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So many leaders,

such little leadership

We are missing the point,

and opportunity, of Rio

a daily


magazine on

climate change

and sustainable



21 June 2012

Be PaperSmart: Read Outreach online

pic: World Bank


1 Was history truly made in Rio this week

2 Does sustainable development management require a new form of leadership

3 So many leaders, such little leadership

4 A speech for humanity at Rio+20


5 Sustainable construction: Who should take the lead

6 Business leadership in sustaining the Earth’s natural resources

7 Profile - Ambassador Dr. Josephine Ojiambo

8 We are missing the point, and opportunity, of Rio

9 New global sustainable public procurement initiative harnesses power of public

spending to fast-track green economy transition

10 Leadership: Creating a women farmers’ organisation in Jordan

11 British Council International Delegates hear the UK perspective from Nick Clegg

New book: Only One Earth

12 ECO corner - Statement by NGOs Major Group at the high-level

plenary session – 20th June

13 Rio+20 side event calendar



14 Reflections from Rio+20

pic: Christopher Rose


About Stakeholder Forum

Stakeholder Forum is an international

organisation working to advance sustainable

development and promote democracy at a

global level. Our work aims to enhance open,

accountable and participatory international

decision-making on sustainable development

through enhancing the involvement

of stakeholders in intergovernmental

processes. For more information, visit:

Outreach is a multi-stakeholder publication on

climate change and sustainable development.

It is the longest continually produced

stakeholder magazine in the sustainable

development arena, published at various

international meetings on the environment;

including the UNCSD meetings (since 1997),

UNEP Governing Council, UNFCCC Conference

of the Parties (COP) and World Water Week.

Published as a daily edition, in both print

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for critical analysis on key thematic topics in

the sustainability arena, as well as a voice

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Editorial Advisors Felix Dodds Stakeholder Forum

Farooq Ullah

Stakeholder Forum

Editors Georgie Macdonald Stakeholder Forum

Amy Cutter

Stakeholder Forum

Editorial Assistants Jack Cornforth Stakeholder Forum

Political Editor Nick Meynen ANPED

Print Designer Jessica Wolf Jessica Wolf Design

Web Designer Thomas Harrisson Stakeholder Forum

Web Designer Matthew Reading-Smith Stakeholder Forum


Daniel Perell

May Akale

Alistair Whitby

Owen Gaffney

Vicki-Ann Assevero

Richard Westaway

Bahá'í International


Bahá'í International


World Future Council

The International Geosphere-

Biosphere Programme

Green Impresario

IMS Consulting

Hilda Runsten

Eduardo Nunes

Sweta Saxena

Margaret Adey


Catherine Skopic

World Farmers Organisation

World Vision

British Council


Was history truly made in Rio this week

Daniel Perell and May Akale

Bahá'í International Community

After months of intensive

negotiations, an outcome

document on The Future We Want

has been successfully negotiated

and agreed upon by all Member

States. As the anticipation grew

in the days leading up to the

High Level Segment, emotions

ran high, and there was growing

concern over whether there

would be an agreed outcome from


And then, it happened. With a minimum of fanfare and

celebration, the conference host convened a meeting of

the Member States and civil society and announced that

the multilateral negotiation process had achieved what just

hours before seemed an elusive goal – agreement on the

negotiated text. The announcement was met with tentative

applause and some hesitation. But as the Member States

arose to speak, one after another, they acknowledged

the stewardship of the Brazilian government, and its

diplomatic ability to successfully facilitate the building of

consensus and the acceptance of compromise. All Member

Blocs and States that spoke acknowledged that there were

shortcomings with the document, that it lacked certain

elements that they considered important, and that it was

not as ambitious as they had hoped; yet, despite that, they

all gravitated to the same final and inevitable conclusion

that, given the complexity of the issues and the extreme

diversity of opinions, the final text was the best possible

outcome to satisfy all the participants in the process. It was

the best we could do at this moment in history.

We can acknowledge the complexity of the process and

express concern about the elements that did not make

it into the final text. But let there be no doubt that the

negotiated text is not the final stop in a lengthy journey

towards planetary justice. It is another milestone and an

important one. The leadership exercised by each of the

Member States is a political leadership, and the task

and true challenge now turns to all to give life to the

concepts outlined and referenced in the document. The

outcome document provides a framework within which

all stakeholders will operate, lending their capacity,

innovation, energy and inspiration to ensure that the

vision and action resulting from implementing the ideas

in the document are faithfully achieved. Our actions need

not be limited to the negotiated text. Additional activities

and actions, when aligned with the vision and thoughtfully

implemented, can complement and enrich the learning and

work of others. Underlying this effort is an understanding

that everyone has a role to play, and a moral obligation to

fulfill his or her responsibility to advance, however humbly,

the progress of humanity as a whole.

As we have witnessed, the decision by Member States to

approve the Outcome Document was not easily achieved.

