Only One Earth: The Long Road via Rio to Sustainable Development

One_EarthThis book we hope will enable a broad readership to understand the achievements in the area of environment and development over the past forty years and also what has not been realized. It looks to the challenges that we face forty years from Stockholm 1972, in particular in the areas of economics and governance, and the role of stakeholders. It puts forward a set of suggestions that the international community must address now and in the near future. It reminds us of the planetary boundaries we must all live within and what needs to be addressed in the next twenty years for democracy, equity and fairness to survive. Finally it proposes through the survival agenda a bare minimum of what needs to be done, arguing for a series of absolute minimum policy changes we need to change course on to a more sustainable one.


“Rio+20 as a unique opportunity to make the “change-of-course” called for by business leaders at the Earth Summit in 1992. It requires fundamental changes in the way in which we manage the activities through which we impact on the Earth’s sustainability. This will require a degree of cooperation beyond anything we have yet experienced at a time when competition and conflict over scarce resources is escalating.”

Maurice F. Strong

“In the same way that banks succeeded at privatizing the profits and socializing the losses as they led the global economy to the brink of collapse, we are in danger of doing the same with the environment.  Humanity has taken a huge leap in the last decades and become a planetary-scale force – we need to behave as a global civilization if we are not to face catastrophic consequences.”

Felix Dodds (Observed in his role as Chair of the 2011 United Nations DPI-NGO Conference in Bonn)

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