Culture in Rio+20

Culture and nature are intertwined: The village of Vernazza (Cinque Terre - World Heritage List). Vineyards planted on terraced slopes. Photographer: Michel Ravassard © UNESCO

Cultural matters are integral parts of the lives we lead. If development can be seen as enhancement of our living standards, then efforts geared to development can hardly ignore the world of culture.”

Amartya Sen

As the world prepares for Rio+20, the focus is on environmental sustainability and green economies, a more efficient institutional framework for sustainable development and its seven priorities areas: jobs, energy, cities, food, water, oceans and disasters. These are the key words which will drive the agenda and shape the outcomes of this landmark meeting.

Although culture does not feature as an explicit theme of the Conference, its essential role in fostering sustainable development is being increasingly recognised. We are all familiar with the intrinsic value of culture as a repository of symbols and identity. But  many are also becoming aware of the powerful contribution culture can make to the economic, social and environmental dimensions of development, and indeed to each one of the key priority areas listed above.

At the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development, in 2002, the importance of culture for development was stated in principle. Rio+20 provides an unmissable opportunity to move from theory to practice and agree on a concrete agenda for integrating culture into development programmes at global and national levels.

Browse through this web-site to learn more about why culture is a crucial consideration in development strategies and how it may contribute specifically to the various themes which will be discussed at Rio + 20.

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