inside: Deleting our Rights, Bracketing our Future:           Why we need a Peoples Summit  Common but Differentiated Resp...
contents.          1          Note from the Editors                     UN Human Rights Chief urges States to inject human...
Note from the EditorsGeorgie Macdonald and Amy CutterEditors for Outreach Magazine, Stakeholder Forum      Yesterday’s 42n...
UN Human Rights Chief urges States to inject    Navi Pillay                     human rights into Rio+20    UN Human Right...
Deleting our Rights, Bracketing our Future:                      Paul L. Quintos                                          ...
Common but Differentiated Responsibility    Robert Gibson                                  at Rio+20    Adjunct Professor,...
2.	 The following arguments for the greater responsibility   Given the above points we conclude:                      of d...
Road Map for international endorsement of a              Charter of Universal Responsibilities    Sudha Reddy    Internati...
Stable Populations:                               an Essential Condition for Sustainability                      Roger Mar...
profile.                              Christine Loh                                  How did you get to the role you are i...
Rio+20 Side Event Calendar Date             Time        Room   Title                                                      ...
Principle 10: Time for a global conventionGita PariharHead of Legal, Friends of the Earth20 years ago, on the threshold of...
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Outreach Magazine: Rio+20 April/May meetings Day1


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Outreach Magazine: Rio+20 April/May meetings Day1

  1. 1. inside: Deleting our Rights, Bracketing our Future: Why we need a Peoples Summit Common but Differentiated Responsibility at Rio+20 a multi-stakeholder magazine on climate change and sustainable development out reach. 23 April pic: Benoit Theodore
  2. 2. contents. 1 Note from the Editors UN Human Rights Chief urges States to inject human rights into 2 Rio+20 Deleting our Rights, Bracketing our Future: 3 3 Why we need a People’s Summit 4 Common but Differentiated Responsibility at Rio+20 Road Map for international endorsement of a Charter of Universal 6 Responsibilities 7 Stable Populations: an Essential Condition for Sustainability Profile. 4 8 Calling forth Rights of Nature at the Earth Summit Rio+20 9 Rio+20 Side Event Calendar 10 Principle 10: Time for a global convention 7 pic: Ian Wallace OUTREACH IS PUBLISHED BY: Outreach is a multi-stakeholder publication on OUTREACH EDITORIAL TEAM climate change and sustainable development. It is the longest continually produced Editorial Advisors Felix Dodds Stakeholder Forum stakeholder magazine in the sustainable Farooq Ullah Stakeholder Forum development arena, published at various international meetings on the environment; Editor Georgie Macdonald Stakeholder Forum including the UNCSD meetings (since 1997), Co-editor Amy Cutter Stakeholder Forum UNEP Governing Council, UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP) and World Water Week. Editorial Assistant Jack Cornforth Stakeholder Forum Published as a daily edition, in both print Print Designer Jessica Wolf Jessica Wolf Design and web form, Outreach provides a vehicle for critical analysis on key thematic topics in Web Designer Thomas Harrisson Stakeholder Forum the sustainability arena, as well as a voice of regional and local governments, women, Web Designer Matthew Reading-Smith Stakeholder ForumAbout Stakeholder Forum indigenous peoples, trade unions, industry, youth and NGOs. To fully ensure a multi-Stakeholder Forum is an international stakeholder perspective, we aim to engage CONTRIBUTING WRITERSorganisation working to advance sustainable a wide range of stakeholders for article Navi Pillay UN Human Rights chief Roger Martin Population Mattersdevelopment and promote democracy at a contributions and project level. Our work aims to enhance open, Paul L. Quintos IIbon International Doris Ragettli Rights of Mother Earth If you are interested in contributingaccountable and participatory international City University of Hong Christine Loh Civic Exchangedecision-making on sustainable development to Outreach, please contact the team Robert Gibson Kongthrough enhancing the involvement ( or Gita Parihar Friends of the Earthof stakeholders in intergovernmental Sudha Reddy International Forum of Ethics & Responsibilitiesprocesses. For more information, visit: You can also follow us on @OutreachLive
  3. 3. Note from the EditorsGeorgie Macdonald and Amy CutterEditors for Outreach Magazine, Stakeholder Forum Yesterday’s 42nd Earth Day Rio+20 offers us an opportunity to make the right turn and change our course towards a just and marked yet another milestone sustainable transition. Ban Ki-moon went on to note that as we approach Rio+20. With “sustainable development recognizes that our economic, social and environmental objectives are not competing over 120 Heads of State and goals that must be traded off against each other, but governments now expected to are interconnected objectives that are most effectively pursued together in a holistic manner…We need an attend the Summit – more than outcome from Rio+20 that reflect this understanding and in 1992 – the pressure is now that relates to the concerns of all.”mounting for Rio to deliver. The Over the next two weeks, the Outreach team will be next two weeks of negotiations tracking the negotiations, engaging stakeholders, covering serve