Archive for June, 2012

Frustration in the air by Rio+20 Youth

The second day of Rio+20 is about to finish, with youth demanding their voices to be heard. There is widespread frustration in the air, as the negotiating text on The Future We Want fails to set the base for the concrete actions it has promised. Youth, joined by NGO and indigenous people representatives have been protesting for at least 3 hours this afternoon, while world leaders were discussing in the Plenary.

Watch Cam Fenton from the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition shaming world leaders and 11-year-old Ta’Kaiya Blaney of the Sillamon nation calling on the Earth Revolution.

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June 21, 2012 at 10:56 pm Leave a comment

David Suzuki: why use nuclear power to boil water?

There is a person that has long pioneered the idea that solutions are in our nature. And he does great in explaining the complexities of the natural world in a compelling, easily understood way. I was around in the talk of Dr. David Suzuki from the David Suzuki Foundation at Rio+20. In this short video, Dr. Suzuki makes a point why nuclear energy is a non-sense.

For more than 30 years, David Suzuki has been the voice for nature in Canada. Born in Vancouver, he was sent to a Japanese internment camp with his family at the age of six, during the Second World War. After the war, Suzuki moved to Ontario, growing up with a passion for nature. This led him to earn a PhD in Zoology from the University of Chicago. Next, he moved back to Canada and started teaching at the University of British Columbia. He also started appearing on television to gain public support for science. By 1971, he had his own show right here. He’s also authored 43 books, with his latest one called “David Suzuki’s Green Guide”, a “how-to” guide to being a green citizen.

Watch the video here.

June 21, 2012 at 7:39 pm Leave a comment

Hans Herren: In Agriculture, Business as usual is not an option

I met with Dr. Hans Herren at Rio+20, to talk about IAASTD and the way forward. The 1995 World Food Prize Winner didn’t mince his words. “It will take more than just words to change the system”, he told me. According to him, food consumption is the key towards the effective transformation of food production and distribution.

How? By pricing food according to its true cost and value, and by informing consumers of what’s in the food they buy through correct labeling. In other words: ending subsidies to commodity crops, factoring the environmental, social and public health costs of industrial food production into the price tag of food items and labeling GMOs are the name of the game! Watch the video here.

June 21, 2012 at 7:14 pm Leave a comment

Delegates at Rio+20 Have Reached an Agreement

Negotiators and delegates at Rio+20 have reached an agreement and released the final document which is to be approved by world leaders starting 20th June 2012. The document calls for “urgent action with regards to sustainable production and consumption.” Nonetheless, no, specific details or time frame has been given for the implementation of this agreement.

With regards to agriculture, the document has recognized the role of traditional sustainable agriculture practices including traditional seed systems for local communities as well as the role of women in the advancement of sustainable agriculture. In this regard, if the agreement is successfully implemented, the world will have made a giant step towards ecological and social intensification on agriculture.

The delegates have also recommended that action be taken, to improve agricultural research, extension, training and education with an aim to improve productivity and sustainability.  Let’s hope that the momentum of the draft of the paper will still be present in some weeks! and that it will reach politicians especially in Europe and the US who have not even signed the IAASTD (International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development).Want to learn more about the agreement? Go to http://www.uncsd2012.org/content/documents/727The%20Future%20We%20Want%2019%20June%201230pm.pdf

June 20, 2012 at 11:00 pm Leave a comment

Patrick Holden: United in Diversity

Patrick Holden is the founder of the Sustainable Food Trust and has been Director of the Soil Association in the UK for 10 years. In this interview, he brings news from Rio+20 and gives his insight on the necessary transitions in the World’s food systems. “Rio has born no simple solutions but it is apparent that the change is in our hands, let’s work from the ground up” he says, while reflecting on the history, the present and a potential future for the food movement.

Watch the video here.

June 20, 2012 at 8:04 pm Leave a comment

Youth are beating the drum at the Peoples Summit

There is a huge distance separating the Peoples Summit and the Riocentro convention center where world leaders are meeting for Rio+20. And this distance is not only in terms of kilometers, but also political. Parallel to the high level negotiations, the Peoples Summit hosted an array of events in a more informal setting. Some claim that the actual solutions are being formed there, through day-to-day interactions by members of the civil society.

Several demonstrations also took place throughout the city and the Peoples Summit. The protagonists are the youth, full in their colour, enthusiasm, creativity and brio. Beating the drum for positive changes towards to a greener, more just, happier world.

Watch the video here.

June 20, 2012 at 12:26 pm Leave a comment

Vandana Shiva: Earth Democracy

The organic movement is in Rio+20 with a very concrete agenda: to mainstream organic agriculture at all levels. Among them is Dr. Vandana Shiva, who has been fighting for biodiversity and small farmers’ right or the past four decades.

Founder of the Navdanya movement in India, Shiva is one of the deepest thinkers of our times, with exceptional abilities of eloquence and reflection, which make her one of the strong assets of the organic movement. I have followed Dr. Shiva for a day in her busy schedule in Rio+20 and captured on video her insights on the food system, the current economic crisis, youth and poverty.

Watch the video interview here.

June 20, 2012 at 11:32 am Leave a comment

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