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Environment Matters

The Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 is seen by many as a milestone in international environmental diplomacy, and was even dubbed at the time as the mother of all global conferences.

The big question now is whether the UN Summit on Sustainable Development taking place in Johannesburg from August 26 to September 4, 2002 will emulate the landmark Rio conference that produced conventions on climate change and Agenda 21 - a blueprint for sustainable development.

As far as logisitics are concerned, the Johannesburg summit has already exceeded the first earth summit. It’s being billed as the largest United Nations gathering ever -- with over 65,000 delegates, 5,000 journalists, over 200 non-governmental organisations and 106 heads of state.

But it remains to be seen whether world leaders gathered in Johannesburg will get past mere talking and come up with concrete proposals and solutions aimed at relieving poverty and healing the planet.

While matters ranging from global warming, renewable energies, agricultural subsidies, the gap between rich and the poor, development aid among others are thrashed out in Johannesburg, we take a look at some of the dominant and lesser-known issues both at the summit and on the sidelines.

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