Last week the world celebrated a much anticipated event: RIO+20. Rio standing for Rio de Janeiro, the place it was held in, and +20 signifies the amount of years since their last conference on sustainable development called the Rio summit.
RIO+20 stands for a future we want to see, meaning an equitable future with a high emphasis on stewardship for our environment. The goal of the conference was to bring attention to seven subjects that are of the greatest priority and the utmost urgency in decision and policy making. The subjects were discussed with the importance placed on a green economy in the context of sustainable development poverty eradication and the institutional framework for sustainable development.
The Seven Subjects were:
- Decent jobs
- Sustainable cities
- Food security and sustainable agriculture
- Disaster readiness
You can only imagine what it must have been like being there in Rio de Janeiro with the attention of the world being a spotlight, shinning down on the city for everybody to see in all its glory. From June 20th to June 22nd approximately 50,000 citizens from Paul McCartney, Penelope Cruz, Jude Law and Richard Branson and nearly 100 leaders as the likes of Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Mayor Bloomberg , Russian Prime Minister Medvedev and others from around the world came together to discuss these seven issues, along with a gambit of many other problems.
After obtaining as much knowledge possible, I found there is a consensus that this ambitious conference costing tens of millions of dollars resulted in mediocre goals with a non-binding declaration. And, the idea of spending millions of dollars on a pretty old discussion is almost insulting.
The idea of a sustainable social and natural environment has been discussed before; it is actually a pretty old conversation. On December 10th 1948, The United Nation’s General Assembly announced the principle of all “human beings shall enjoy fundamental rights and freedoms without discrimination,” in the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This was stated a little more than 62 years ago because of the atrocities that were happening, yet our fellow neighbors still have to fight for their lives.
Then again, it does not have to go on this way. Sure, RIO+20 was a global event, but that does not necessarily need to be confined to those attending the conference in Rio de Janeiro.
It is actually going to take a lot more than 50,100 people to change the world, but it starts with you. Yes, you. Dear reader, sustainability is NOW and you do not give yourself enough credit. You have the power the change the world. We believe in you.
Let’s start talking about what life would be like if we were all stewards for our planet living in fair world. Let’s be a little more thought provoking with our friends, co-workers, neighbors, politicians and mentors. I look forward to these discussions. But remember, you have the power the change the world and when we put our hearts together great things can happen.
& Partnership Programs