Published by Camilla on 31 Jul 2012 at 11:13 am
“It’s not up to the governments, it’s up to civil society to make the changes we need” says one participant of Rio +20.
Rio +20 participants recently joined in a WiserLocal at GROW in Mill Valley to discuss their feedback from their attendance of The Rio Earth Summit.
Participants shared their report backs, disappointments and some glimmers of hope from the Summit. Here are a few extracts of some of the words that were shared on not so foggy July evening in the Bay Area.
Vibrations from RioRaps:
On the overall vibe:
“It was a very different vibe from Rio +10. It was probably the most serious of all summits but with the least global attention paid to it. What gave me hope was the getting together of all the NGOs with government officials.”
“UNEP developed a grassroots women’s award and invited women apply for them. The award ceremony was truly amazing and included many inspirational stories. Also, women environmental ministers were giving the awards, so this was a real advancement.”
“We can look at all the new partnerships that were created as positive”
“Ecocity Builders got to work with Catalytic Communities thanks to connections made through Wiser.org. We are doing a test case with a single favelas to see how the standards for ecocities can be applied to favelas and later to compared with a city.”
On the transport:
“We met some great people on a bus who helped us to get to present our petition to Ban Ki Moon”
“It was chaos”
On the rights of nature:
“Seeing mother earth as a living being was really sensed in many groups and there was a deep sense that our relationship with nature must change. This was being played out at many levels”.
On the role of smaller nations:
“Small nations had an equal voice which was really positive”.
On Indigenous groups:
“There were many marches which also created greater awareness & we’re seeing a resurgence.”
On the Peoples Summit:
“They tried to do a very sophisticated technology to look at structural problems & cultural solutions to come up with a statement from the different groups. We need to take stock of that, what worked, what was useful and what wasn’t”.
“There was no recognition post-Fukishima. Nothing on radioactivity or mention on nuclear”.
“Major setback that reproductive rights was left out.”
“Not many people in the world have the money time and commitment to go, so there was a huge appreciation to being there.”
Final words of hope:
“I felt like everybody wanted the same thing – being there with everybody wanting the same thing was very inspiring.”
“All the issues are so inter-related that to get one nation to agree is hard enough, so what’s going to happen is going to happen at the civil society level.”
“The body of knowledge we have is huge.”
“It was very moving to be with people who had only ever conversed on skype but also to see all the other people who were working on similar things.”
Join Rio 2012 group to find out more, and read the detailed report backs from attendees of RioRaps. Thanks to Claire, Vinit, Cindy, Kirsten, Sven, Peggy, Roger, Jenny, Ausprey and Robin who attended and to GROW, Mill Valley for hosting this WiserLocal gathering. And a big thank you to Deborah Phelan for organizing & leading that gathering.
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