as one final opportunity events and gathering articles, in order to provide rich daily insights for those attending the negotiations and for us to ensure that we enter those following from afar. To help us target certain hotthe Summit on a sure footing and topics and timely discussions, we will be loosely basing each edition around a series of themes. Today’s theme produce a successful outcome. is Rights, Responsibility and Principles, continuing the discussions that emerged in the March meetings.The challenge was best summarised this month byUN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who stated that We would like to invite our readers to contribute to“The world stands at a crossroads…we need everyone – Outreach over the next nine days and at Rio itself. Belowgovernment ministers and policymakers, business and civil is a list of daily themes, with content deadlines. Articlessociety leaders, and young people – to work together to should be between 500-700 words in length (max. 700)transform our economies, to place our societies on a more and we can also include images. Please contact us ifjust and equitable footing, and to protect the resourcesand ecosystems on which our shared future depends.” information about Outreach. . you would like to contribute articles, or would like more CONTENT DEADLINE MEETING PUBLICATION DATES THEMES (5PM EST EACH DAY) Monday 23rd April Rights, Responsibility & Principles Today’s edition Tuesday, 24th April Green economy Monday, 23rd April Wednesday, 25th April Food and Agriculture Monday, 23rd April Thursday, 26th April Oceans/Blue Economy Tuesday, 24th April Rio+20: Second round Institutional Framework for Sustainable of informal-informal Friday, 27th April Wednesday, 25th April Development negotiations on the Zero Draft of Outcome Monday, 30th April Energy Saturday, 28th April Document Private Sector discussions on Sustainable Tuesday, 1st May Saturday, 28th April Development & Rio process Wednesday, 2nd May Disaster, Risk and Resilience Monday, 30th April Thursday, 3rd May Youth/Earth Debates Tuesday, 1st May Friday, 4th May The Final Sprint to Rio Wednesday, 2nd May 1 RIO+20
  4. 4. UN Human Rights Chief urges States to inject Navi Pillay human rights into Rio+20 UN Human Rights chief As negotiations on the Rio+20 Conference outcome enter a critical phase, UN Human Rights chief Navi Pillay has urged all United Nations Member States to ensure that human rights are thoroughly integrated in the discussions and in any final outcome. Twenty years after the adoption of the landmark Rio Declaration, the United Nations Conference on pic: Espen Faugstad Sustainable Development is due to convene in June this year. Regrettably, said Pillay in a letter sent to all UN because it was “thoroughly infused with human rights Member States, the draft outcome document of the considerations essential to sustainable development.” Rio+20 Conference fails to take sufficient account of human rights imperatives. She called on all Member States to commit to ensuring full coherence between their international human rights “In recent years, people have taken to the streets in obligations and efforts to advance the green economy. every region of the world, passionately demanding their fundamental human rights – in many instances at great “All policies and measures aimed at advancing sustainable personal risk,” Pillay said. “For Rio+20 to be successful, development must be firmly grounded in the right to its outcome must ensure that explicit human rights development, based on the principles of participation, safeguards are in place.” accountability at the national and international level, non- discrimination, empowerment and the rule of law,” Pillay said. Pillay warned that incoherence between international human rights standards, environmental strategies and “Public and private sector actors must exercise due economic policies can undercut all three. diligence, including by conducting human rights impact assessments. They must take particular care to prevent “Strategies based on the narrow pursuit of economic and remedy any negative impact on the human rights of growth without due regard for equity and related vulnerable and marginalized groups, including indigenous environmental, social and human rights considerations, peoples, minorities, migrants, people living in poverty, will both fail in their economic objectives, and risk older people, individuals with disabilities, and children. damaging the planet and the fundamental rights of Empowerment of women, the protection of their rights, people,” she said. and their meaningful participation in decision-making must be assured.” The High Commissioner noted that there were numerous examples of projects aimed at sustainable development Pillay added that States must ensure that explicit attention seriously impinging on the rights of already vulnerable is paid to protecting the human rights to food, to water communities, leading to landlessness, homelessness and and sanitation, to health, housing and education, and to economic dispossession. participation in public affairs. “Technocratic processes have excluded women from “A strong outcome at Rio, seamlessly integrating the decision-making, economic and social inequalities have environmental, social, economic, and human rights been exacerbated, indigenous peoples have seen threats elements of sustainable development, will do much to to their lands and livelihood from some emission reduction help us advance our collective mission to create a world schemes, scarce food-growing