Under the patronage of The President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Ola Eye on Earth!
Olá Eye on Earth!
Rio De Janeiro - Brazil: 13 June, 2012 – With the unaccustomed humidity that enveloped Rio de Janeiro today, the Eye on Earth Summit was welcomed in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Pavilion at Athlete's Park. The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) under the the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI), kicked off the first of its 10 Eye on Earth @ Rio+20 side events today focusing on the outcomes of Eye on Earth Summit held in Abu Dhabi in December 2011. The 8 Eye on Earth Special Initiatives address critical environmental issue areas while the Eye on Earth Summit Declaration reflects the Principles needing to be adopted in order to achieve 'access to environmental and societal data and information by all those who need it' essential to addressing sustainable development.
Cathrine Armour, Programme Manager, AGEDI urged guests to join together, as an Eye on Earth Community and share their knowledge; to support global leaders, policy and decision-makers in making better, wiser decisions with practical measures for implementation. "As we achieve wisdom we learn that there is still much more to be learnt. The same is true of the challenges we face today. We are continuing to learn. With though, the data we have, through the development of shared knowledge and understanding we can gain the wisdom we need to make the right decisions for 'The Future We Want" Cathrine encouraged during her welcoming speech.
Peter Gilruth, Director of the Division of Early Warning and Assessment, UNEP; Partner to the Eye on Earth Summit and long term partner of AGEDI and EAD in promoting environmentally friendly sustainable development in the West Asia region spoke sincerely of the their continued role alongside AGEDI. He emphasised that collaboration is an imperative for keeping the environment under review. The momentum that last December's Eye on Earth Summit, held in Abu Dhabi has created through the Eye on Earth Special Initiatives is a leading example. Peter explained, how the Summit had brought together unique partnerships across disciplines that would otherwise rarely connect. This Eye on Earth Community has generated new energy which in turn creates the synergy required for the challenges we face. Peter concluded by reaffirming UNEP's commitment to implementing the Special Initiatives in partnership with EAD and AGEDI.
Other key speakers included Chief Almir Surui, environmentalist, political activist and tribal chief who has been fighting to save both his Surui tribe and the Amazon rainforest for more than 15 years. Speaking of the progress made, towards this very real challenge, in such a short period of time, and presenting data that both reflects it and points to the need for action he ended hopeful for the future that that the Surui tribe now have to look forward to. It is through the determined and strategic sustainable approaches that have been implemented that enable the Surui tribe to have a positive outlook for their community.
It was community and commitment that Dr Fabio Scarano, Senior Vice President, Conservation International, reminded all of us about. Reaffirming his commitment to Eye on Earth and congratulating Eye on Earth on a creating a community that tackles the critical issues that can be addressed through access to environmental and societal data and information. Lastly, Lalanath Da Silva, Director of the Access Initiative (TAI), World Resources Institute highlighted the successes of TAI and their focus on environment, democracy and human rights to promote access to information globally. He reiterated the success that Eye on Earth Summit 2011 achieved by convening governments and the scientific and technology community at the one forum - strengthening the access to information in cooperation with the scientific and technology community.
Today was a taste of what is to come; the remaining side events target the individual Special Initiatives highlighting inspiring projects & partnerships. Tomorrow the focus is on Environmental Education while we look forward to Eye on Biodiversity in the coming week. Each Special Initiative demonstrates and reinforces why "access to environmental and societal data and information by all those who need it" is fundamental to the 'The Future We Want'.