The UN Conference on Sustainable Development kicked off in Rio de Janeiro this week.

Following is a statement by Manish Bapna, Interim President, World Resources Institute:

“Rio+20 should serve as a wake-up call for our planet. Leaders in Rio need to make sustainability a global priority, placing it at the very center of political and economic agendas. We can no longer afford to view environmental issues as being apart from, or in conflict with economic growth-- but rather see sustainability as an integrated, pro-growth path forward.

“Despite our best efforts and some progress over the past 20 years, too many environmental trends are heading in the wrong direction. We need less talk, and more action; fewer promises, and more concrete steps for government policy and business practices.

“We urgently need government, business, and civil society to work together to make sure we have clean water, healthy ecosystems, livable cities, and a stable climate.

“Let's seize this opportunity to protect our planet and ensure that people have a safer, more prosperous, and healthier future. The eyes of the world are on us. We cannot afford to let this moment slip by."


Read Manish's new post: Rio+20: Seizing the Opportunity for a Sustainable Future

Find out more about WRI events and activities in Rio.

Note: Manish Bapna will be in Rio starting on Friday, June 15. To schedule an interview, contact: Michael Oko,