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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.

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

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

Miguel Altieri: Agroecology is the only path

“Agroecology” is one of the words that was heard a lot in discussions on sustainable agriculture in Rio+20. The farming system is very popular with communities in Latin America, as well as other parts of the world and starts getting more and more mainstreamed into the political jargon, also at the UN level.

I met UC Berkeley Professor Dr. Miguel Altieri, who is one of the most prominent advocates for agroecology. Watch the video interview here.

June 19, 2012 at 12:26 pm Leave a comment

Farming the City against Poverty

Economically productive, socially cohesive, and environmentally sustainable cities will need organically produced and traded fresh foods and much greater urban-rural linkages for ensuring food security, healty diets and vibrant markets.

The first steps are already taking place with urban gardens and community initiatives all over the world. From communal gardens in ParisSan Fransisco and Shanghai to the rooftops of London and a campus garden in the outskirts of Stuttgart, sustainable organic food is now produced in places that no-one could have imagined a few years ago.

I visited a pilot rooftop gardening project in one of Rio’s thousands favelas together with Robert Jordan, Advocacy Manager of the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM). In this video interview, Jordan outlines the benefits opportunities rising from urban agriculture. as well as the IFOAM advocacy strategy on this matter in Rio+20.

Watch the video: Urban Agriculture against Poverty

June 16, 2012 at 7:09 pm Leave a comment

My World on Earth: voices from the favela in Rio+20

Following several months of an online survey, where 2000 youth were asked to indicate the most important challenges for humanity today, an open debate was organized in the heart of Favela Babilônia, Rio de Janeiro. The discussion organized by ICA – Information, Knoweldge & Attitude, was designed to stimulate youth to critically reflect on their daily actions and their impacts on the environment. Opinions, attitudes, and a resolution to be delivered to heads of states.

I was there, and had the opportunity to open a discussion about our food choices and how they impact the society, the economy and the planet. Watch the video here.

June 12, 2012 at 11:34 pm Leave a comment

The relationship between UNEP and Youth is a logical one

Environmental problems today are much more prominent than 20 years ago.  Climate change, erosion of biodiversity and genetic resources, depletion of soil and water resources, desertification and natural disasters are just a few to name. They are all coming towards us at the same time, in rates that no-one can predict. Most importantly, they impact more the poorest and most marginalized parts of the society.

It is crucial that the Rio+20 Conference renews its interest about the environment as the driving force for sustainable development. To this, the United Nations Environment Programme needs to obtain a more central role in decision making, hence getting the mandate to move forward with its plans for a Green Economy.

Naturally, “the relationship between UNEP and Youth is a logical one”, as UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said while addressing youth delegates from every corner of the world in the Youth Blast Conference of Youth for Rio+20.

I met Achim Steiner for an exclusive interview. Watch it on video here.

June 11, 2012 at 4:39 pm Leave a comment

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