Part IV: Our Future is Worth It: How YOUth can take ACTION for Sustainable Development


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The final installment of the Rio+20 toolkit series that focuses on the concept of the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development and how to use the Arts to spread the word!

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Part IV: Our Future is Worth It: How YOUth can take ACTION for Sustainable Development

  1. 1. A Rio+20Toolkit Series : Part IV Our Future is Worth It: How YOUth can take ACTION for Sustainable Development In partnership with:
  2. 2. It Does Not Stop With Rio+20 In this issue For Sustainable Development (SD) to become a reality, we need to implement strong government structures that will benefit Institutional everyone. Sustainable Development requires careful consideration. Framework for All of us should take the lead to implement changes throughout our Sustainable societies. Development It starts from a basic level of engagement. Each person can start to pp. 2 - 3 reduce his or her carbon footprint and influence the creation of better community policies. What is at Stake? pp. 4 Using The Arts pp. 5 - 6 Some Useful Links p. 7 Where Do we Go From here? p. 8 Contacts p.9 Decisions that our governments make must be held accountable by organizations, people and institutions. Whereas these entities facilitate, regulate and ensure that processes go smoothly, it is imperative that community members practice them. At Rio+20, new decisions about global Sustainable Development will be made, including how the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development (IFSD) will function. 1
  3. 3. Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development (IFSD) In part 3 of our toolkit, we focused on the Green Economy: IFSD should consider Now, let us take a look at the other theme for Rio+20, the Institutionalthat individual countries Framework for Sustainable Development (IFSD). will need to implement SD depending on their The concept of IFSD is expected to guide how regional, national and international needs and capacity. governments implement Sustainable Development. These action guidelines should IFSD should also be applicable to institutions, policy and laws on each level. encourage cooperation between nations to IFSD should incorporate and strengthen the principles of the Green Economy. If achieve greater goals IFSD and the Green Economy are well balanced, this will create incentives for for SD world-wide. continuous cooperation of all sectors of society toward sustainability. Global governance institutions National governing bodies include the United Nations include: parliament, congress, departments and affiliates ministries, national courts, (like the World Bank). prime ministerial offices. HOT TOPIC! One idea to co-ordinate effective global governance for SD is to strengthen the jurisdiction of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). There are many types of regional governing bodies. These include: regional planning commissions, council of governments, and special purpose regional agencies.IFSD is just as much about people, public and private entities as well as governments. For example, otherentities can take part in decision making, such as businesses or corporations, scientists and citizen-ledorganisations.You can build momentum toward effective solutions in your community by lobbying . Even if you do not lobby,you should always be informed. Look for local meetings and events which you can attend to gain a deeper under-standing of your community and build relationships.Things to keep in mind:  Relationship building is not a chore. Approach people with a willingness to connect.  Listen to understand what people are saying instead of trying to get them to agree with your points.  Do not discriminate! Keep an open mind and treat everyone with equal respect.2
  4. 4. International Perspectives on IFSD Here are some IFSD proposals that have been suggested in the lead up to Rio+20: Major Group for African Ministerial Indigenous Peoples Conference on the Environment MajorGroup forChildren & Earth Youth Systems Governance Earth Systems Governance proposals (March 2011): Major Group for Children and Youth proposals (November 2011): African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (September 2011): Group for Indigenous Peoples comments on the Zero Draft (January 2012):
  5. 5. What is at Stake? Taken from the report of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment , Fourth special session, Meeting of the expert group, Bamako, 13 and 14 September 2011— AMCEN/SS/IV/EG/6Where does the power lie?There are power disparities which affect how decisions are made about our different systems. Collective decisionsmust be made to achieve Sustainable Development. Governments can set laws but it is up to the people to followthem.Conversely, if governments do not set laws, the people can influence the making of them. What is needed is for usto shift our patterns of behaviour towards greater sustainability. If enough people are able to change , we cancreate pressure to have those values codified and integrated within our ecological, social and economic systems.To affect long-term, comprehensive change, member states at Rio+20 must secure renewed political commitment,assess progress and remaining gaps as well as address new challenges. Global leaders must reaffirm commitments to move negotiations beyond talk and into action . The international community must evaluate current progress and identify obstacles to achieving sustainability. The outcome of Rio+20 should establish a mechanism to evaluate, identify and resolve new challenges to SD. 4