lands have sometimes free from fear and from want,” the UN rights chief added. . been diverted for the production of biofuels, and massive infrastructure projects have resulted in the forced eviction “I look forward to being a part of this important process.” and relocations of entire communities,” she said. “Simply put, participatory, accountable, non- MORE INFO discriminatory and empowering development is more This text was adapted from a press release from the Office effective, more just and ultimately more sustainable.” of the High Commissioner on Human Rights published on 18th April 2012. Pillay said that the 1992 Rio Declaration has been celebrated for its integrated approach to economic development, For the full text of Navi Pillay’s letter to Member States, social development and environmental protection – and please visit: HRClimateChangeIndex.aspx2 RIO+20
  5. 5. Deleting our Rights, Bracketing our Future: Paul L. Quintos Why we need a People’s Summit Ibon International I think the best way to Language hinting to the need for reform of International Financial Institutions, the multilateral trading system and appreciate the need for a the big banks are being dismissed as beyond the remit of People’s Summit in Rio is to Rio. What happened to integrating the three pillars? look at what happened at the last The powerful States are consistently opposing prescriptive round of discussions in March. language that would commit governments to take action on what they claim to support in principle. On the other There we witnessed a systematic attempt by some hand, they are pushing for private sector investments and powerful states to weaken, ‘bracket’, or outright eliminate initiatives to fill in the gap left by the public sector. nearly all references to human rights obligations and equity principles in the Outcome Document for Rio+20. If all the attempts from these States to remove rights, eliminate equity, whittle down Rio principles and avoid Let’s take the section on Food. One major power has concrete commitments to meaningful reforms in social, proposed to remove text that refers to the ‘Right to food economic and environmental policies and governance are and proper nutrition’ while others would like to see the successful, then what are we left with? ‘Right of everyone to have access to safe, sufficient and nutritious food…’ bracketed. Text that refers to increasing The narrative emerging from these negotiations can only be agricultural productivity or improving access of small understood in the context of the current global economic farmers to global markets is accepted, but references crisis. New investment outlets, markets, sources of raw to ‘Promoting access to land particularly for women, materials and new ways of squeezing more profits from indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups’ or the toil of working people are desperately being sought out. ‘specific attention must be paid to challenges faced by poor smallholders, women and youth including their But governments can’t easily privatise if we assign clear participation in decision-making…’ are contentious. obligations on states to ensure universal access to water, which is what rights imply. They can’t expand to biofuel The same story goes for water. Some States would like plantations if there are safeguards in place to respect to delete the ‘Right to safe and clean drinking water customary land use rights and practices of indigenous and sanitation’ from the text. But they agree to ‘efforts peoples. They can’t speculate on commodities and to improve access’ because this can be met through the derivatives if we have financial regulations in place, and privatisation of water utilities in order to encourage private they can’t aim for ever expanding capital accumulation investment. Whereas rights assign the duty to the state. if we insist on the redistribution of resources and environmental space within planetary boundaries. It’s not just human rights that are under attack. Principles already agreed upon in Rio in 1992 – the Polluter Pays Principle, That’s why we need a People’s Summit! Precautionary Principle, and Common but Differentiated Responsibility (CBDR) – are also being bracketed. A space where people can more freely and openly discuss and question the fundamental underpinnings of the global CBDR is particularly contentious with developed countries economic and political order, embrace new paradigms which are trying to eliminate prescriptive language that for development and sustainability, and explore truly would commit them to the provision of finance, technology transformative solutions, not the false solutions that we transfers and capacity building in support of sustainable have heard so far in the preparatory negotiations. development effort in the South. But we can’t abandon the official process either. We have to send a resounding message to our leaders thatpic: Sergiu Bacioiu we will not allow them to ‘delete’ our rights and ‘bracket’ our futures. We must not allow them to backtrack on the Rio principles and on human rights obligations. We must . make it clear to them that this is not the future we want! 3 RIO+20
