Rod Oram blogs from Rio+20

Journalist Rod Oram is blogging daily from the Rio+20 conference in Brazil. You can follow his take on the proceedings of the conference on the Pure Advantage website.

Linked below are his first five posts, with brief excerpts:

1. The last 20 years…and the task ahead

“In some ways, at least for people over say 40, 1992 seems like yesterday. Yet the world, and human fortunes, have changed dramatically since that year when Rio de Janeiro hosted the first Earth Summit, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.”

2. The warm-up

“Nobody knows quite how many people have come to Rio de Janeiro for the United Nations’ Rio+20 sustainable development summit – estimates vary from 35,00 to 70,000. But everybody knows why they’re here: to change a global system they believe is stuffed; or to defend a global system that serves them well; or as observers of the clash between the two.”

3. The People

“What, though, does civil society really want? The People’s Summit, NGOs, interest groups and lobbyists inevitably offer only some of the breadth of views held by societies around the world. A wider range of voices is needed, hopefully though different mechanisms.”

4. The potential

“To help broaden input to Rio+20 the United Nations Development Programme, the agency headed by Helen Clark, came up with the idea of dialogues. These are, it says, meant to “bridge the gap between civil society and the government negotiations.”

5. The cop-out

“So what’s left is 283 paragraphs of concerns and aspirations without any goals, targets or strategies by which nations, or indeed the international community, might work towards more sustainable economies, societies and ecosystems.”