June 7, 2012, 12:19 p.m.
Anyone wishing to understand the pace and scale of environmental change will find UNEP’s flagship assessment report – Global Environment Outlook-5: Environment for the future we want – compelling reading. Equally, anyone seeking a paradigm shift that can bring us closer to a truly sustainable world will find this latest edition of the GEO series rich in opportunities and policy options. GEO-5 is designed to be the most comprehensive, impartial and in-depth assessment of its kind. It reflects the collective body of recent scientific knowledge, drawing on the work of leading experts, partner institutions and the vast body of research undertaken within and beyond the United Nations system. The launch of GEO-5 coincides with the final stages of preparation for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), taking place two decades after the Rio Earth Summit that set the agenda for contemporary thinking about sustainable development. The report underlines the reasons why world leaders need to show decisive leadership in Rio and beyond. It highlights the state, trends and trajectories of the planet and its people, and showcases more than 100 initiatives, projects and policies from across the globe that are pioneering positive environmental change. In a world with a growing population, glaring inequality and a precarious environmental base, it is imperative that Governments collaborate to balance the economic, social and environmental strands of sustainable development. GEO-5 highlights not just the perils of delaying action, but the options that exist to transform sustainable development from theory to reality. I commend GEO-5 to all who wish to invest in this generational opportunity to create the future we want.
Secretary General of the United Nations
United Nations Headquarters, New York
The full report can be accessed at http://www.unep.org/geo/geo5.asp