  6. 6. Common but Differentiated Responsibility Robert Gibson at Rio+20 Adjunct Professor, School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong Action on climate change has Since the Kyoto Protocol, arguments over CBDR have been one of the biggest barriers to action on climate change. been weakened by disagreements Most developing countries have refused to agree to anything on sharing responsibility which they consider to contravene the CBDR principle. Some developed countries have refused to take additional between countries. Rio+20 commitments to reduce emissions, as they consider these should provide an equitable will reduce their ability to compete with rapidly growing developing countries. basis for future agreements by defining how the principle International shipping as an example of CBDR preventing of Common but Differentiated action on climate change Responsibility (CBDR) applies International shipping provides an example of how to individuals and agreeing contention around the principle of CBDR can limit action that the responsibility of each to mitigate climate change. The International Chamber of country should be the aggregate Shipping (ICS) has proposed putting a carbon price on the emissions of all international shipping, with most of the of the responsibilities of its money raised being used to fund mitigation and adaptation residents. in developing countries. It has highlighted that: • Its proposal meets the CBDR principle by the The concept of CBDR was enshrined as Principle 7 of the way money is spent rather than how it raised. Rio Declaration at the first Rio Earth Summit in 1992. • If the carbon price only applied to shipping This reads: flagged in developed countries then ship owners … In view of the different contributions to global will reflag their vessels in developing countries to environmental degradation, States have common avoid it. This would make the scheme ineffective. but differentiated responsibilities. The developed countries acknowledge the responsibility that they bear The ICS proposal would have raised the cost of in the international pursuit to sustainable development emissions from shipping and incentivised reduction of in view of the pressures their societies place on the these emissions. More significantly it could have raised global environment and of the technologies and substantial funds to help developing countries invest in low financial resources they command. carbon technology and adapt to climate change. Developing countries, however, considered that having a carbon price The Rio Earth Summit also produced the United Nations apply to ships flagged in their countries would contravene Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) creating a list the CBDR principle. They therefore blocked this proposal in (Annex 1) of ‘developed’ countries incorporating CBDR in meetings of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) its principles: and the UNFCCC. The Parties [i.e. Countries] should protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations of humankind, on the basis of equity and in accordance How CBDR applies to individual citizens with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. Accordingly, the developed To see the way forward on this issue, it is helpful to consider country Parties should take the lead in combating how the arguments that justify CBDR at country level apply climate change and the adverse effects thereof. to the position of individuals. 1. Firstly, carbon emissions, unchecked for long enough, In 1997 the Kyoto Protocol required developed countries will destabilise the climate, adversely impacting the to reduce their emissions while developing countries only standard of living and life expectancy of everyone. It is needed to report their emissions. The USA refused to ratify therefore in the interest of all individuals to fund action this agreement partly because it considered the lack of to achieve low carbon prosperity and thus reduce the symmetry would create competitive distortions. risk of destabilising the climate.4 RIO+20
  7. 7. 2. The following arguments for the greater responsibility Given the above points we conclude: of developed countries apply equally to individuals: 1. Any individual, regardless of nationality or country • Developed countries currently release greater of residence, should pay for the carbon emissions of per capita emissions and place more pressure their activities which are part of ‘rich world lifestyles’ per capita on the environment and so should - including using fossil-fuelled transport, eating meat pay more. Similarly, individuals with higher frequently and heating/cooling living spaces of more consumption place more pressure on the than modest area per person - and the money generated environment and so should pay more. should be used to create low carbon prosperity. • Developed countries are richer and so can afford to help fund mitigation and adaption 2. The responsibility of a country should be the aggregate activities in developing countries. Similarly, of the responsibility of its residents. individuals who are wealthier can afford to spend more on preventing the climate from being 3. As there is more enjoyment of ‘rich world lifestyles’ destabilised. in developed countries and more action required to achieve low carbon prosperity in developing countries 3. The argument that developed countries have ‘historical there should be a flow of funds from developed to responsibility’ due to their higher historic carbon developing countries. As a result, individuals with poor emissions appears reasonable for countries which have living standards due to living in developing countries a continuous existence but is not tenable when applied should benefit from funds flowing into those countries to individuals. For example, consider two individuals to help them achieve low carbon prosperity. with similar assets and