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When flash floods hit Wales earlier this month necessitating the evacuation of more than 1,000 people, my thoughts immediately returned to the people I met last month in Cagayan de Oro in the Philippines who had also been affected by flooding. I also reflected on the floods that hit my own constituency, Workington in 2009 and how it shook our community.
If Rio+20 is to steer us on a path of cooperation rather than conflict and a sustainable future for our children it is vital that David Cameron, Nick Clegg and other world leaders are not afraid to dream.
As Rio hosts the Earth Summit's opening today, War on Want is joining forces with more than 100 civil society organisations to launch a campaign for world leaders to put the needs of people and the planet before the profits of big business.
One of the themes of Rio+20 is 'green growth'. The first and most obvious question will be 'Can there be such a thing as green growth?' and for me the answer is an emphatic 'Yes' - as long as there is a paradigm shift in the way that governments, the private sector and consumers think about resources.
Bret McKenzie's Man or Muppet has won an Oscar for the being best original song at the Academy Awards 2012. One half of New
Last May, while having dinner with a close friend, I suddenly found myself on the receiving end of unexpected compliments - for having had one of my books made into a film." What film?" I said. "Rio", my friend replied, adding that it was "the one about the two rare blue parrots"... The last bit certainly rang a bell, as I was the author of a book called Spix's Macaw - the race to save the world's rarest bird. This true story charted the fortunes of a single male of this rare blue parrot and how he was reunited with a last female in a bid to save the species from extinction.