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Environment Magazine September/October 2008

March-April 2012

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Rio + 20: An Endangered Species?

Setting the Scene

During the third week of June 2012, the United Nations will convene Rio+20, officially known as the UN Summit on Sustainable Development (UNSSD), to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Rio+20 will be the fourth in a series of global UN conferences on environment, natural resources, and sustainability, which began with the Stockholm Summit on the Human Environment in 1972, then the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1992, and the the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002.

Timothy O'Riordan before retiring in July 2005, was a professor of environmental sciences at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. He was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 1999 and was an active member of the UK Sustainable Development Commission for 8 years to 2008.

Anthony A. Leiserowitz is a research scientist at the Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. He is an expert on public opinion about climate change and the environment. His research investigates the psychological, cultural, and political factors that influence environmental attitudes, policy support, and behavior.

Alan H. McGowan is an assistant professor in the Interdisciplinary Science Program at Eugene Lang College, The New School. He is an elected member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Society of Environmental Journalists, and a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Susan L. Cutter is a Carolina Distinguished Professor of Geography and the director of the Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute at University of South Carolina. She is an elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1999), and past President of the Association of American Geographers (2000).

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