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Peoples statement on sustainable development and RIO+20

Posted on 17 August 2011
We, 52 women and men from 18 countries (Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, China and Hongkong SAR,India, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Spain,Thailand, Timor Leste, USA, and Vietnam) and representing peasants, agricultural workers, fisherfolk,indigenous peoples, workers, women, youth and students, refugees and stateless persons, academia,environmental and support NGOs and networks met for the ‘Promoting a Transformative Agenda for Sustainable Development: A Strategy Workshop on Rio+20’ on August 15-17, 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand.
 
We have come to this meeting fully aware that twenty years after the UN Conference on theEnvironment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, popularly known as the Earth Summit, the world isfarther than ever from reaching the goals of genuine people-centered sustainable development. The multi-faceted, yet interconnected crises encompassing the economic, political and ecological spheresare causing unparalleled suffering all over the world. Worst afflicted are people from poor countries, most especially women and indigenous peoples.
 
This crisis of global capitalism further propels profit-driven and unsustainable development that causes irreversible damage to the world’s environment. This crisis results in the global climate meltdown, theappropriation of natural resources and the destruction of lives and livelihoods, especially of ecologically sensitive indigenous and traditional livelihood systems.
 
Rio+20 in 2012 thus comes at an opportune time, when the world’s governments and peoples areobliged to think of alternatives to the current development model with its ever-increasing failures. Itpresents opportunities to push urgently and comprehensively the agenda for genuine people-centered sustainable development.
 
Indeed, solutions exist. And they are in our hands, the people, who in our communities, workplaces,farms and forests, make the building blocks of genuine people-centered sustainable development. As we strengthen and consolidate our movements to achieve genuine economic, political, social, gender,ecological and climate justice, we call on the leaders of governments, multilateral institutions and otherstakeholders to heed the people’s calls for genuine sustainable development.
 
We urge governments and the UN system to deliver and not backtrack on the promises andcommitments made in Rio twenty years ago.
 
In particular, we put forward these messages:
 
On the Green Economy
 
We are alarmed at the corporatization of the Green Economy agenda. We believe that technological fixes and market-based incentives are false solutions to the ecological and climate crises and will notadvance sustainable development.
 
For sustainable economies to develop, it is crucial to democratize ownership, control and decisionmakingover productive resources and assets. We should move from a capital investment model towards an appropriate mix of more democratic modes such as cooperative, community-based anddriven, commons or public forms of ownership to ensure that economic activity provides sustainable livelihoods and meets the developmental goals of the community and society.
  • Public enterprises should remain in public control and privatization should be reversed. 
  • Promote sufficiency-based economies (i.e. catering primarily towards meeting local needs and Promote sufficiency-based economies (i.e. catering primarily towards meeting local needs and; 
  • Manufacturing should promote closed-loop production where products are designed withminimum use of energy and materials, longer life-spans and with maximum reuse and recyclingof parts and components. 
  • Promote mass public transportation systems. 
  • Implement genuine agrarian, aquatic, pastureland
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