This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Youth Ki Awaaz. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Earth Summits: The Past, The Present And The Future

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

By Nikhil Borker:

“I am only a child, yet I know that if all the money spent on war was spent on ending poverty and finding environmental answers, what a wonderful place this would be.” These were the words of 12 year old Severn Suzuki at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit which brought tears to the eyes of everyone present there and instigated the belief that a unified effort can save the environment. With the summit back in Rio after 20 years, these words seem to have been forgotten. Forests have disappeared, deserts have been growing, fisheries are getting depleted and glaciers are melting. There is enormous pressure on the environment. This is the biggest challenge presently and eminent personalities from all over the world going are expected to discuss the issues and come out with an amicable solution at the Rio Summit 2012.

Revisiting and analysing the past:

With the advent of the 1970s , there was a sense of awareness about the depletion of earths’ resources around the globe. This led to the first Earth Summit in Stockholm in 1972. Results included creation of UNEP, IPCC, CITES and the Montreal protocol. Although, the results were positive, it was felt that a lot more was needed to be done. As a result, the famous 1992 Rio Earth Summit was held. Results were the introduction of the concept of sustainable development, a framework on climate change, a convention on biological diversity and the convention to combat desertification. Following these, many other such conferences have been held. The Kyoto protocol, signed by 55 countries in 1997 aims at arresting the ill-effects of greenhouse gas emissions by providing incentives (in the form of carbon credits) to the developing nations to adopt eco-friendly industrial technologies, while the developed countries agreed to pay for these technologies indirectly.Then came the inconsequential Johannesburg Summit on sustainable development. Hopes were shattered again at the Copenhagen Climate Conference in 2009.

The results of all these meetings have been far from positive. 22.7 billion tonnes of CO2 was released in 1990 which rose by about 45% to 33 billion tonnes in 2010. According to an IUCN report, 30% of amphibians, 21% of birds and 25% of mammal species are at a risk of extinction. 90% of water and fish samples have been contaminated and coral reefs have declined by 38% since 1980. The percentage of degraded land has risen from 15% in 1991 to 24% in 2008 which has made people living in these areas vulnerable as far as food security is concerned. Moreover, improperly conducted measures for sustainable development have made the rich richer and the poor, even poorer.

Introspecting the failure of earth summits:

The major problem in the past twenty years has been the failure of various governments to realise their commitment towards mother earth and take appropriate steps to replenish it. This has been attributed to the absence of any domestic legislation which can coerce every nation to realise its commitments. As a result, powerful nations such as the USA, Japan, Germany have neglected such conferences and continued to go by their own ways. Secondly there has been no ‘watchdog’ body (except UN which has been a mere spectator to the follies of the US) which can ensure that everyone is contributing as per the promises made by them. Lastly, in each of the above negotiations market based solutions, such as carbon trading ,instead of sustainability based solutions have been adopted. Although these have brought down the emissions of developing countries but there has been no check on those of the developed countries. As a result, overall emissions have been growing at an unprecedented rate.

A preview of Rio +20 and what the future holds in store for us:

The Rio +20 summit, commencing from June 20, will be focussing on two themes:

– A green economy in the context of sustainable development poverty eradication.
– Institutional framework for sustainable development.

The participating nations will be asked to take the protocol back to their legislatures to seek support or ratify it formally. The thrust of this protocol would be in the fulfilment of three objectives. Firstly laws will be formulated to accomplish the goal of realisation of commitments. Secondly, a mechanism would be derived to monitor the implementation of the plans of various summits in the past and those that will be held in the future.Third objective deals with incorporating the concept of natural capital in analysing the financial status of a nation.

The themes and objectives of this years’ conference are a clear indication of the sense of urgency among nations to save the planet from a catastrophic end. Although the backing out of US president Barack Obama and leading nations such as UK and Germany have cast a dark shadow on the event, this event has undoubtedly sent out positive vibes. As a true optimist, I believe that Rio +20 will act as a stepping stone to the creation of a safe and stable environment for living species.

You must be to comment.
  1. shashank

    nice 🙂

  2. Nikhil Borker

    thanks a lot:)

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Similar Posts

By MADHAVENDRA SINGH

By Pallav Banerjee

By Saurabh Gandle

    If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at actnow@youthkiawaaz.com

      If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at actnow@youthkiawaaz.com

        If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at actnow@youthkiawaaz.com

        Wondering what to write about?

        Here are some topics to get you started

        Share your details to download the report.









        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        Share your details to download the report.









        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

        Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

        Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

        The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

        Read more about his campaign.

        Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

        Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

        Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

        Read more about her campaign.

        MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

        With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Read more about her campaign. 

        A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

        As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Find out more about the campaign here.

        A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

        She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

        The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

        As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

        Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

        Find out more about her campaign here.

        Share your details to download the report.









        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

        A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

        Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

        A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
        biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

        Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
        campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

        Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below