consumption: • If one of them lives in Bangkok and the other in Strengthening the CBDR principle Paris should they pay different amounts on their carbon emissions? Rio+20 should act on these conclusions by updating • Does the answer change if they have different Principle 7 in the Rio Declaration as follows: nationalities or have moved to their current States shall cooperate in a spirit of global partnership country of residence during their lifetime? to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity • Does the answer change if they have lived all of the Earths ecosystem. In view of the different their lives in one country but their parents, or contributions to global environmental degradation grandparents moved there from another country? caused by the current differing levels of resource consumption of their citizens, States have common but • What should be the position for people who are differentiated responsibilities. All States acknowledge half French and half Thai some of whom live in Paris and some in Bangkok? the responsibility that they bear in the international pursuit to sustainable development is determined by the pressures the living standards of their citizens place The conclusion from asking these questions is that, with on the global environment and by the technologies and one minor exception, there is no reasonable or practical financial resources they command. Developed countries way of distinguishing the responsibility of individuals. acknowledge the higher average living standards of The minor exception is that people in a developed their citizens, and their greater access to technologies country may have more responsibility due to benefiting and financial resources, increases their responsibility. from infrastructure whose construction caused past carbon emissions. This, however, is part of the argument This revised CBDR principle can then become the basis for that those with a higher standard of living should pay negotiation within the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action more for action to reduce the risk of destabilising the under the UNFCCC to increase the contribution of emerging climate and is not, therefore, an additional reason for differentiating the responsibility of individuals. . economies to climate change mitigation, in line with the increase of wealth and consumption of their citizens. MORE INFO The concept of ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’ referring to the emissions of individuals was proposed by Shoibal Chakravarty, Ananth Chikkatur, Heleen de Coninck, Stephen Pacala, Robert Socolow, and Massimo Tavoni in "Sharing Global CO2 Emission Reductions Among One Billion High Emitters."Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (July 6, 2009)pic: NASA Goddard 5 RIO+20
  8. 8. Road Map for international endorsement of a Charter of Universal Responsibilities Sudha Reddy International Forum of Ethics & Responsibilities Since the first international Responsibility is also the core of any social contract between socio-professional groups and the rest of conference on environment in the society, whether it’s scientists, professionals, civil Stockholm, forty years ago, it has servants, farmers or children. It mitigates corporatist or sectoral interests, or loyalty to a limited community become clear that the two pillars of without the conscience of being part of a larger one. The the international community – the UN very concept of co-responsibility reflects, from the local to Charter and the Universal Declaration the global level, this idea of a social contract. of Human Rights – are no longer Over the last fifteen years, the international negotiations sufficient to deal with the growing have failed even when our long term survival is at stake. As a result of the heterogeneity of the state members of interdependence of humanity and the the UN, all the major states have opted for consensus biosphere. With the present incapacity conferences with a de facto veto right for every country. International negotiations have therefore become mere of our societies to curb development, bargaining between leaders that are only geared by their and the failure of the international national interests and claiming their sovereignty. They have become truly negligent of the common good. This intergovernmental community to make the cannot be changed except if the international community decisions most needed to protect our truly acknowledges our global interdependence and its corollary, the principle of universal responsibility. future, the adoption of a third pillar has become urgent. Ethics are the link between personal inner convictions, which orient our choices and help us solve ethical Over the years, the Universal Declaration of Human dilemmas, and the law, which is the expression of rules Rights has been the starting point to define these rights agreed upon by a community as binding for personal in a broader sense, including the economic, social, and collective behaviour. Common ethics combine the cultural and environmental rights, which are part of influence of personal choices and orientation of the law. human dignity and social justice. However, responsibility A Charter of Universal Responsibilities has the potential is the hidden face of rights and a fair balance between to stimulate responsible behaviour at the individual and rights and responsibilities is at the core of any true collective levels, be a common ethical reference for the democracy and bio-civilization. different communities, institutions, stakeholders