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State of the world 2012: Moving towards sustainable prosperity

State of the world 2012

Edited by Linda Starke
Published by Island Press
Website: www.worldwatch.org
2012, 266pp, ISBN 978 1 61091 037 8 (Pb), US$21.95

From species loss to water scarcity to deforestation, stress on the environment and pressure on natural resources have increased markedly since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. For example, 52 per cent of commercial fish stocks are fully exploited, about 20 per cent are over exploited and 8 per cent are depleted. Twenty years on, the Rio+20 Summit, to be held in June 2012, will be looking at ways to build a 'green economy' in order to achieve sustainable development and reduce poverty.

To promote discussion around this topic, Worldwatch Institute's flagship State of the world 2012 aims to raise the profile of innovative projects, creative policies and new approaches that will create sustainable prosperity, equally shared, as the world population continues to grow, urbanisation rises and ecological systems decline. "The reports and ideas in the [book] are designed not as a blueprint for Rio's discussions but as proposals for that change, proposals to be considered and worked on before and after the conference ends," explains Robert Engelman, Worldwatch Institute President, in the preface.

The book draws attention to the need for 'measurable action' on green jobs, nutritious food, sustainable energy, safe water, healthy oceans, thriving cities and fewer and less disruptive disasters. Clear strategies for building sustainable prosperity are suggested in nine separate chapters, including ways to stabilise human and livestock populations, produce enough food to feed the world in a way that is sustainable and equitable, combat climate change and habitat loss, and develop better value ecosystem services.

"As we mark the twentieth anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit with a new vision of a sustainable future, we have a chance to live up to our profound responsibility as stewards of the natural and man-made environments that sustain us," writes Ford Foundation President, Luis A. Ubiñas, in the foreword. "Let's make the most of this moment."

Date published: May 2012


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