Tag Archives: Rio+20 summit

Youth invisible in Rio+20 vision

By Stephen Leahy, IPScross-posted from TerraViva

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jun 17 Youth and future generations do not deserve a voice in their own future, the Brazilian government appears to have arbitrarily decided here at the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, where the theme is “The Future We Want”.

Intense lobbying is underway, including impromptu protests by youth in the hallways of the official RioCentro conference site. Photo: Stephen Leahy/IPS

Representatives of children and youth, as well as the European Union and other countries, want to see the summit conclude with an agreement to create a High-Level Representative for Sustainable Development and Future Generations.

However, Brazil, under its formal leadership of the summit, has deleted all references to this from the “outcome document” currently under negotiation.

It is a bit surprising considering 62 percent of Brazil’s 185 million people are under 29 years of age.

The proposed representative for future generations would act to balance the short-term nature of government electoral cycles by advocating for the interests and needs of future generations, says youth representative Alice Vincent of the World Future Council Foundation in London, UK.

“I strongly believe that a Rio+20 outcome that does not include the creation of such an advocate for the needs of future generations wouldn’t be worthy of the title The Future We Want,” Vincent told TerraViva.
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Statement: The Peoples’ Summit of the Americas vs the UN Rio+20 Summit

Statement of Teotihuacan 2012

Cross-Posted from the Red Ecologista Autónoma de la Cuenca de México

lunes 7 de mayo de 2012

 The Peoples’ Summit, parallel to the United Nations Rio+20 Summit, 20 years after Rio92 – the so-called United Nations Earth Summit-, will take place in Rio de Janeiro from June 15 to 22, 2012.

Meeting in the Sun and the Moon pyramids; in the Teotihuacan great house, a group of Mexican activists from various social groups and organizations concerned with the contempt shown by modern industrial societies for Mother Earth, the ancient cultures and the vernacular world vision that integrate the human being with nature and the universe, we want to share our word with all peoples and nations of the world.

To make economic growth into a dogma provokes the accelerated destruction of the essentials for life on this Earth.

Perennial snows areas, ancient forests, animals, plants and landscapes that marvel us are quickly vanishing; the air that we breath, the water we drink, the food we eat, grow worst everywhere. Seas, rivers, mangroves, jungles, lakes, coral reef are dying. Water tables, fishing areas, springs deplete seriously. Fields are being poisoned by industrialized agricultural & farm business, megaprojects and urban sprawl; cities are becoming hellish places due to automobile traffic and conglomeration. Like cancerous bodies, cities annihilate the countryside and seas situated many kilometers apart from them; they turn into the epicenter of all modern evils. Human conviviality is dying along with the soaring growth of all kind of violence: domestic or intra-family, at school, at work, among communities, states, nations, worldwide.

Horror, tragedy, dwells at almost every corner of the world, in the places where poor people live: all the people devalued in fact by the economy growth and techno-science: indigenous people, peasants, laborers. Violence against Earth’s gifts is identical to that exerted against the oppressed communities, peoples and nations. Environmental disasters go hand in hand with social catastrophes. Peoples’ minds are impoverished every day by the false values introduced since infancy, both by the State and the Market. Schools, television broadcasts and the daily indiscriminate consumption of technologies colonize minds and annihilate peoples’ will. Power, greed, individualism, excess, consumerism, competition, spectacle, speed, exploitation of the human being by the human being, have become supreme values throughout the world.

Banks, multinational corporations, governments, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the United Nations, the media, the schools, colleges and universities conspire in order to boost an economic growth which destroys at great speed Mother Earth’s gifts, the fabric of society and the vernacular cultures, and which benefits solely the 1% who control those businesses and institutions. Banks, markets and economic growth have become so sacred to governments, that they have no qualms about applying radical measures of violence against a society bothered and discontent with the universal catastrophe generated by the economic dogma, both through abusive political publicity saturating the media, and ever-increasing expenditure in the army, paramilitary and law-enforcement forces and in espionage on citizens. Economic growth devastates people’s wealth and results in the extinction of humanity.

