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Scientific community eyes UN's Rio+20 summit as "defining moment in history"

LONDON, March 30 — A four-day conference of international scientific community closed on Thursday in London, publishing a declaration that eyes UN's Rio+20 summit in this June as "a defining moment in history," which was welcomed by Ban Ki-moon.

The Planet Under Pressure conference started on Monday and has assembled around 3,000 scholars and experts from over 100 countries. It is supported by the International Council for Science.

Its final declaration, named State of the Planet Declaration, said that "Research now demonstrates that the continued functioning of the Earth system as it has supported the well-being of human civilization in recent centuries is at risk."

"Without urgent action, we could face threats to water, food, biodiversity and other critical resources: these threats risk intensifying economic, ecological and social crises, creating the potential for a humanitarian emergency on a global scale," it said.

In order to save the planet under pressure, "the United Nations Rio+20 Conference is an opportunity the world must seize at this crucial juncture," said the declaration.

It eyes the Rio+20 conference, which is named so to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as "a defining moment in history" that could spark global innovation to move us towards a sustainable future.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon sent a video speech to the conference on Thursday, saying "I welcome the State of the Planet Declaration issued today by the Co-chairs of this conference."

"Rio+20 is a major opportunity to advance the policy-science interface. I look forward to working with the scientific community towards a more coherent, science-based and effective approach to today's global challenges," Ban Ki-moon added.

Organizers of the Planet Under Pressure conference have prepared several policy briefs concerning subjects such as energy security, green economy and health and well-being, which are to be delivered to the upcoming UN Rio+20 summit. (PNA/Xinhua) DCT/ebp

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