Monday, 26 March 2012

Citizen Summit Day 2

Other breakout sessions over the weekend included green jobs, disaster preparedness, sustainable cities transportation, SCP, food security; local, state, provincial & regional action; interfaith and nonpartisan action, conservation, energy efficiency, fisheries, education; new indicators, measurement and verification, and "un-conference" proposals from participants. The overall emphasis was on developing citizen advocacy for Rio+20.

Kari Fulton, EJCC. Paul St Pierre-Plamondon, Génération d'Idées
I attended a breakout on climate justice by Kari Fulton of EJCC. Because of the long struggle of an Afro Americans and other minorities against environmental dumping in their neighborhoods, they have much experience to offer. She also urged international solidarity with grassroots Local Justice, Via Campesina, and Climate Justice Now. There is a historic misuse of power by the rich countries, allied with local elites in the poor countries–a situation protested by a Vandana Shiva in Earth Democracy. Evo Morales, the 1st indigenous president of Bolivia, held a world conference of the poor at Cochabamba in 2010. In the US there was almost no press coverage. Wiki leaks showed that the United States blackmailed governments to join the Copenhagen Accord; those that did not, had their aid cut. As a program of action she proposed the 10 principles for just climate policies in the US.

Plenaries in the 2nd day: coalition building for Rio+20 explored reasons for coalition, expanding beyond the local, pulling together resources and ideas, UN prepcoms, reaching new groups. There will be monthly conference calls you. A guide to house parties and other organizing methods is available.

In the afternoon, we heard from David Malone of the American Sustainable Business Council, who called for a combination of citizen and corporate greening, including environmental justice and indigenous stakeholders. Voluntary commitments are extremely important but systemic changes are also needed. How can we connect the indicators? How can we act within the required time? He was followed by Law Prof. John Dernbach of Widener University who said that what he was witnessing here was the merchants of sustainable development movement. I've been teaching this since 1992 and see increasing connections between different experts, you are now moving into citizen action. His new book is titled Acting as if Tomorrow Matters.

A number of other speakers offered visions and comments on the UN process. They are better seen in the live videos (links are to be posted on the Summit site) particularly those of Mexico's rep to the UNCSD, Jorge Laguna-Celis.

For updates and new contributions see:
Yale SFES Sage Magazine's blog from the summit

No comments: