Tuesday, 12 June 2012 07:56
Civil society mobilizing for Rio+20
From 20 to 22 June 2012, the Rio+20 Earth Summit will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 20 years after the historic 1992 Summit. The first Rio Summit is still seen as a key driver of the environmental cause, as it resulted in the "Rio Declaration on Environment and Development", which enshrined the notion of "sustainable development". It also led to the adoption of a programme of action for the 21st century, known as "Agenda 21", which sets out many recommendations for concrete implementation of the declaration's principles. This programme is still a global reference for sustainable development stakeholders today.
Rio+20 will give the international community an opportunity to take stock of its commitments and put forward new proposals to go even further in protecting the environment and combating climate change. Civil society should play its full part in this summit, making many contributions helping to relay field initiatives, innovative technologies and good practices which ensure that the interests of the most vulnerable groups are not overlooked.
In connection with the summit, GERES is joining forces with the Comité 21, which launched the "Club France Rio+20" in 2011 to facilitate mobilization of French stakeholders and enhance their initiatives during the event. The aim is to combine the goodwill and efforts of French civil society in promoting the green economy and institutional structures that foster sustainable development and reduce inequalities. GERES has already published its stakeholder journal on the French government website to pool good practice in the fields of access to sustainable energy and combating poverty. This journal presents various successful flagship projects that could be replicated, such as passive solar houses in cold regions, improved cooking stoves in Cambodia and short supply chain biofuels in Africa. Dissemination of these tried and tested solutions is one of GERES objectives, in the hope that its counterparts can build on good practice that has now achieved global recognition. Major international meetings and the mobilization of solidarity networks that comes with them represent a unique window of opportunity for sharing between clean development experts.
The Rio+20 summit will therefore be a key stage in 2012, designated International Year of Sustainable Energy for All" by the United Nations. GERES undertakes to play an active part in this UN initiative, which pursues the objective that has formed the core of its projects and activities for more than 35 years.