This post by leading British environmentalist Tony Juniper is a reflection on being at the last Earth Summit in 1992 and how far we have come since. It is an extract from his contribution to a collection of writings about the Earth Summit, Rio+20: where it should lead, published by Green Alliance and the RSPB.
Being at the June 1992 Earth Summit in Rio is one of those experiences that is hard to forget. It was the largest gathering of world leaders ever to take place. Alongside the thousands of campaigners and advocates many global icons were in town too, from the James Bond actor Roger Moore to the Dalai Lama.
And what a place to have such a meeting, with the opulent beachfront apartments laid next to some of Latin America’s largest shanty towns, and all set against the backdrop of dramatic hills clad with some of the last fragments of Brazil’s fast disappearing coastal Atlantic rainforests.