Powerful governments, headed by the U.S.A., are preparing a big coup against the Environment and Mother Earth during the United Nations Rio+20 Summit.

In a desperate bid to solve the worldwide economic crisis, powerful governments, led by the United States, prepare a new strike against Mother Earth’s gifts and the Environment during the United Nations Rio+20 Summit, which they have had sequestered since many years ago. Together with Big Banks and multinational corporations, they want an ominous world policy on economics approved. Something like the so called sustainable development introduced in the Earth Summit, Río 1992 that has so gravely undermined Nature. They now have agreed to launch globally the Green Economy scheme presenting it as the major global solution to the environmental and social disasters that we are undergoing; as a perverted response to social demands in favor of a real clean environment and the preservation of Nature’s gifts. They want to open great business opportunities by applying false solutions to these predicaments, aiming, specifically at promoting and legitimating carbon markets, environmental services, biodiversity markets, REDD+ Programs, CDM, Clean Development Mechanisms, among other seedy “environmental” dealings which incorporate the true meaning of the term Green Economy.

The Mexican government, subdued to U.S government and the world’s financial centers rule, has delivered not only our oil, minerals, aquifers, soil and markets to the international pirates; it also participates in the conspiracy to impose the Green Economy.  It is concealing its support to such pirates and to this abominable policy under “a war on drug trafficking and organized crime” –which it neither wants to win nor is able to win- as well as under an extremely costly national media campaign.
The increasing convergence of governments with multinationals’ intentions worsens and deepens another process currently observed, which is the increasing loss of legitimacy or representativeness of both governments and political parties in most nations, who rather than consulting their peoples to resolve ecological, economic and social issues, devote their best efforts to defend the owners of economic power. Too many politics now turn into compulsive thieves, enemies of their peoples and obstacles to the comprehensive solutions to national and international problems.
During the last five years, Mexican government has waged a war against the poor and Mother Earth’s Gifts under the guise of “disciplined” finance and Macro Economy, war on drugs and programs of investments in infrastructure, development and poverty eradication. The outcome of this new war: 10 million people thrown to extreme poverty, thus joining the previous 20 million; 70,000 deaths and 20,000 “disappeared” persons as a result of violence carried to a horrid extreme, as well as a terrible ecological destruction resulting from the abusive extraction of oil, minerals, water and soil, the impacts of new infrastructure, the application of new technologies, and the production and distribution of psychotropic drugs.
The new technologies and megaprojects exacerbate social disruption and contamination, and annihilate the peoples’ natural and cultural treasures.
Techno-science, builds every day the social and ecological catastrophes of our time. Techno-science facilitates and allows the construction and operation of nuclear plants; oil extraction from deep waters, shale and tar sands; open-air extraction of minerals, using great amounts of water, dynamite and cyanide; transgenic crops of trees, corn, soya, cotton; huge cattle runs and breeding stalls; industrialized animal slaughter; the manufacture of weapons, faster motor vehicles, planes and trains; the highly polluting production of food, clothing, housing, buildings, equipment, and instruments harmful for human health; the construction of military bases, dams, water transfers, super highways, freeways, great bridges, ports, tunnels, channels, towers, airports, refineries, landfills, hazardous-waste landfills, tourist developments, industrial cities, and even university cities, hospital cities, entertainment towns, among other megaprojects that over the years imply a exorbitant social and ecological impact.
Driven by universities and scientific research centers, techno-science serves the population’s 1% interests. More than a third of the world’s scientists are engaged in research linked to military aims. The excess of power, loss of moral references, disproportionate greed and the most degrading addictions derange the controllers of Techno-Science. Finance’s cultural misery invades the scientific and technologic world and denigrates art and beauty around the world.
To de-grow serenely rather than de-grow painfully because of the new global policies to boost economic growth; There are efficient ways to face the System’s crisis.
