13 Jun 2012

What future do you want?

By Carolina Hazin

My immediate thought on arrival at Rio is that Rio+20 will be much more than the Conference on Sustainable Development. Thousands of people are flying to Rio in a mass migration. This movement itself is an important step in the process as it shows the committement of so many people to discuss the future we want. There are around seven venues scattered around Rio de Janeiro to host all sorts of initiatives, offering opportunities to discuss sustainable development from many different perspectives. From an indigenous village - Kari-Oca built for spiritual leaders to discuss sustainability, to an art exhibion at the Modern Art Museum where the Guanabara Bay will be reproduced with recycled garbage. And of course  to the official Conference venue itself where heads of states will negotiate the documents and hopefully agree a final text. Between the 3rd preparatory meeting which starts today (13 to 15), and the Sustainable Development Conference (20-22) when Governments will make final agreements, the Brazilian Government and UNDP have organized what is being called the Dialogue Days. These days aim stimulate open discussion of the major topics for the Conference: water, oceans, forests, sustainable cities, agriculture and food security, just to cite a few. The UN is offering all of us to have our say on the future we want. The ideas are posted online and recommendations will be presented to leaders at the Conference. You can add your ideas too!