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Five years have passed since the historic Earth Summit. Although significant progress has been made since Rio, much remains to be done. Poverty and environment degradation continue to affect the lives of millions of people in many parts of the world. Global warming, the loss of biological diversity, the spread of deserts, deforestation, the crisis in many of our cities remind us every day of the challenges which confront us. The unsustainable patterns of consumption and production continue to be the major cause of environmental degradation worldwide. This is therefore not an occasion for complacency or mindless celebration. It is, however, also not an occasion for hand-wringing. We should use the occasion to recall the spirit of Rio, renew our commitments, and to redouble our efforts to conserve nature and to achieve sustainable development.