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In World Cup Spotlight, Rio Scores Goals on Urban Environment & Sustainability

With the World Cup now underway, all eyes are on the cities of Brazil playing host to the epic, international football competition. But there’s more to celebrate, according to C40 Chair, Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes. His city recently took the opportunity to mark World Environment Day, with trademark exuberance. Engaging citizens, businesses, NGOs…

August 18, 2013: Saving Children in Ethiopia, Reigning In Our Sweet Tooth, and More

This week, we stop an ancient Ethiopian curse, then we explore Iran using century-old images, and finally, we power homes using gas from human waste.

Rio+20 Brought a “Spiritual Lift” Despite Disappointments

“I’ve been to a lot of international conferences, in Nagoya, Durban, and so on, but Rio [Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development] was bigger than any I’ve ever seen,” Matthew Shirts, the editor of the Brazilian edition of National Geographic, told a large audience at the Aspen Environment Forum this past weekend in…

Disaster Risk Reduction and Rio+20

  By Antony Spalton and Lisa Guppy Over the last twenty years, disasters have affected up to 4.4 billion people and have cost around $US 2 trillion. Women and children are 14 times more likely to die than men during a disaster, and typically the poorest and most vulnerable children suffer the highest disaster risk and…

NG Radio Interview: Rio+20 Shows Cooperation and Roadblocks

  Rio+20 continues in the gorgeous city of Rio de Janeiro, as a steady stream of world leaders take the podium and wax poetic on sustainable development. Yesterday, I called in to Carmen Russell-Sluchansky’s show on Voice of Russia to give my impressions of how the conference is going. Listen to the brief interview here.

Leap of Faith Needed on Green Economy

RIO DE JANEIRO Delegates in Rio will need to take a leap of faith and agree on concepts like the green economy and sustainable development goals without really knowing what they involve, suggest experts on the sidelines of the Rio+20 Earth Summit. “The green economy is a black box right now. We don’t know what…

Calling for Environmental Health Solutions in Cities

  By Kerry Constabile Half of the world’s children and adolescents live in urban areas. As the world urbanizes, people and particularly children are faced with increasingly unhealthy communities. Environmental health hazards – ranging from air pollution, garbage and inadequate sanitation – are problematic for the poorest city dwellers who persist under the radar, neglected by…

Indigenous Message to Rio+20: Leave Everything Beneath Mother Earth

  An indigenous caravan is bringing to the Rio+20 conference the philosophy of “buen vivir” – “living well” in harmony with nature – as a solution to the world’s environmental and economic crises. Indigenous leaders from all over South America are making their way by foot, canoe and eventually on buses to be part of…

Rainforest Alliance Celebrates 25 Years of Saving Forests With Farmers

  “We need to vote with our dollars and choose products that are helping each other,” said Ana Paula Tavares, executive vice president of the conservation group Rainforest Alliance.  It’s a statement that sums up her organization’s goal, but it could also serve as a call to action for all consumers from Rio+20 (The UN…

Agroforestry: The Next Agricultural Revolution to Feed the World

We need to drastically modify global agriculture by incorporating trees into the farming environment. The world stands at a critical juncture in the second decade of the 21st century. International policymakers have begun to face the unspeakable possibility that we might be running out of food and the land to grow it. Staggeringly, we need…

Majority of People Want Firm Commitments on Environment From Rio+20: Poll

The UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) is just days away, but observers have already been griping for weeks that world leaders may not agree to any firm environmental commitments when they meet in Rio de Janeiro next week (June 20-22). However, a new survey suggests that the world’s people are rooting for concrete action. A poll…

Natural and Urban Settings Both Need Our Attention

  By Luis A. Ubiñas  In the 20 years since 172 countries came together for the first Earth Summit in Rio, the world has undergone an extraordinary transformation. Seven billion people today inhabit a planet that is safer, freer, healthier and more prosperous. Yet, we are still moving too slowly toward a world that is…

Follow Rio+20 Online

I’ve been packing my bags and trying to clear out my inbox, because I’m off to Brazil tomorrow in anticipation of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (June 20-22). I’ll be posting updates on our Sustainable Earth hub, so look for that. Also keep an eye on the @NatGeoGreen Twitter account, where I’ll be making…

Tim Flannery Points the Way to Action at Rio

Tim Flannery has discovered more than 30 mammal species, but the Australian scientist is probably best known for his work on global climate change. The author of The Weather Makers and Here on Earth has traveled the world to argue that we need to take bold action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Flannery is a professor…

Eliminate GDP and “Economic Growth” to Create the Real Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples Say

The planet is in peril, 3,000 scientists and other experts concluded at the recent Planet Under Pressure conference in London. Climate change, overuse of nitrogen and loss of biodiversity are just three of the perils threatening to make much of our home uninhabitable. World leaders will meet in Rio de Janeiro June 20-22 to address…