But now, the true leadership challenge begins. There

are choices to be made, the first of which is whether to

support this fragile statement of unity and to place our

energies behind it, to uphold it, and to work towards its

fulfillment, or to work towards its demise. This historic

moment is not limited to a political decision, no matter

how important that decision is. The reality of the challenge

that lies before everyone now, is to assume the full moral

responsibility to uphold the decision and work towards its

successful fulfillment. As we do, we will gain experience,

build capacity, and gradually enhance our ability to refine

our action as we strive towards building the future we

aspire to. This now becomes our collective challenge. The

time for clear and decisive moral leadership rests with all

of us as we strive to build the future we need.

pic: Rodrigo Soldon



Does sustainable development management

require a new form of leadership

Vicki-Ann Assevero

Independent Scholar and the Green Impresario

Act I, Scene 1 - Pavilion 3, Riocentro

The delegates are huddling, caucusing, shaking their heads

and wringing their hands. They have become wordsmiths

focused on text and have largely forgotten the con-texts of the

ordinary people in their countries striving for sustainability

and wellbeing. Building consensus in the multilateral

system is severely strained. Negotiators are now turning

their attention to the care and feeding of their ministers,

premiers and presidents so the level of distraction is

mounting. Negotiators are stretched, frustrated and sleep

deprived. The translation into French was not working for

one delegate when Brazil made their announcement about

the Outcome Document and the dismay on his face as he

sought to understand was gut wrenching.

Act I, Scene 2 - Major Groups Side Event, Pavilion T

Antonio Herman Benjamin, a Brazilian high court judge, in

a refreshingly frank presentation on the ethical dimensions

of global governance reminded his audience that:

“Rio+20 is costing the Brazilian government $250 million

in direct expenses. If Rio+20 fails, he told us, it will be on

the backs of the poor people of Brazil!”

How many schools, roads and health clinics could have

been built for this sum What sacrifices has Brazil had

to make to give the world community an opportunity

to agree on a new paradigm and a transitional process

towards sustainable development

Act II, Scene 1 - On the Rio+20 shuttle bus to Riocentro.

“Do you have a word for sustainable development in your

native language”

The young man from southern Africa scratches his

head and gazes into the distance trying to recall. “Well

we don’t have an exact word but we do have a word for

conservation. The language is hard for us; we don’t really

know what ‘green jobs’ means. That is why our countries

often want to stick to language, which has been defined.

Do we have to stop mining coal and create other jobs in

energy technologies we don’t yet have”

An Eastern European delegate also ponders how to say

sustainable development in her language. “Sustainable is

not hard, it is the same concept, but development – we

have at least five different words for that”, she explains

and then in frustration cries “ we are not getting any of

our priorities in the text. The ministers have demanded a

meeting with the Brazilian delegate”.

“Who is playing a leadership role in this Rio+20 Conference”

“No one!” the south Asian lawyer responds, “There is an

absolute crisis of leadership here. I was at Rio 20 years

ago. There was real optimism then”.

“That question is too hard”, a young NGO representative adds.

“What are the qualities that would be required for someone

to truly lead the world community toward sustainability”

One official delegate from the G77 ventures, “They need

to 1) be a consensus builder; 2) have the highest integrity;

and 3) have self-confidence and clear purpose”.

A cheerful IGO representative interjects, “such a leader

has to stick to his or her principles. They cannot say that

water or food security is critically important and then

allow its deletion from the text”.

Act III, Scene 1

Tsunami, desertification, coral bleaching, ocean

acidification, biodiversity and cultural diversity loss (150

species every day), global warming, a third of world food

production lost to wastage, global financial and social

crises, 1 billion people in extreme poverty and 2 billion

tottering, growing inequality. The Future We Do Not Want.

Act IV, Scene 1

Those who would aspire to guide the planet towards

sustainability are new kinds of leaders. They work with

compassion to restore the broken trust among nations

and peoples and inspire by example. These leaders are

enthusiastic and passionate, always listening with respect

for others, seeking out the best ideas for sustainability

and helping communities to enact them.

Sustainable development requires leaders with a holistic

vision of inclusive planetary prosperity, who understand

their complex mandate: guiding the integration of the

three dimensions of sustainability – economic, social

and environmental. These leaders accept ambiguity and

uncertainty, yet maintain a steadfast clarity of purpose

working for poverty eradication. Their priority is to

harness the extensive reservoir of scientific and practical

knowledge and ensure its availability for practical

application in communities that will benefit.

Their intuitive understanding of the structural and

systemic reasons for inequality will lead them to create

a transitional accounting system, where the sustainable

actions of the privileged to reduce their harmful impacts

on our environment can be easily monetised and

transferred to those having the highest needs.

These new leaders are the planetary patriots!.



So many leaders, such little leadership

Alistair Whitby

World Future Council

Long billed as a once-in-a-generation

chance to advance the cause of

sustainable development, Rio+20 is

in danger of becoming a re-run of

Copenhagen and satisfying no-one if

we do not see some swift and decisive

leadership. While UN Secretary General

Ban Ki-moon last week entreated heads

of state that the Earth Summit was

“too important to fail”, there is a

more than a little despair infecting

the corridors and courtyards of

Riocentro at the current text’s dearth

of ambition.

