50,000 Descend Upon Rio De Janeiro For Rio+20 Ear

50,000 Descend Upon Rio De Janeiro For Rio+20 Earth Summit
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 21: A "pacified" favela, or squatter settlement, is seen on a forested hillside on June 21, 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rio de Janiero’s authorities have successfully "pacified" a number of formerly crime-ridden favelas in the city although the expansion of favelas due to a housing shortage has contributed to Rio’s rainforest destruction. Many are constructed in the mountains and hillsides that surround the city, resulting in deforestation. Over 100 heads of state and tens of thousands of participants and protesters have descended on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the June 20-22 high-level portion of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development or ‘Earth Summit’. Host Brazil is caught up in its own dilemma between accelerated growth and environmental preservation. The Brazilian Amazon, home to 60 percent of the world’s largest forest and 20 percent of the Earth’s oxygen, remains threatened by the rapid development of the country. The summit aims to overcome years of deadlock over environmental concerns and marks the 20th anniversary of the landmark Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, which delivered the Climate Convention and a host of other promises. Brazil is now the world’s sixth largest economy and is set to host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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