As the world celebrates 50 years since the birth of the environmental movement, it's time to reassess what politicians, businesses and individuals can do to address the environmental challenges that threaten our health, prosperity, peace and our planet. Stockholm + 50 - An international meeting to be held on 2 and 3 June at the approach of the World Environment Day - an opportunity to do so.
The main objective of Stockholm+50 is to drive action towards sustainable development and peace with nature. Such action is urgently needed as we face the triple planetary crisis of climate change, loss of nature and biodiversity, pollution and waste. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has described the triple planetary crisis as “our number one existential threat” that requires “an urgent and total effort to reverse the situation”.
On the positive side, the first Conference Stockholm has left a strong legacy on which we can rely. The 1972 meeting sparked the creation of environment ministries around the world, negotiated global agreements to protect the environment and created the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) – which was at the heart of the movement environmental. This movement has produced many results, ranging from the protection of the ozone layer to phase out the use of leaded petrol through the guarantee that endangered species do not disappear .
Because of this movement, climate change, loss of nature and biodiversity, pollution and waste are hot issues on everyone's lips. Young people demand change. Governments react. UN steps up efforts, especially by recognizing the human right to a healthy environment . Financiers increasingly realize that the time has come for companies and practices that harm the planet.
The task now is to turn this awareness into real and meaningful action. This is the main objective of Stockholm+50. The conference will seek to establish a new societal contract that rethinks our consumption and production and the relationship between humans and nature. It will have a strong focus on meaningful youth engagement, with pre-meeting consultations.
Stockholm + 50 will aim to accelerate the implementation of the UN Decade of Action , including the Sustainable Development Program in 2030 , the Paris Agreement and the global Framework for biodiversity beyond 2020 . A series of activities to commemorate the 50th anniversary of UNEP ( UNEP @ 50 ) will also contribute to policy outcomes and work of Stockholm + 50.
Opening meeting of the Conference at Folkets Hus in 1972. Photo: UN Photo / Yutaka Nagata
Stockholm+50, with World Environment Day, will be a focal point around which we can accelerate action against the triple global crisis. This crisis is affecting everyone on the planet right now. It will only intensify if we do not act. It's time to get involved with Stockholm+50 and do our part to protect our common future.