  6. 6. Be Creative : The Arts for Sustainable Development The Arts are a subdivision of culture, which include visual, literary and performing arts.  Visual Arts: Includes a wide range of traditional and modern disciplines. Examples: ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, design, crafts, often modern visual arts (photography, video, filmmaking) and architecture.  Literary Arts: Includes written work, but is not confined to published sources. Examples: poetry, prose, fiction, and non-fiction.  Performing Arts: Art forms in which artists use their body or voice to convey artistic expression. Examples include but are not limited to: music, theatre, dance and film. You can use the Arts as a unique tool to express the kind of future you want. What you create can be an easy and fun way to have a profound message reach a wide audience. FILM-MAKING AND VIDEOS Grab a digital or video camera, identify images you want to capture and film away! Ask friends to participate in your video. If you are good with animations, use it to enhance your message for Sustainable Development on video. Not sure where to start? Try out some of these suggestions: 1) Film success stories of young people working towards Sustainable Development issues , 2) interview politicians to hold them accountable to their promises or 3) record your own change-making journey for Sustainable Development. PHOTOS/PAINTINGS/DRAWINGS A picture is worth a thousand words. Use photos, paintings and drawings to illustrate your ideas. Organise a photo contest or an exhibition to represent goals that you want to see achieved for Sustainable Development. Send these pieces of art to your politicians with a list of asks. For a reminder on how to make effective asks, see part 2 of this toolkit series: Try out installation art! You can temporarily transform an environment that people are used to (like a park, government building, or plaza) into an art gallery. Make sure to always abide by your local laws when planning installation art. You can create sculptures or get people to stand still and pose as characters from a scene that reinforces your overall message.5
  7. 7. MUSIC Here are some tips on using music to build enthusiasm around Sustainable Development:  Organize a concert. Get in contact with local musicians. Live music can make people more interested to attend your event.  Dance performances are another way to impress and influence people. You can choose a performance spot depending on what issue you would like to present. Take inspiration from Project Hip Hop: http://  Write your own song. Check out these examples from the Rio+20 Global Youth Music Contest! Hundreds of young people from around the world used music to share their messages towards Rio+20! THEATRICAL PERFORMANCES Theatrical performances do not have to be professional productions. You can direct, act in, or support theatre performances to help people see Sustainable Development in a different way. Impromptu Theatre/Role-playing Involve the public as participants in your show to let them experience role-playing as decision makers. What would be some consequences for our communities if we fail to move towards a more sustainable future? This form of art especially can also be applied in lobbying. Invite politicians to watch your performance, and get youth to propose ideas !6
  8. 8. Some Useful LinksINSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:IFSD on the UNCSD website: on IFSD: documents on IFSD: on Ecocide (crimes against the environment): and Youth article on IFSD: to Make a Short Film: ARTSStage Art for Sustainable Development: article on invisible theatre: theatre: Theatre: TO ORGANISE A CONCERT: A YOUTH MOVEMENT:How to start a movement: article on movements: media: 7
  9. 9. Where Do We Go From Here? Throughout our toolkit series we have stressed the importance of personal and collective action. Now that we have discussed many ways that you can address SD in your community, let us examine how to put this toolkit series into good use.. Below is a brief personal checklist. The numbers beside each item suggest an issue(s) of the toolkit series to refer to: ☐ Use your strengths. Are you good with people (e.g. raising awareness face-to-face)? Do you feel more comfortable with hands-on activities (e.g. tree-planting)? Do you prefer organising, (e.g. lobbying, advocating for structural changes)? Toolkit parts: 1,2. ☐ It is important to treat people with respect throughout your journey. Maintain integrity, professionalism and empathy. Be inclusive in your dealings with others. Toolkit parts: 1,2,3,4. ☐ Start small to have a definite impact and then branch out to larger challenges. Toolkit parts: 1,2.Links to previous parts of this ☐ It starts with you. Be sustainable even in the midst of organising. For Toolkit series: example: avoid using plastic, use alternative forms of transportation and use recycled paper in low quantities. Every little thing counts! Part 1 Toolkit parts: 1,2,3,4. Part 2: ☐ Maintain a wide perspective– your issue is likely to intersect and/or overlap with other areas. Think about how the issues overlap and how you can build partnerships with others who work in those Part 3: areas. Always try to find ways to bring new people into your movement. Toolkit parts: 1,2,3,4 ☐ Keep a positive attitude and stay focussed. Remember, SD is not just about you. Push aside ego and work in harmony with others to achieve the future we need! Toolkit parts: 1,2,3,4 ☐ Set timelines and realistic, achievable goals! Toolkit parts: 2. ☐ Use your discretion. What do you want to advocate for; is your issue something another organisation is already doing? Be strategic in your actions to make the best impact possible. Toolkit parts: 2,3.8
  10. 10. THANK YOU! This completes the fourth and final section of our Rio+20 toolkit series. CONTACT US If you are interested in getting involved, taking action, or simply knowing more about what we are doing, feel free to contact any of us for more information: MAJOR GROUP FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH Website: Facebook: Twitter: @MGCY_UNCSD EARTH CHARTER INTERNATIONAL Website: Facebook: Twitter: @earthcharter EOTO WORLD Website: Facebook: Twitter: @EOTOWorld Thanks and Acknowledgements Authors : Barkha Mossae (Mauritius), Sasha Pratt (UK), Neringa Miliauskaite (Lithuania), Elischia Fludd (USA), Nora Mahmoud (Costa Rica/USA) . Photo Credits: Sara Svensson, Oliver Rieche, Cynthia Keza and Vietnam Jump, Radomir Dolejsi, and Kyle Kaianaupuni Robertson. Toolkit Series Editors: Sasha Pratt (UK) and Elischia Fludd (USA) Thank you for making Sustainable Development your cause and believing that a better world is possible!9