Rio+20 Earth Summit
How would I rate Rio? 6 out of 10 - maybe even seven if, crucially, what they declared now leads to real action, rather than self satisfaction. And that's now up to our politicians.
In many ways, the Rio+20 Earth Summit is a huge distraction; with an estimated 50,000 participants, and so much time, money and energy spent on negotiations for something that, in reality, is non-negotiable.
The BioRegional delegation in Rio had a little celebration when the final version of the UN Rio+20 outcome document was published this week and we could see our influence in several places.
Now, as never before, is the time to re-integrate nature's economy with our own so that, instead of living dangerously off nature's rapidly diminishing capital, we draw a sustainable income from the wise management of that precious capital. Now is the time for focussed, integrated thinking and for collective, decisive action.
If we cannot ensure the survival of the Amazon's last nomads who probably more than any people, define what it is to live sustainably, and who ask for nothing other than respect for their land and way of life, what will that say about the path humanity is heading down?
We are sailing headlong into the sorts of storms that are the stuff of nightmares. All of our science is telling us that this is so; our economies are already reflecting the symptoms, so this is not a time when we can shy away from the enormous challenges we face. The door is closing faster than we think on our opportunity to develop a new economic framework that puts nature's own ingenious economy and social well-being at the heart of our thinking. It is no exaggeration to say that our world really does depend upon what you may decide today.
Rio Earth Summit Offers an Opportunity for Cooperation on Sustainability That We Cannot Afford to Miss
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 I speak, the world's rainforests continue to be destroyed, wiping out so much of the world's vital biodiversity and removing our chances of storing carbon naturally; and we continue to ignore the painful lessons of the so-called 'Green Revolution' in India by intensifying our food production methods in such blinkered, chemically and technologically-based ways, that the land and the oceans are now both beginning to fail. Tragically, we cannot even plead ignorance of the consequences of our actions, for the scientific evidence is overwhelming and the impacts are well understood.