While most environmental indicators have steadily

worsened since the original Earth Summit, delegates have

reached for the same failed solutions and often reverted

to the wording of previous agreements. There has been

a chronic lack of official ambition and many NGOs have

stated that the current outcome is not even close to being

worthy of the title ‘The Future We Want’.

But this need not be the case. While there will be no

headline-grabbing treaties to sign at Rio+20 there have been

several new and promising proposals that have galvanised

widespread enthusiasm from civil society, including the

planned Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Another innovative proposal is the High-Level Representative

for Future Generations which, until very recently, was one of

the few entirely new proposals still on the table. When Brazil

released their compromise text last Sunday, Ambassador

Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, Executive Secretary of

Brazil's National Commission for Rio+20, said it would

"make all delegates a bit happy, and a bit unhappy".

But it has certainly made a lot of people very unhappy

indeed! The High-Level Representative for Sustainable

Development and Future Generations had been scrubbed

from the text. The removal of this proposal effectively

relegates the interests of youth and future generations to

the side-lines, continuing their lack of representation in

decision-making about their future.

This could still be an enduring legacy of the Rio+20

Summit if only some ambition were shown, embedding

long-termism into the UN system and addressing current

implementation gaps by helping governments and UN

bodies to work together on long-term planning and the

sharing of best practice. The High-level Representative

would be tasked with bringing sustainable development,

often separate from core policy issues, into the heart of

all decision-making.

But for bold solutions to be agreed upon you also need bold

leadership and that, so far, has been in perilously short supply.

Veteran environmentalist Fabio Feldmann, a personal

representative of the Brazilian president, has complained

of “a terrible lack of leadership" but the host country

could itself have shown far more ambition. It has often

seemed that the Brazilians were more interested in

‘expediency’ rather than ambition, closing down debate,

refusing to reintroduce any language that does not have

full consensus and fiercely closing the text when they felt

an adequate ‘package’ had been reached.

It has been noted that now is a difficult time for

governments to be signing agreements. This is a year of

transition in many countries, with elections or leadership

changes in the US, Mexico, Russia, China, and France,

and there are a host of other countries concentrating on

tumultuous national circumstances.

Many parts of the world remain preoccupied with the

financial and economic crisis, which is encouraging

a reduced focus on the long term. A debt racked and

crisis stricken EU, usually at the forefront of pushing

for the strongest language on environmental and social

protection, is constrained by what it can demand from

countries that are effectively bailing them out.

But it is precisely because of these multiple interlinked

crises that leadership is so badly needed right now. This

text is not going to deliver a sustainable future, and its

emphasis on ‘grow now, clean up later’, combined with

a refusal to acknowledge planetary boundaries, is set to

take us further in the wrong direction.

The interests and needs of those who will inherit this

planet are being systematically compromised by this

focus on our short-term interests. Only bold solutions

like a High-Level Representative for Future Generations

and Sustainable Development can deliver the change we

so urgently require.



A speech for humanity at Rio+20

Owen Gaffney

The International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme

As we reach the climax of

Rio+20, it is worth remembering

the role of leadership as a

catalyst for change.

Albert Einstein once said, “We can’t solve problems by using

the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

This lies at the heart of the conundrum facing those

in Rio de Janeiro as they take part in these vital

negotiations to put our planet on a sustainable path. We

have squandered 20 years since the last Earth summit in

1992. Without major progress, the world risks multiple

catastrophes. Politicians blame the inertia in our global

political and economic systems for the failure. This is

rubbish. These systems can change overnight, just look

at the digital revolution, the rise of social media, the

Arab Spring, the global financial meltdown or the recent

food crises. A case in point, the internet, barely existed

in 1992. Now it has changed everything.

Indeed, through the internet we have become a giant

interconnected global system. Large interconnected

systems confer remarkable stability but are also prone

to rapid change. We need to correct the narrative. Inertia

is not the norm. We must embrace the new and create

space for change. But, we need catalysts. Explosive

energy results when visionary leadership connects with

grassroots support around a simple idea.

Perhaps clues to new thinking and fresh approaches can

come from the Civil Rights movement in the sixties. "The

cruelties and obstacles of this swiftly changing planet

will not yield to obsolete dogmas and outworn slogans.

It cannot be moved by those who cling to a present…who

prefer the illusion of security.” So said Robert F Kennedy

in his Day of Affirmation address to the National Union

of South African Students in Cape Town on 6 June 1966.

The rhetoric of this landmark speech applies equally to

challenges facing Earth’s life support system and the

long-term sustainability of our societies. This is hardly

surprising. The Civil Rights movement demanded social,

cultural, political and economic upheaval.

Kennedy saw young people as the solution. “You, and your

young compatriots everywhere, have had thrust upon you

a greater burden of responsibility than any generation

that has ever lived.”

