Posts tagged ‘Sustainability’

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

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

Expectations from Rio+20

Thousands of people from governments, civil society, the private sector and other groups coming together in Rio+20, one of the most important conferences in the history of the United Nations. The environmental challenges are greater today than 20 years ago, and the question remains whether political leaders will manage to commit to the necessary concrete actions. The expectations are low, as many rich nations are battling with  financial crisis and a production-consumption system that seems to have reached its limits in a great part of the world.
I met Jonathan Watts at the campus of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro at the Forum on Science, Technology & Innovation for Sustainable Development. In this interview, Watts reflects on expectations from the Rio+20 process, and provides interesting insights on the necessary transition to sustainability.

With a decade of experience as Asia Environment Correspondent for the Guardian, Jonathan Watts is in Rio as freshly appointed Latin America Correspondent. An influential author, with his latest book When a Billion Chinese Jump exploring the leadership role of emerging new global powers like China.

June 11, 2012 at 2:02 pm Leave a comment

The Future we want is Organic

Rio+20 is already providing a vehicle for civil society organisations to form new alliances with governments, agencies, businesses and each other. With governments of the developed world being in massive debt there will be very little new money on the table in Rio. However, Rio has the potential to be a massive catalyst for sustainable development, just as Copenhagen was for climate change.

Of course, like in Copenhagen, politicians might fail to see beyond strict GDP figures and the undue influence of powerful lobbies. However, this conference is an one-in-a-generation opportunity for organisations from all over sectors and from every corner of the world to come together and plant the intellectual seeds that will mainstream sustainability at all levels: from policy making to our everyday lives.

The food movement, and youth in particular, have a unique opportunity to catch this new wave and position sustainable agriculture at the centre of the agenda.

I am in Rio+20 as a youth reporter for Young Organics and I will be mainstreaming sustainability to youth networks around the world. Follow me on twitter @geopavlos under the hashtags #YORio & #IFOAMrio

June 10, 2012 at 1:48 pm 1 comment