In the current issue (June 6) of Nature, the Editor brings to the attention of the readers that 20 years ago, the world’s leaders at the first Rio Summit on biodiversity (CBD), climate (UNFCCC) and desertification (UNCCD) took a solemn resolution to protect Earth’s climate and biodiversity from further deterioration. Far from improvement there has been worsening of the situation since the last Summit; the concentration of CO2 has shot up to almost 400 mg/l from 360 mg/l. Furthermore, species are getting extinct at an alarming rate. According to the Editor’s estimation, since the commitments were made at the Summit in 1992, there has been little progress except in some countries. For instance, in Brazil the state has succeeded in halting deforestation and replacing deforested areas by well developed tracts of land. Unfortunately, there are also elements in this South American State who are opposed to the idea of deforestation advocating more hydroelectric power generation by building mighty dams in the river Amazon and mining its underground mineral resources.
In the wake of the failure of political leaders, currently the trend of thinking is a combined attack of environmental scientists and businessmen with liberal outlook to harness power from natural resources and at the same time safeguarding the environment from further deterioration. This bottom-up approach may change the policies of Corporations into one of profiting both for the crisis-ridden planet and business. In England and many developed countries for instance, industries have been using alternate power resources to run the factories thus reducing the carbon emission.
The editors ends up with a nice conclusion, “Earth and its inhabitants have a second chance in Rio. They may not get many more.”