But he listed four obstacles to progress.

The first is futility. We throw our hands in the air before

we begin. We accept the battle cannot be won. For this he

advocated strong leadership.

The second, expediency. Hopes and beliefs come a

poor second to immediate necessities. For this he

advocated idealism.

The third is timidity. Nations fold under fierce opposition.

People buckle under the wrath of society. For this Kennedy

argued for courage.

The final obstacle is comfort. The temptation to go with

the flow is overwhelming. It is too easy to follow wellworn,

familiar paths.

After centuries of inertia and against the odds, Kennedy

and other leaders helped create the right conditions for a

rapid transformation. Ultimately, they succeeded.

Strong leadership is a phenomenal catalyst for change.

It can whip up a powerful groundswell of support. It can

energise and mobilise. It can rip down barriers to progress.

At Rio+20, leadership is currently the missing ingredient.

Over 100 Heads of State are joining here in Rio, but there

is a vacuum, with vital leaders such as Barack Obama

missing. The signal such people send by their presence

has the potential to change the course of our future

development for the next decade.

As global emissions continue unabated, as sea levels rise,

as the world warms, as species die, we are sleepwalking

to catastrophe. Brazilian climate scientist turned civil

servant Carlos Nobre told the Rio+20 science and

technology forum that the Amazon rainforest could be

lost if temperatures rise by 4°C. Summer Arctic sea

ice is destined to disappear sooner rather than later if

we continue on our current trajectory. These are major

changes in state of major parts of the Earth system.

Kennedy concluded his Day of Affirmation address,

“Everyone here will ultimately be judged – will ultimately

judge himself – on the effort he has contributed to

building a new world society and the extent to which his

ideals and goals have shaped that effort.” This is as true

now as it was in 1966.





Sustainable construction:

Who should take the lead

Dr Richard Westaway

IMS Consulting

Understanding how to reduce

carbon emissions from the

built environment is complex.

However, such understanding

is crucial if we are to

change the way buildings and

infrastructure are designed,

built, renovated and managed.

Despite being directly responsible for only 1% of the total

carbon emissions of buildings, construction companies

have the power to influence almost 47% of the UK’s total

carbon emissions through the design, operation and

demolition of buildings. However, these headlines do not

tell the whole story.

If carbon reduction targets are to be achieved, those letting

construction contracts need to be more aspirational. The

public sector in particular could play a much bigger role

in encouraging the design and delivery of low carbon

buildings. While it is the construction companies who

build, they should not be expected to drive the market in

terms of carbon reductions.

Ultimately, construction companies provide a service

to the decision-makers who initiate, fund and control

building and development contracts. More often than not,

it is architects, investors, clients and tenants who dictate

contracts, so to improve sustainability we must first look

at the contract model itself.

Construction, uniquely amongst the manufacturing

sector, is based on a huge variety of contract models.

Although some contracts allow construction companies to

influence the design and specification set by architects

and clients on developments, many do not. Therefore,

while construction companies might be able to identify

where carbon savings could be made, it is not always in

their power or interest to change them.

That is not to say that construction companies could not

be doing more. For example, contractors could report

the number of projects that included their own design

input, and subsequent carbon savings. This would also

help stakeholders differentiate between construction

companies whose approach to sustainability is largely

client-led (i.e. building to meet client requirements)

from those that are actively trying to influence the

sustainable construction agenda.

Of course, some construction companies are already

driving forward sustainability in their projects. For

example, Skanska recently calculated the carbon footprint

for major projects in Finland, Norway, Sweden, USA and

the UK, by developing a group-wide carbon foot printing

tool to support project teams and Business Units globally.

Although this is a great example of how the construction

sector can drive forward sustainability, it is only relevant

when the contract allows for their input.

Despite receiving relatively little attention to date, urgent

debate is required about how construction companies select

contracts, and the implications of doing so. Ultimately, if

we are to reach ambitious carbon reduction targets we must

radically change the way construction contracts work.


Dr Richard Westaway is a Sustainability Specialist at IMS

Consulting. His work in the construction sector includes

the development of client submissions for the Carbon

Disclosure Project. Prior to joining IMS he worked for the

UK Climate Impact Programme.

This article has been produced with the support of

Skanska. Read more about how Skanska contribute

to a more sustainable built environment by visiting:

pic: Alexandre Prévot

Business leadership in sustaining the

Earth’s natural resources

Margaret Adey

University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership

At Rio+20, leaders of 15 global

companies, with a collective

turnover of over $350 billion,

have called for urgent action to

properly value and maintain the

Earth’s natural capital.

The theme of natural capital has featured strongly in

business discussions at Rio. Natural capital has been defined

as including diversity of life, or biodiversity, underpinning

the resilience of the Earth's natural systems to absorb

shocks and disturbances. It also includes vital ecosystem

services under threat – ranging from crop pollination to

carbon storage and freshwater provision, and from fisheries

to wood production and the renewal of soil fertility – upon

which society and all economic activity relies.

