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Rio+20 Conference Nets Pledges of $513 Billion for Sustainable Development

Above: Sha Zukang (UN Photo/Maria Elisa Franco)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

A total of nearly $513 billion was pledged by governments at this week’s Rio+20 conference on sustainable development in Rio.

“From the very beginning, we have said that Rio+20 is about implementation and concrete action,” said Sha Zukang, the secretary general of the conference. “The commitments that we share with you today demonstrate that governments, the UN systems and the nine major groups are committed and serious about implementation.

A series of projects were also pledged at the conference, from empowering 5,000 female entrepreneurs in green businesses in Africa to recycling polyvinyl chloride.

The outcome document produced at the conference includes a number of actions, including detailing how the green economy can be used as a tool to achieve sustainable development; taking steps to go beyond gross domestic product in assessing economies; and developing a strategy for sustainable development financing, among others.

“Rio+20 has been a great success,” Sha said. “It had a huge participation, but participation without success means nothing, but we succeeded in concluding negotiations and agreeing to establish not only sustainable development goals but also a high-level forum to monitor the implementation of all commitments.”

The conference included a sizable presence from Caribbean countries, which are on the front lines of the fight against climate change.

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