Peoples have always counted with persons, groups and communities who abhor the destruction of forests, jungles, rivers, lakes, wetlands, seas, and the slaughter and debasement of animals, who detest dependency and a bad alienated life, waste and hubris, who oppose to war, oppression and inequality. In millenary cultures there still survive values, customs and techniques that resist the aggressions of the ideology of progress, modernity, development and economic growth. Ancient communities foster self-sufficiency and responsibility. The old age techniques to build roofs, floors, walls, cisterns, latrines, ceramics; to cultivate vegetables, to raise and handle animals, to limit hunt and fishing, to walk great distances and steep hills; for education and the good life, prove most effective in the defense of Nature and by the way, to healthier lifestyles . They promote peace and conviviality among peoples. In Mexico, the Zapatista movement of Chiapas peoples has given to the world one of the most important political initiative to confront cultural, economic and political disaster. Mesoamerican cultures’ vision constitutes a great spiritual wealth of our country given to the world.
For more than fifty years, thousands of groups and millions of persons around the world have studied and experimented with alternatives to industrial technology; they have created ecological techniques to cultivate vegetables and produce food, preserve water and other gifts of Mother Earth, handle residues, build homes, as well as develop health-care, enhance learning and organize ecological communities. These field trials based upon science, together with millenary cultures’ wisdoms, offer efficient ways to confront the present System crisis.
Frugal life, reciprocity, complementarities, solidarity, collaboration, respect towards Mother Earth, all these values that are so present in millennia-old cultures and in some social groups that have emerged during the last centuries, are crucial elements for the resistance to chaotic urbanization and extreme industrialization; to finance, air-conditioned automobiles, consumerism and to the USA lifestyles. Equally, efficient values are the raising of food for family and community consumption, art, festivities and rituals, which halt the spirit of hard competition, egoism, violence and war.
Solidarity networks, civil disobedience and occupation of streets and squares are resources that help curb the suffering and horrors produced by the inevitable economic degrowth that societies sentenced to grow will one near day experience; they are resources that allow to degrow in a serene manner and rescue the genuine good life that restores our relations with Mother Earth.
In the face of worldwide environmental and social catastrophe, we make the call to
-Initiate a process of de-colonization of the social imaginary aimed to eradicate the values imposed on the world by the State and the Market during the last five hundred years; to subvert and reorient the world’s westernization; at turning into heinous practices usury, private accumulation of goods and power, and the radical, irresponsible alteration of Nature. To decolonize the social imaginary, in order to foster a moral regeneration of our societies; to create a new ethics that will introduce in the laws guarantees of respect towards Mother Earth and of protection of society’s most helpless groups. Create a counter-culture that incorporates the best of the past and the present in order to fill with joy our lives and oppose it to the ecocidal, genocidal ideology that rules today’s world.
-Reconceptualize and restructure food production and other basic elements for human survival, including health care, learning and amenities; Regenerate our communities, neighborhoods, quarters, ejidos, towns and cities by means of ecological techniques and practices approved of by all neighbors.
-Strengthen or enhance the autonomy, self-sufficiency and self-management of communities, neighborhoods, quarters, ejidos, towns and borough confederations, and ecological micro-regions (micro-basins or micro watersheds), by means of permanent community assemblies in the public square.
-Set up the bases for a peaceful transition to a society with a low consumption of energy, water and other resources provided by Mother Earth, by means of regional meetings to engage in dialog and reflexive debate, as well as by means of studies and applied research decided by the community.
-Carry out actions in support of local resistances and the worldwide tidal wave of regional revolutions rising from harsh economic conditions imposed by decaying governments. Back the movements of those severely affected by the increasing disorder created by State and Market activities; participate in the Peoples’ summits organized by international networks on environmental and climate justice vis-à-vis official forums like Rio+20; provide support to the revolutions in  production/consumption techniques and practices; in the management of communities, boroughs and cities; accompany both social movements, and urban and peasant revolutions in each ecological or cultural region; endorse the resistance of indigenous populations, fishers, peasants, laborers, workers, migrants, women, unemployed youth, homeless families, landless peasants, and citizens dispossessed or with no degrees or professional qualifications.
-Relocate life and economy, by having most of the community consume what the ecological region produces and produce most what the eco-region consumes. Support the new artisans and the new peasants who adopt, and take advantage of the best from the past and of the present.

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Filed under Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Rio+20