and people in positions of power and authority, and the basis All the reflections about the great transition that we are for international and national laws. facing due to the shortcomings of the present development model, underline the fact that beneath the different crises Therefore, representatives of the global civil society must: there is an ethical crisis, with personal short term material interests and violent power relations being celebrated by • Urge the governments which will participate in the present economic and political ideology, at the expense the Rio+20 conference in June 2012 to put the of relations of reciprocity, compassion and caring, within discussion on the draft of a Charter of Universal society, and between humanity and nature. Responsibilities and the adopt a road map for an international endorsement by the UN General Assembly of a binding Charter within the coming We need common ethics that have deep roots in our three years on the institutional framework agenda different cultures, philosophical or religious traditions, of the conference; and and reflect the interconnectedness of our universe to run our fragile and only planet. Responsibility – reciprocity, • Support the ‘Call on Governments’ issued by the caring and management of the commons – is at the International Network of Ethics and Responsibilities and cascade it through different networks. core of communities, and hence this common ethic. Therefore, even the poorest persons and communities claim, not only their rights, but also their responsibility MORE INFO – towards children, elders and the commons – as the Find the draft of ‘Charter of Universal Responsibilities’ expression of being a citizen. & ‘Call on Governments’ on the International Forum of . Ethics & Responsibilities website: www.ethica-respons.net6 RIO+20
  9. 9. Stable Populations: an Essential Condition for Sustainability Roger Martin Chair, Population Matters part of our finite planet. Conversely, building ever more schools, hospitals and roads just to maintain standards for an ever-expanding population brings no additional benefit to anyone; so it is not real ‘investment’, it’s just running to stand still – as every African Education Minister knows – and leaves less money for actual improvements; so long- term poverty persists. Yet population growth is a variable, not a ‘given’. Clearly sustainable prosperity will be far easier to achieve, the nearer to 8.1 billion the population stabilises. All it needs is priority, and resources: in developing countries for (strictly non-coercive) family planning and women’s education and empowerment programmes; in developed countries for public information programmes/incentives, aimingpic: UN/ Kibae Park to balance individual reproductive rights (which must be respected) with social and environmental responsibilities Population is a sensitive topic; but anyone genuinely to current and future generations. Ending unintended concerned for the planet their children will inherit cannot pregnancies – 40% of the total – could achieve the goal. ignore it. Everyone has a right to take control of their own fertility and have as many children as they wish. But they Resources for family planning are the key. There are also have a responsibility to take account of how their currently 215 million women (and rising) with an unmet choices affect everyone else. The fact remains that, on our need for family planning. Yet total world aid for family finite and degrading planet, population growth is, together planning is only 10% of the Goldman Sachs bonus pot, with consumption, a multiplier of all our environmental and EU aid for family planning is only 0.4% of total EU aid and resource problems. These all become harder, and – derisory figures. Priority for family planning is low, partly ultimately impossible to solve with ever more people. because the ‘population’ problem has in recent years been As Kofi Annan has said: “Population stabilization should marginalised as one largely of sexual and reproductive become a priority for sustainable development.” health and women’s rights; whereas in reality it affects the long-term prospects of success for all programmes across The environmental impact of recent growth – all Departments. The additional cost of meeting the unmet unprecedented in human history – is huge. Our numbers need for family planning, some $3.4 billion per year, is have more than tripled to 7 billion in my lifetime, still about half what Americans spend on Halloween. growing at 80 million per year or 10,000 per hour, and projected by 2050 to be between 8.1 and 10.6 billion – a The implications for Rio+20 are clear. Ignoring the range of 2.5 billion, or the Earth’s entire population in population multiplier guarantees ultimate failure for all 1950. Each additional person needs more food, water, sustainable development initiatives, since ever-rising and energy and produces more waste, CO2 and pollution populations will overwhelm any development gains. The (the rich consuming and polluting more than the poor, conference must recognise this, and include priority for of course). So all population growth: increases soil family planning among its key recommendations. “Family exhaustion, erosion, desertification, habitat destruction, planning could do more good for more people at less cost deforestation, aquifer depletion, climate change, sea level than any other known technology” (UNICEF). rise, and chemical or pathogenic pollution; and reduces the finite and dwindling natural resources available per The consequences of continued silence on this key issue person. There is an ethical principle behind the saying: will be grim. Indefinite population growth being physically “It’s no use reducing your footprint if you keep increasing impossible, it is certain to end at some point. But this can the number of feet”. only happen: either sooner by fewer births; or later by more deaths. Maurice Strong, Secretary of the first Rio Earth The economics matter. Smaller populations can sustainably consume more resources per person than larger ones, while remaining within the biophysical limits of their . Summit, put it bluntly: “Either we reduce our numbers voluntarily, or nature will do it for us brutally”. 7 RIO+20