CEOs and Board members of leading companies, which

include Anglo American, Alstom, Arup, ASDA-Walmart,

Aviva Investors, Grupo André Maggi, Kingfisher, Mars,

Natura, Nestlé, Puma, SABMiller, Unilever, Volac and

Votorantim, have signed up to the Natural Capital

Leadership Compact in advance of Rio.

These business leaders call on governments to set

ambitious goals and targets to address the risks posed by

the loss of our natural capital worldwide. The Leadership

Compact not only urges governments to take immediate

action, but also commits the signatory companies to a

challenging shared agenda. Businesses recognise that

their leadership is essential and have committed to

address the following four complex challenges:

1. Operate within the limits of natural systems – manage

their supply sources in order to protect the environment

and improve social equity.

2. Identify and address the (as yet) un-costed impacts

of their business activities on people and the

environment that are associated with the production

and consumption of goods and services – and pledge to

build this into business decision-making and planning.

3. Enable consumers to make better-informed choices

– by working with industry bodies, governments and

citizens to deepen public debate on how to realign

consumption within the limits of natural capital and to

eliminate wastage and inefficiency.

4. Develop rigorous and realistic targets and plans – to

promote the protection and efficient use of natural capital.

Thomas Lingard, Global Advocacy Director for Unilever says:

“Only by collaborating with others across our industry

and up and down our supply chain will we be able to

crack the toughest sustainability challenges. For that

reason it is important for us to clearly define the non

competitive areas of sustainability where we can apply

our collective effort, ingenuity and scale to drive the

change that is necessary in the amount of time that

the scientists tell us is available in which to do it.”

These pledges have not been plucked from thin air.

They come from two years' cooperative work by major

companies in the Cambridge Natural Capital Leaders

Platform. They are stretching complex commitments

that will take time and resources to deliver. The

companies are serious about implementing the agenda

through individual company actions and pre-competitive

collaborative work across sectors.

Work includes developing a common approach to valuing

business impacts, based initially on local case studies.

This will assist decision-making in the Board room and,

critically, provide for engagement post-Rio with policymaking

processes at international, regional and national

levels. The Leadership Compact also links with other

initiatives such as the Natural Capital Declaration.

Leadership is about showing the way forward. Not only

do the businesses set out an agenda for what they are

prepared to do, but also what they urge from governments.

Many of the companies are already taking significant steps

to demonstrate leadership on this natural capital agenda.

They aim to inspire other companies to do likewise.

But business leaders need governments to provide

essential cost and regulatory signals so they can go further

and more rapidly. This leadership from governments has

not been forthcoming at Rio.

Delay is not a viable option.






Ambassador Dr. Josephine Ojiambo



Country of residence:

United States of


Current Position:

Deputy Permanent


Kenyan Mission to the

United Nations, New


How did you get to the role you are in today and what

advice would you give aspiring earth champions

It took a lot of hard work, integrity, humility and

patience to get to where I am. I had to leave my

comfort zone and study material on thematic areas

that were outside my area of specialisation – health

and gender. I also did a lot of volunteer work and

community service, something I continue to do as

an Ambassador. In addition, I engaged the Kenyan

government on many levels before I was appointed as

an Ambassador.

For the earth champions, please know that we are in

this together. Let us not give up, despite the challenges

we are facing in this cause. Let us be persistent like the

hummingbird that the late Professor Wangari Maathai

talked about. The hummingbird that picked drops of

water in its tiny beak and dropped them on the huge

forest fire to try and save the forest. Meanwhile, as the

hummingbird tried its best, the elephants alongside

other animals with trunks that could carry more water

just watched the fire consume their habitat – the

forest. Let us do the best that we can, in our own small

ways. Our efforts will pay off in due time.

What are the priorities in terms of gender equality at


I support continued commitment to the full

implementation of the Programme of Action

of the International Conference on Population

and Development and its key actions for further

implementation, the Beijing Declaration and Platform

for Action, and intend to pay special attention

to gender equality and women’s empowerment,

especially sexual and reproductive health.

This time round, many recommendations by women

have been brought to the decision-making table

and well-respected females, such as the Brazilian

President, UN Women Executive Michelle Bachelet

and the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton will be

present. The voices of the women who have worked

hard to promote sustainable development need to

be taken into consideration. If these vital voices are

ignored, we might be back in Rio twenty years from

now to discuss the same issues we faced in 1992.

Women are mothers and just as they protect their own

children from harm, they can also nurture the planet

and protect it from further destruction.

To what extent has health been incorporated into

discussions around sustainable development

Health has been incorporated into cities, energy,

jobs, disasters and food. Agriculture and food are

of particular relevance. Global trends point to many

points of convergence between policies to support

more sustainable food production, and healthoriented

aims of reducing obesity and malnutrition,

as well as hunger. But, while the potential for health

improvement through sustainable agriculture may

appear substantial, food systems are highly complex.

