Environmental problems are much more prominent today than 20 years ago. Climate change, erosion of biodiversity and genetic resources, depletion of soil and water resources, desertification and natural disasters are just a few to name. They are all coming towards us at the same time, in rates that noone can predict. Most importantly, they impact the poorest and most marginalized parts of the society the most.
It is crucial that Rio+20 commits to make environmental protection the driving force for sustainable development. To this, the United Nations Environment Programme needs to obtain a more central role in decision making, hence getting the mandate to move forward with its plans for a Green Economy. Naturally, “the relationship between UNEP and Youth is a logical one”, according to Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP, while addressing youth delegates from every corner of the world in the Youth Blast Conference of Youth for Rio+20.