The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law series
Edited by Robert V. Percival, Jolene Lin and William Piermattei
Chapter 2: The Future We Want and constitutionally enshrined procedural rights in environmental matters
Constitutional guarantees of rights to information, participation and adjudication can help achieve an environmentally sustainable planet. Countries from around the globe met in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in 2012 (‘Rio + 20’), to ‘renew our commitment to sustainable development and to ensure the promotion of an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable future for our planet and for present and future generations. ’The ‘outcome document’, called The Future We Want, contains 283 paragraphs delimiting discernible objectives fostering sustainable development, including poverty eradication, peace, prosperity and equality, and access to resources, water, funding, intellectual property, and technology. Among these, the main goal of Rio + 20 is to address poverty and hunger: ‘Eradicating poverty is the greatest global challenge facing the world today and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. In this regard we are committed to freeing humanity from poverty and hunger as a matter of urgency. ’The Future We Want posits that antecedents to these aims derive from decades of multilateral environmental and human rights treaties, including the Stockholm Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Agenda 21 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Future We Want also makes clear that these objectives cannot be achieved without vigorous public involvement.
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