Earth a Chance
theme of this year's World
Environment Day, Give Earth a Chance, is meant to
convey a message of urgency - about the state of the earth and
the broader quest for sustainable development.
Sustainable development rests on three pillars: economic
growth, social progress and protection of our environment and
natural resources. When the idea first burst onto the scene in
1987 with the publication of Our Common Future, it was meant to
go beyond the ecosystem approaches of the past, which put
environmental issues on the political map but did not take fully
into account these other key concerns.
1992, at Rio de Janeiro, the international community achieved a
conceptual breakthrough. No longer, it was hoped, would
environmental issues be regarded as a luxury or afterthought.
Rather, they would become a central part of the policy-making
process, integrated with economic and social development.
Developing countries would be helped to pursue a more
environmentally sound path to modernization than that followed
by the developed countries. The big picture -- a positive vision
of long-term growth, equity, justice and environmental
protection -- seemed firmly in view.
this advance, and despite considerable efforts and significant
achievements since the "Earth Summit", the latest
readings reveal a planet still in need of intensive care.
Poverty, pollution and population growth; rural poverty and
rapid urbanization; wasteful consumption habits and growing
demands for water, land and energy continue to place intense
pressures on the planet's life support systems, threatening our
ability to achieve sustainable development.
is little chance of protecting the environment without a greater
sense of mutual responsibility, especially in an age of
interdependence, and especially since the environmental
"footprint" left by some societies is so much larger
than that left by others. I hope that all states and all
stakeholders will come together at the World Summit on
Sustainable Development in South Africa later this year, and
that the breakthrough this time, ten years along the path from
Rio, will be real and tangible.
For more information please contact the Georgian Environment & Health Network Team at:
Khvichia Street, Tbilisi, Georgia
(995 32) 37 92 70 or
Georgian World Environment Day Annual Lecture: Press Release
Message from the United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan: Russian