  10. 10. profile. Christine Loh How did you get to the role you are in today and what People make things happen. To strive for sustainable development, it may mean existing advice would you give aspiring earth champions? vested interests are affected. Those advocating for change can face all sorts of pressure to stop. I founded Civic Exchange in 2000 after I stepped Thus, human rights – especially of freedom of down from the legislature in order to focus on expression and association – need to be protected. policy research to find solutions to problems, including environmental/ecological issues. For Nationality: Chinese How important is the RIO+20 process and what do you aspiring Earth Champions, I would like to say that they are on the right path because restoring think the priorities for action should be in 2012 in the run Country of residence: Hong Kong ecosystems is one of the most important things up to the summit? humans can do today. The Rio+20 process should transcend nationalities Current Position: CEO of non-profit think-tank Civic What do you believe should be achieved at Rio+20? and cultures and produce action across public and private spheres to support the transition to a Exchange The world faces problems that are global in green economy. Before the summit, there needs to nature. Climate change, extreme weather events be greater outreach in all communities so people including flooding and drought, biodiversity loss, know Rio+20 is happening and people can see desertification, famine, financial crisis, terrorism what they can do on the ground at home. Most and war. It is necessary that humanity come people can’t go to Rio but they can log-on and together to solve these problems collectively. see what happens there and look at the outcomes. Although we are not yet very good at it, we are Furthermore, irrespective of the outcomes, learning to act as a species on a planetary scale communities can still act locally. in order to ensure the future is sustainable. Rio+20 is one step on the pathway to Favourite quote: sustainability. Thus, the most important thing is for a consensus to be reached on a global scale Ecosystems functions are more valuable than among policy makers. material consumption. This is the conclusion from Following the discussions on rights at the Rio+20 will be at Rio+20. . John D Liu, ecological film maker and teacher who negotiations, why is the inclusion of human rights within international sustainable development so important? Calling forth Rights of Nature at the Earth Summit Rio+20 Doris Ragettli Rights of Mother Earth All humans and other beings are part of Planet The time has come for society to restructure Earth, an indivisible, living community of the fundamental framework of our governance interrelated forms. However, nature is treated as systems as they relate to the relationship of property under current law around the world. humans and the environment. The economic wellbeing and income generation of society can no longer be dependent on the The grassroots movement destruction of nature. There are alternative ways, is delivering thousands of signatures to the Rio+20 which call forth a quantum shift in thinking and Earth Summit and requesting the acceptance and acting on a global level. implementation of the Universal Declaration of Rights of Mother Earth by all Nations. Our call is for civil society, corporations, governments and the UN, to recognise nature as We invite you to be the voice for Mother Earth at a living being, in all its life forms, with the right the Earth Summit Rio+20. Visit our petition site to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles rather than being seen as property – a resource to be consumed and exploited. com/1/yes-to-rights-of-nature/ . and say yes to Rights of Nature: www.thepetitionsite.8 RIO+20
  11. 11. Rio+20 Side Event Calendar Date Time Room Title Organisers 1:15-2:45 6 The future Local and regional governments want United Cities and Local Governments World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), Biovision, 23 April 2012 1:15-2:45 A Implementing sustainable, humane agriculture foundation for ecological development, International Partners for Sustainable Agriculture (IPSA) Rio+20 Issues Cluster on Innovation & 15/15/15 UN - Civil Society Partnership International Association for the Advancement of Innovative (IAAI) 6:15-7:45 7 Formula Approaches to Global Challenges Environmental Health Initiatives: Innovative Approaches for Building 1:15-2:45 A Parliamentarians for Global Action Sustainable Cities 1:15-2:45 7 Responding to the Global Soil Crisis Permanent Mission of Australia to the UN 24 April 2012 Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group (GEAG); Public Advocacy Initiatives for Rights and Values in India (PAIRVI); Centre for 1:15-2:45 4 Reclaiming the ’92 Earth