In this context, health-related indicators can be a

valuable assessment tool and a robust measure of

the success of sustainable development policies that

yield optimal benefits for health, development and

environmental sustainability.

What do you believe should be achieved at Rio+20

All stakeholders should reach a mutual understanding

about the need for immediate change. Voices of

concern should be listened to, the calls for action

should be heeded and efforts to put into practice

the recommendations by governments, NGOs, Major

Groups, Indigenous Peoples and other stakeholders

should begin. I recognise that different delegations

and interest groups might have particular reservations

regarding specific issues of sustainable development,

however if nothing is done to avert and repair the

damage on our planet, then humanity is in danger.

Without sustainable development, other goals, such

as achieving international peace, will be at risk. The

fast growing global population will need to compete

for scarce resources, and social injustice and genderbased

marginalisation will continue. The UN and

other stakeholders have invested so much time and

resources in the processes leading to and during

Rio+20, let us not disappoint the 7 billion people

looking to the Summit for solutions.

Favourite quote:

“In the course of history, there comes a time

when humanity is called to shift to a new level of

consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground. A

time when we have to shed our fear, and give hope to

each other. That time is now!”

The late Professor Wangari Maathai, (First African

Woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize).


The hummingbird story:



We are missing the point,

and opportunity, of Rio

Eduardo Nunes

World Vision, Brazil

Young people today are demanding to be

heard, more than in any other era in

global history. And they have earned

that right. Bolstered by the Arab

Spring and the 99% movement, youth

are carving a path toward meaningful

change – social, environmental and

developmental. As world leaders gather

in Rio this week, they would be wise

to listen to these voices.

Voices like 19-year-old Edgleison Rodrigues. He and a

group of other local young people from Brazil are here at

Rio+20 to make sure world leaders hear their views on the

future from the environment to long-term development.

“We really have to occupy this space because here they

are deciding our future, and also our present and they

have to hear what we have to say”, he remarked.

The cries of young people are more urgent than ever.

Despite significant progress in the past decade, more

than seven million children under the age of five still

die every year from preventable causes like disease,

undernourishment and unsafe household energy use.

Those who survive childhood are lucky to find any sort

of work, as unemployment rates of up to 50% ravage

countries. Besides health and economic constraints,

children and youth are more subject to violence of all

kinds. Our future is being tragically squandered – tragic

for the victims, but tragic also because we are losing a

critical resource whose fresh ideas and openness to

innovation can help build a better tomorrow.

For the world’s poor, the 1990s were a decade of hope,

based on Western economic prosperity and the political

will to eliminate – or substantially reduce – hunger, poverty

and disease. The decade provided the foundation for

the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which have

been a powerful tool for rallying people and governments

around fighting poverty.

Initial progress toward achieving those goals, however,

has been derailed by the global recession and its lingering

aftermath. Rio+20 is considering practical ways of

achieving the original MDGs by the 2015 deadline, as well

as asking the critical question ‘what next’

The answer lies in a renewed commitment to the world’s

most vulnerable citizens, its children. The future we

want to see is our common focus, and to be completely

successful, this future must be viewed from the perspective

of child development.

Undernourishment contributes to the death of nearly

three million children a year. Despite increases in food

production, nutritious food is often not getting to those

who need it most. If the Rio+20 delegates focus on the

nutritional needs of children, they can develop a truly

sustainable food policy. Such a policy must include

monitoring measures to hold host nations accountable for

the nutritional intake of their children. Healthy children

grow into healthy adults. Studies show that a 5% drop in

child mortality rates produces a 1% boost to economic

growth over the subsequent decade. In many nations,

including Brazil, children comprise up to one-half the

total population. There can be no development efforts

without children being at the forefront. Involving them in

the search for solutions just makes sense.

If there is ever to be a Rio+40, the children of Rio+20 will

be those taking a leadership role. They are not the future,

they are the present and they need to be involved in the

creation of development policies now, this year. We are still

a long way off achieving the world we dreamed of in 1992,

but World Vision believes that to build the world we dream

of in 2012, we must involve children and young people.

They are leading the changes the world needs. Focusing on

children, by its very nature, is sustainable development.

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New global sustainable public procurement initiative harnesses

power of public spending to fast-track green economy transition


A new international initiative to fast track a global

transition to a green economy by harnessing the marketshifting

power of government and local authority spending

was announced today at Rio+20, by the UN Environment

Programme (UNEP) and partners.

Supported by over 30 governments and institutions,

the International Sustainable Public Procurement

Initiative (SPPI) aims to scale-up the level of public

spending flowing into goods and services that maximise

environmental and social benefits.

Studies indicate that sustainable public procurement,

which represents between 15% and 25% of GDP, offers

a tremendous opportunity to move towards green

innovation and sustainability.

Examples from around the world show that sustainable

public procurement has the potential to transform markets,

boost the competitiveness of eco industries, save money,

conserve natural resources and foster job creation.

