Earth Charter moving towards Rio+20

On June 3rd in Rio de Janeiro, there was a Rio+20 launching ceremony called “One Year Before Rio +20” to get the ball rolling a year in advance of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). Former Dutch Prime Minister, and one of the founding fathers of the Earth Charter, Ruud Lubbers took part in the event with the purpose of bringing the Earth Charter Initiative goals to this initial phase of the process.   The ECI goal in this process is to emphasize the need for a comprehensive ethical framework, articulating shared values and principles to inspire and guide different actors in the transition to a sustainable future.

The event counted with approximately 300 guests including the Environment Secretary of Rio de Janeiro State Carlos Minc and Rio’s Mayor Eduardo Paes. Mr Sha Zukang, Rio+20 Secretary-General welcomed the guests via video-conference saying that “we all must do our best to make Rio+20 a milestone”.
Following that event, Mr. Lubbers visited Itaipu, Foz do Iguacu, on June 6th, and offered a presentation on “Challenges in the Transition to Sustainability and the Green Economy”. Throughout the presentation Mr. Lubbers shared his views on the progress since the Rio92 Summit (which he attended as Prime Minister) and the challenges he sees for Rio+20. He stressed the importance of having a sound, ethical framework, which the Earth Charter provides, for moving towards a just, peaceful, and sustainable future and he specifically mentioned poverty eradication.  The event was hosted by UNILA http://www.unila.edu.br/  (The Federal University of Latin American Integration).

Earth Charter International and the People’s Rio+20 Summit

Earth Charter International was invited to take part in the first International Seminar: People’s Rio+20 Summit for Social and Environmental Justice that took place from June 30th –  July 2nd, in Rio de Janeiro. This summit is a people’s forum that will run in parallel to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development next year in Rio.

The seminar was an important first step that brought together key NGOs to share information and articulate the civil Society mobilization towards Rio+20. The meeting was convened by the Brazilian Civil Society Facilitation Committee for Rio+20 (Comité de Facilitación de la Sociedad Civil Brasilera para Rio+20). On 2 July, the plenary and working group sessions offered a moment for participants to express their expectations and views regarding the Rio+20 process and the event itself. The main purpose of the event was to mobilize civil society to join forces and have a shared vision for the Rio+20 process. Fernanda Baumhart, represented Earth Charter International at this event.