Brazil on the spot: Rio+20, sustainability and a role for science

Fabio Rubio Scarano, José Maria Cardoso da Silva, André Loubet Guimarães, Daniela Raik, Frederick Boltz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Rio +20, or the United Nations Conference for Sustainable Development, will take place at the end of this month of June 2012. In this paper, our central argument is that Brazil, as the host of Rio+20, has a historic opportunity to make the conference a success and take a decisive step in becoming a world leader in the shift from the traditional development paradigm to a new, sustainable development paradigm. To do that, Brazil will have to resolve a paradox: on the one hand the country has modern legislation and world class science, and on the other hand very poor social and environmental decision-making in recent times. In this column, we examine the green economy as a trajectory that leads to sustainable development and describe some pilot experiences at the sub-national level in Brazil. We discuss how science, and particularly plant sciences, will be essential to the transition to sustainable development. Finally, we propose immediate actions that we call upon the Brazilian government to commit to and to announce during this pivotal Rio+20 moment, which should serve as a milestone for all nations in building a sustainable future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-239
Number of pages7
JournalRevista Brasileira de Botanica
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Green economy
  • Sustainable development
  • United Nations conventions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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