• Across the OECD group of countries, public

procurement represents close to 20% of GDP (over

US $4,733 billion annually), while in developing

countries the proportion can be slightly higher.

• In India, for example, government procurement is

worth about US $300 billion and is expected to grow

by more than 10% annually in the coming years.

• Japan’s Green Purchasing Policy, has contributed to

the growth of the country’s eco-industries, estimated

to be worth about €430 billion in 2010.

• The city of Vienna saved €44.4 million and over

100,000 tonnes of CO 2 between 2001 and 2007

through its EcoBuy programme.

• Europe could save up to 64% of energy – or 38

TWh of electricity – by replacing street lights with

smarter lighting solutions.

• In Brazil, the Foundation for Education Development

succeeded in saving 8,800 m3 of water, 1,750 tonnes

of waste and 250 kg of organohalogen compounds,

providing the equivalent of one month economic activity to

454 waste pickers, through its decision to replace regular

notebooks with ones made of recycled paper in 2010.

The new SPP initiative seeks to back the worldwide

implementation of sustainable public procurement by

promoting a better understanding of its potential benefits

and impacts and facilitating increased cooperation

between key stakeholders.

UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director,

Achim Steiner, said: “Sustainable public procurement is a

key enabling instrument for countries that want to make

the transition towards a green economy.”

“The SPP initiative offers governments the opportunity

to lead by example by harnessing their purchasing power

to drive markets towards a greener, more innovative and

more sustainable path.”

He added, “The SPP initiative will push the process

forward towards the creation of robust regulatory

frameworks and collaboration between North and South;

public institutions and the businesses sector at an early

stage of the process.”

“We hope the initiative receives full support at Rio+20 and

that more countries and organisations commit to join and

contribute to its success.”

The initiative has to date been endorsed by: Brazil,

Switzerland, Ecuador, The Francophonie, Chile, Denmark,

the Netherlands, Mauritius, Costa Rica, China, New Zealand,

Lebanon,and organizations such as OAS, SEMCo, ITC-

ILO, UNOPS, the Forest Stewardship Council, Eco-Institut

Barcelona, IISD, the Economic and Monetary Union of West

Africa and the International Green Purchasing Network.

SPP has been recognised as a priority theme by all regions

and is currently being implemented in many developed

and emerging countries:

In Brazil, the Central Purchasing System already contains

more than 550 sustainable products. At the same time, the

value of procurement contracts that integrate sustainability

criteria increased by 94% from 2010 to 2011.

The EU adopted an objective of 50% green public

procurement for a list of 20 product groups.

While in the US, President Obama signed an Executive

order in 2009, requiring that 95% of all applicable

procurement contracts at the Federal level must meet

sustainability requirements.

The SPPI objectives include:

• Building the case for sustainable public procurement

by improving awareness of SPP tools; developing

biennial progress reports on SPP implementation,

analysing barriers, and proposing innovative solutions.

• Supporting SPP implementation through increased

South-South and North-South cooperation and

enhancing public-private collaboration.

UNEP has developed significant expertise and a successful

track-record in implementing sustainable public

procurement policies and action plans across seven pilot

countries in cooperation with the Swiss-led Marrakech

Task Force on SPP. This has allowed the accumulation of

experience and know-how in regards to the design of SPP

policies in emerging and developing countries.






Leadership: Creating a women farmers’

organisation in Jordan

Hilda Runsten

World Farmers Organisation

Zeinab Al-Momany is a farmer

from Jordan who has worked

to empower rural women since

2002. She is the president

of Jordan’s Specific Union

for Farmers Productive (SUFW).

The Union’s purpose is to

fight for women rights and to

change the position of women in

society. Established in 2007,

SUFW remains a volunteer union

consisting solely of women

farmers and is the first of its

kind in the Arab world. Today

it is made up of a total of 900

members and 12 cooperatives.

Zeinab Al-Momay states that SUFW was established

because there was a vacuum of support for farmer women,

who live in very hard and challenging circumstances in

Jordan. These challenges include: poverty, a low standard

of living, lack of formal employment, high cases of

violence, an increase in family size and the misuse of

agricultural land. Creating an organisation such as this is

the best way to empower these women famers.

The mission of SUFW is to establish a series projects

which aim to raise living standards and give women

opportunities to participate in and interact with society.

The union holds a range of training sessions and

conferences, and has launched an information and best

practice sharing website specifically for this demographic.

The law of the General Union of Jordanian farmers

entails that members of the Union should have

possession of no less than 10 acres of land, thereby

omitting many small land-holders. SUFW, however,

allows members to join whether they own or simply rent

land, therefore allowing far more women to become

unionised. Thanks to this simple practice, SUFW has

increased the proportion of women in the General

Farmer Union in Jordan from less than 1% to 8%.

