Published by Deborah Phelan on 05 Apr 2012 at 01:31 pm
RioRaps, Thursday evening’s inaugural event of WiserBayArea, brought together a lively gathering of environmentalists, all of whom are prepping for June’s World Summit on Sustainable Development.
The evening, hosted by the sustainability center at GROW Art and Garden in Mill Valley, provided an opportunity for individuals to share details on their work leading up to Rio+20. Topics ranged from education and indigenous rights to gender equity, the green economy, ecocities, sustainable agriculture and population.
The Rio Summit aims to renew international commitments to sustainable development based upon the goals identified at the 1992 Earth Summit and the 2002 Johannesburg Summit and to identify areas in which implementation has failed. The Summit focuses on two major themes: applying the principles of sustainable development to a global green economy and the eradication of poverty.
While participants in Thursday’s meeting were skeptical of a successful “political” outcome at Rio, participants agreed that the conference must result in a framework which affords universal access to the right to sustainable development.
“This Rio is a lot different than the first Rio twenty years ago,” said Claire Greensfelder, Coordinator at Conversations with the Earth and a veteran of eight UNFCCC Climate negotiations. “Today we have a new generation of activists that are connected in a way we never were.”
Greensfelder, who was actively involved in the prep work for the first World Summit, also noted the inclusion of the global indigenous movement in the negotiations also represents a positive shift since the first Rio convention in 1992.
“RioRaps was a great chance to participate in vigorous discussion and information exchange and to connect with other Bay Area organizations who will be at Rio+20,” said Sven Eberlein, Core Advisor of International Ecocity Framework and Standards. “Having just returned from a United Nations preparatory meeting in New York, the warm and welcoming circle of smart and engaged locals felt like the perfect homecoming to process all the information from the big stage and put it in the right context. I look forward to more brainstorming and soulful exchange with these amazing folks!”
Eberlein outlined an exciting proposal Ecocity Builders has submitted for a Rio+20 side event in partnership with the US Department of State – Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science, Esri, Mozilla, Ushahidi, and the Association of American Geographers, showcasing a mapping, geodesign, and citizen participation toolkit for building ecocities. Additionally, the group will seek to demonstrate ecocity action in real time, on the ground, in one of the favela communities in Rio, likely working with UN Youth delegates paired with local youth and citizen mappers.
- Left to right: Tom Athanasiou, Osprey Orielle Lake, Vinit Allen, Suzanne York, Cynthia Lang, Claire Greensfelder, Peggy Duvette, Victor Menotti, Deborah Phelan, Antoinette Siu, Sven Eberlein. (Not pictured: James Hanusa, Greg Delaune, Timonie Hood, Matthias Strotkoetter)
Other attendees at the WiserBayArea event included Vinit Allen, (Director, Sustainable World Coalition), Suzanne York, (Institute for Population Studies), Victor Menotti, (Executive Director, International Forum on Globalization), James Hanusa (Green Economy Advisor at the Stakeholder forum at the Earth Summit), Cynthia Lang (Presidio Graduate School), Greg Delaune (Director, ForeFront Creative Solutions Laboratory), Osprey Orielle Lake (Director, Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus), and Timonie Hood (Environmental Protection Agency, San Francisco).
The group plans for other meetups prior to the June Summit.
Next up for WiserBayArea, we are co-hosting Mill Valley Green Drinks on Tuesday, April 10th at GROW.
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