Planet Under Pressure Conference Releases State of the Planet Declaration

29 March 2012: The 2012 Planet Under Pressure Conference, which convened under the theme “New Knowledge Towards Solutions,” issued the "State of the Planet Declaration," which includes statements of support from the Planet Under Pressure Board of Patrons, the UN Secretary-General, and the youth movement.

The Conference took place in London, UK, from 26-29 March 2012. The Declaration is organized around four sections on: new knowledge; new solutions; new opportunities, science in support of Rio+20; and a defining moment in history.

The section on science in support of Rio+20 highlights the UN Secretary-General's Global Sustainability Panel report, titled "Resilient People, Resilient Planet," and supports its key recommendations, including calls for: a fundamental reorientation and restructuring of national and international institutions to overcome barriers to progress and to move to effective Earthsystem governance; a commitment to the proposal for universal sustainable development goals; and a recognition of the monetary and non-monetary values of public goods such as ecosystem services, education, health and global common resources such as the oceans and the atmosphere.

In his statement to the Planet Under Pressure conference, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the State of the Planet Declaration, noting that the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) provides a major opportunity to advance the policy-science interface. He added that the scientific community can help make sense of the complex and interconnected challenges of climate change, the financial crisis and food, and water and energy insecurity. Ban further highlighted that he is taking forward the recommendation of his High-level Panel on Global Sustainability to consider naming a chief scientific adviser, or establishing a scientific board to advise the UN Secretary-General and other organs of the UN. [Planet Under Pressure: First State of the Planet Declaration] [UN Secretary-General Statement] [UNESCO Press Release]