"We are concerned"
The call to action came 18 June, the second day of a high-level dialogue, with eminent political, scientific, and civil society figures hosted by the organisers of the Nobel Symposium series, the UN Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Global Sustainability, and the Fundação Brasileira para o Desenvolvimento Sustentável.
Private meetings on 17 June resulted in an agreed declaration which was presented to the public and handed over to Mr. Brice Lalonde, Executive Coordinator of Rio+20.
"We are concerned." begins the declaration, titled "The Future We Choose (pdf, 599.9 kB)."
"The scientific evidence is unequivocal. We are on the threshold of a future with unprecedented environmental risks. The combined effects of climate change, resource scarcity, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem resilience at a time of increased demand, poses a real threat to humanity's welfare. Such a future generates unacceptable risks that will undermine the resilience of the planet and its inhabitants. We have generated our own geological epoch, the Anthropocene."
The Declaration goes on to say that with leadership and determined action, "a transition to a safe and prosperous future is possible," but "time is running critically short."
Signed by world leaders
As of 18 June, the declaration has been signed by close to 40 eminent figures, including former heads of state, Nobel Laureates and top scientists.
Izabella Monica Vieira Teixeira, Minister of the Environment of Brazil, member of the UN Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Global Sustainability (GSP), who participated in the High-level dialogue, has also endorsed the Declaration.
Among the signatories are: Tarja Halonen, former President of Finland, Co-Chair, UN Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Global Sustainability (GSP); Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and former Director-General of the World Health Organization, member of The Elders and GSP; Yuan-Tseh Lee, Nobel laureate (Chemistry), President, International Council for Science (ICSU).
"We call upon world leaders to move beyond aspirational statements and exercise a collective responsibility, seizing the historic opportunity offered by the Rio 2012 summit to set our world on a sustainable path."
"A new narrative for a prosperous future is needed. The time to act is now!" the declaration states.
Read the declaration here (pdf, 599.9 kB)
About the dialogue series
The 3rd and latest symposium took place in Stockholm in May 2011 and was arranged by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Stockholm Resilience Centre, the Stockholm Environment Institute, the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
Research news | 2017-11-30
The PECS-II conference showcased place-based research and how it can help us work towards global sustainability in the Anthropocene
Research news | 2017-11-28
How urban greening and civic ecology projects can improve human well-being and restore crucial ecosystem services
Research news | 2017-11-27
What plantain farmers in Costa Rica can teach us about the inconsistent links between access to ecosystem services and well-being
Research news | 2017-11-23
Centre science director well established among world’s most top-cited and influential scientists
Research news | 2017-11-21
Large-scale changes in Arctic marine food web can be expected within 50 years, some good, but in the long run several critical
Research news | 2017-11-21
A new framework suggested to manage complex climate futures in the world’s most northern ocean