photo by Feres Caioba (Caio on Flickr CC)

The world is facing a mounting crisis. In recent years we have experienced a combination of a global financial crisis, a food crisis, volatile oil prices, accelerating ecosystem degradation and an increasing number of climate-induced extreme weather events. These multiple and inter-related crises call into question the ability of a growing human population to live peacefully and sustainably on this planet, and demand the urgent attention governments and citizens around the world.
Earth Summit 2012 website

The UN Conference on Sustainable Development, aka Earth Summit 2012, aka Rio+20, takes place in Rio de Janeiro Brazil from June 20-22nd.

Rio+20 is the 4th summit of its kind (3 took place in Rio and one in Johannesburg) and will focus around the themes of Green Economy in the context of Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development and establishing an Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently issued a statement at the first Global Human Development Forum in Istanbul, Turkey:

We need everyone – government ministers and policymakers, business and civil society leaders, and young people – to work together to transform our economies, to place our societies on a more just and equitable footing, and to protect the resources and ecosystems on which our shared future depends.

The Forum in Turkey comes as a sort of prelude to Earth Summit 2012. Read more on the UN website.

Meanwhile the site of the Summit, Rio de Janeiro, is experiencing some pretty embarrassing and shocking pollution in its iconic Guanabara Bay, which receives about 10,000 liters of untreated sewage per second.

From the Associated Press:

A report published Sunday in the newspaper O Globo says the first conference resulted in a vow to clean up the bay. More than $1 billion was spent building treatment plants but delays and faulty infrastructure meant they were never fully used.

Though there is no chance the bay will be cleaned up by Rio+20, Brazil has pledged to clean it up in time for the 2016 Olympic games, hosted by Rio de Janeiro.