Category Archives: Environment & Society

Voluntary Commitments—The Way Forward After Rio+20?

The Rio+20 conference has been seen by many as largely a failure, given a tepid official statement that avoided any meaningful new action on behalf of sustainable development.  Some observers, however, argue that this is the wrong focus.  In the aftermath of Rio, Jacob Scherr of the Natural Resources Defense Council wrote that “the … Continue Reading ››

Every Building Should Be Sustainable, Not Just Green

In a sustainable world, the built environment would be in balance with the natural environment. Unfortunately, we are far from there. From single-family homes to soaring skyscrapers, buildings account for a significant share of global resource use. Constructing and operating these structures consumes 25 to 40 percent of the energy produced worldwide and contributes 30 … Continue Reading ››

Addressing population growth for a sustainable future

Although most analysts assume that the world’s population will rise from today’s 7 billion to 9 billion by 2050, it is quite possible that humanity will never reach this population size.

My chapter in this year’s State of the World 2012: Moving Toward Sustainable Prosperity, “Nine Population Strategies to Stop Short of 9 Billion,” outlines … Continue Reading ››

“Living Planet Report” Describes a World Under Pressure

Government officials, scientists, activists, and others who participated in the Rio+20 conference last month, strived to reorient international policies so that they are less damaging to Earth’s climate, environment, and populations. In an effort to guide discussions in advance of the conference and initiatives afterward, the global conservation group WWF has released the latest edition … Continue Reading ››

The Future We Want: Reflections from Rio+20

“The Rio conference is over before it has even started.”  This was a common reaction among many participants and observers at Rio+20, following the release of what became the final conference agreement, The Future We Want, by the Brazilian hosts three days before the end of the gathering.  This happened even before heads of … Continue Reading ››

Women’s Major Group “Disappointed and Outraged” at the Rio+20 Outcomes

By Seyyada A Burney

Last week’s Rio+20 Conference brought together 50,000 NGOs, policymakers, and activists from around the world to discuss sustainability. Unfortunately, many groups, including organizations that support reproductive health and women’s rights, went home disappointed with the final outcome document, The Future We Want. In a statement released … Continue Reading ››

Al Jazeera Video: “G20 Leaders Discuss Brazil’s Slums”

Nourishing the Planet Director Danielle Nierenberg was featured on Al Jazeera English where she called for increased emphasis on women’s health and reproductive rights at the Rio+20 Conference.


“If women have access to the resources they need…they can make a real impact,” said Nierenberg. “Study after study shows that the more women … Continue Reading ››