229 Voluntary Commitments Reported to Date at Rio+20
14 June 2012: The UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) Secretariat has reported on the latest submissions of voluntary commitments, which it is compiling in an online compendium on the Rio+20 website. As of 14 June, a total of 229 voluntary commitments have been registered.
Out of this total number, 159 commitments are on Education, 27 on Sustainable Energy, ten on Sustainable Cities, and six on Sustainable Transport. This also includes 22 commitments made by SIDS countries, arising from the Barbados Declaration, which aims to achieve renewable energy generation and electric energy efficiency among SIDS, in partnership with the Governments of Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway and the UK, as well as the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
A total of 166 academic institutions have committed to the “Higher Education Sustainability Initiative,” which calls on the leaders of the international academic community to commit to the development of sustainable practices for Higher Education Institutions. Other listed commitments include: a food security and sustainable agriculture commitment, led by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), to address agricultural sustainability through reducing poverty of small-scale food producers, facilitating ecological and social intensification of agriculture and promoting food and nutrition security for all; a natural disaster preparedness commitment, led by Green Cross International, to decrease disaster-related environmental and economic losses, through improved risk management and comprehensive preparedness measures; and a chemicals and waste commitment, submitted by the UN Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) to increase the capacity of local authorities for sustainable waste management towards a resource efficient and zero waste society.
Voluntary commitments are expected to cover 23 sustainable development areas. Areas expected to be covered include: biodiversity, forests and other ecosystems; chemicals and waste; climate change; education; food security and sustainable agriculture; gender equality; green jobs and social inclusion; land degradation and desertification; measuring sustainable development progress; mountains; natural disasters preparedness; oceans and seas; poverty eradication; public awareness and communications on sustainable development; sustainable development economics, finance and trade; sustainable development strategies and policies; sustainability management, sustainable cities, sustainable consumption and production; sustainable energy; sustainable transport; technology and innovation; and water.
Governments, the UN and IGOs, and Major Groups and civil society are expected to continue announcing commitments during Rio+20. For instance, Australia has announced its intention to create the world's largest network of marine parks, covering more than one-third of Australia's waters. [Website of Voluntary Commitments] [WWF Press Release on Australia Marine Park] [Australia Press Release on Marine Park]