientation and restructuring of national and international institutions", "recognition of non-monetary values", and, basically, more research, it doesn't appear that practical progress toward sustainability is likely to be forthcoming any time soon.

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