June 19, 2012
An indigenous man talks on a cell phone at the Kari-Oca village constructed by indigenous peoples as a counter point to the Rio + 20 conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. More than 1,000 indigenous peoples are residing at the site through the conference. Indigenous groups oppose Brazil's Amazon forest policies including the controversial Belo Monte dam project. Over 100 heads of state and tens of thousands of participants and protesters will descend on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 20-22 for the 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.