Summit and Revisiting the Rio+20 Agenda Community Economics and Development Consultants Society (CECOEDECON); and Beyond Copenhagen 6:15-7:45 A Promoting Rights and Equity through Sustainable Development Goals IBON International and Both Ends 1:15-2:45 A SDGs: Evolution or More of the Same? WWF-UK Rio+20: Towards sustainable agriculture and a world free of hunger - An 1:15-2:45 7 interactive dialogue with the Rome-based Agencies and the Committee on Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 25 April 2012 World Food Security (CFS) Sustainable Mobility on the Road to Rio+20: Priorities and Actions across Major 1:15-2:45 4 Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) Groups United Nations Environment Programme- Division of Technology, 6:15-7:45 7 Resource Efficient Cities as drivers of change Industry and Economics (UNEP-DTIE) 1:15-2:45 4 The Future We Want for Rio+20 on Oceans and Seas UN DPI 26 April 2012 Governments of Slovenia, Costa Rica, Cape Verde, Iceland, Singapore, 1:15-2:45 A Global outlook and local action: water and energy for sustainable development UAE (the Green Group) Blue Carbon as a Tool to Mitigate Climate Change and Preserve Key Marine and 6:15-7:45 7 UNESCO, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Coastal Ecosystems The State of the World Environment told by UNEP’s GEO-5 report and Global 1:15-2:45 7 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) 27 April 2012 Solutions for Sustainability 1:15-2:45 A Rights at Risk: Decoding the Green Economy France Libertes Foundation Danielle Mitterrand 1:15-2:45 4 Planet Under pressure ICSU-UNESCO-IGBPGreen Drinks NYC presents a new addition in 2012!! NEW! SPARK Series If you prefer networking in a more intimate setting and are passionate about particular issues or topics, our Green Drinks "SPARK Series" is perfect for you! This next topic is "Ending the Toxic Shell Game", toxic chemicals in consumer products and what to do about it with Center of Environmental Health Director, Micheal Green! Welcome by Tucker Robbins. OPEN BAR and SNACKS Tuesday April 24th, 2012 from 6:30- 8:30PM Held at: "Tucker Robbins Showroom" NY Design Center 200 Lexington Ave bet 32-33rd Sts., Suite 504, NYCREGISTER 9 RIO+20
  12. 12. Principle 10: Time for a global conventionGita PariharHead of Legal, Friends of the Earth20 years ago, on the threshold of a new millennium and in hopes environmentally oppressed planet. While regional approachesof creating a brave new world, a momentous summit took place and conventions would continue to exist alongside it; a globalin Brazil. The legal frameworks and principles adopted then have convention would provide baseline standards for all. As aset the stage for all environmental progress since. Amongst these result, any country that so chose could benefit from betterwere the visionary principles of the Rio declaration. Principle 10 environmental decision-making, whether or not its neighbourscontains a simple but fundamental truth: the best way to achieve wished to do so.good environmental decision-making is through the ‘participationof all concerned citizens’, furnished with rights of information, Principle 10 magic is not restricted to the national level. Asparticipation and access to justice. any member of the civil society constituencies excluded from the climate negotiations in Copenhagen will tell you; ourIn the UNECE region, where I am from, this principle was access to negotiations is not treated as a right but instead as adeveloped and made legally binding through the Aarhus privilege to be granted or withheld at the whim of the particularConvention. The European Union then took the provisions of international institution or process concerned. In our globalisedthe Aarhus Convention and applied them to its Member States world, it is simply not acceptable for decision-making on thethrough internal legislation. Sometimes I wonder how it would greater environmental good to be made without the awarenesshave been possible to work as an environmental lawyer before and involvement of concerned citizens. A global Principle 10this happened. Without legally binding Principle 10 rights I would Convention would play a vital role in developing guidelines tonot be able to access information to understand the negative apply Principle 10 at the international level, building on work(and positive) impacts of proposed projects, help members of done through the Aarhus Convention.the public to have their say on development in their area, orchallenge bad environmental decision-making in court on behalf I watch attempts to backslide from this wonderful principleof communities (or the organisation I work for), because of the with growing dismay. All states must acknowledge the basiclegal costs. Has the ability to do this resulted in more thoughtful legal principle of non-regression, you cannot go back from theenvironmental decision-making with better outcomes for the standards you agreed 20 years ago. Instead, the opportunityplanet? The answer in my view is an unqualified yes. of returning to their first home should be seized. Principle 10 is neither loud nor attention-seeking, but when it is legallyWith this in mind, what better way to celebrate Principle 10’s binding it quietly achieves positive steps towards sustainable20th birthday than by giving it a global convention as a home?This would fling open its doors to the entire population of our Rio could there be than that?. development every single day. And what better outcome from pic: Girl GuyedOutreach is made possible by the support of