The reasons behind the establishment of the SUFW are to:

• combat the challenges and hardships that women

farmers face, such as poverty and a low standard of


• support the competitive output of Jordanian

agricultural production;

• encourage women farmers to make use of

agricultural products as a supplementary source of


• bolster food security;

• spread awareness and best practice between farmer


• take care of the environment;

• protect women farmers’ rights and accentuate their

voices in the community; and

• work on the development of agricultural aids and

procedures through scientific research.

One vital areas of support that SUFW provides is small

loans so that women farmers can establish their own

entrepreneurial projects. These projects range from water

harvesting and land reclamation to planting gardens

with medicinal herbs and a number other agricultural

activities, enabling the income diversification necessary

to significantly increase financial security. These loans

are all dependent on the support and grants from

international organisations.

Another vital source of assistance is the running of training

courses for farmers in order to spread awareness and

develop skills. The initiative provides women farmers with

information and knowledge that will strengthen their ability

to develop and exchange experiences and knowledge.

Zeinab Al-Momany has come to Rio+20 to show the

world the work and lessons learned by SUFW and its

members. Her hope is that Rio will create an opportunity

for a better future. Rio+20 must raise awareness of the

need for fundamental reform of the agricultural and

innovation systems, putting the needs of rural women

at the centre of these processes. Zeinab Al-Momany

believes that a focus on gender issues in agriculture,

within and between institutions, can reorient perspectives

and bring a greater emphasis on nutrition, post-harvest

issues, and mechanisms for knowledge sharing to

address the underlying socio-cultural barriers to change,

such as land ownership, access to information sources

and control of income from produce.

British Council International Delegates hear the

UK perspective from Nick Clegg

Sweta Saxena

British Council

The British Council has convened a delegation of

accomplished eco-entrepreneurs and emerging leaders

from its global youth network at Rio+20 to enable them

to showcase their successful green enterprises and

initiatives at the Conference, as well as give them the

opportunity to meet with influential organisations and

decision makers. Yesterday they met with Nick Clegg,

Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the UK

Pavilion, following a speech summarising his views on

Rio+20. After looking at the agreed text in detail with

Caroline Spelman, UK Secretary of State for Environment,

Food and Rural Affairs, and her team, Clegg concluded that

although the it could be more ambitious, there should be

a greater focus on aggressively exploiting and developing

the following points:

New book: Only One Earth

1. The world is now committed collectively to develop

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but countries

need to take responsibility to clearly define the SDGs

in order to implement them and improve the lives of

millions of people around the world.

2. The Summit should be used to push governments

and the private sector to measure prosperity and

growth in a multi-dimensional manner, i.e. GDP+,

instead of taking a snapshot of the nation’s wealth.

3. Private sector companies need to take initiative

by reporting on how their activities impact on

sustainable development. Although this is in the

text as a concept, it has not been defined with

details on definitions and measurements.

The British Council youth delegates were able to ask Clegg

specific questions about energy and the involvement of

youth. Taylor Zhou from China asked Clegg what he thought

was the most cost-effective way to reduce energy, and he

explained that, “energy efficiency is a critical path for

sustainable development in the UK. It is ridiculous that in

our country, 27% of energy is wasted as a result of leaking

and inefficient use of buildings. In fact, we are working

so hard, that hopefully at the end of this year, we will be

able to pass the Green Deal, which will greatly improve the

energy efficiency level in all UK buildings”. Sikander Sabeer

from Sri Lanka asked Clegg about his opinion on including

a youth representative in the official UK delegation. Clegg

answered with a resounding “Yes” as he believed that the

youth should be engaged in the decision-making process

and praised the governments that have already included

youth in their national delegations.

A new book by Felix Dodds &

Michael Strauss with Maurice

Strong (published 1st June


Only One Earth takes retrospective

look at successes and failures

in the environmental movement

in the last forty years, and a look

ahead to what critically needs to

happen at Rio+20 and beyond.

This book offers recommendations

that everyone concerned with

the global collaboration process

should know.

“It is a privilege to review the recent

history of a remarkable initiative that

changed attitudes and perceptions, and

introduced a new approach for determining the

future of Planet Earth. Written by outstanding

players that contributed effectively to the

success of this major effort, it covers in

detail scientific, diplomatic and strategic

aspects of a process that peacefully brought

together all nations.”

Henrique B. Cavalcanti, Former Federal Minister of

Environment in Brazil. Former Chairman of the UN

Commission on Sustainable Development

For more information and our press release, visit our site:

Receive 20% DISCOUNT when you order online via and enter this

code: SHF2012





ECO Corner

ECO Corner is produced by the cooperative efforts of Climate Action Network members at the Rio+20 Conference

Statement by NGOs Major Group at the

high-level plenary session – 20th June

Yesterday Wael Hmaidan, Director

of Climate Action Network, made

a statement on behalf of the NGOs

at Rio+20 to the assembled Heads

of State, Ministers and other

dignitaries at the opening of the

high level segment of Rio+20. At

this point, the final text on the

table was extremely weak and it was

a final chance to exalt the need

for a Rio+20 outcome that responds

to the global challenges that the

planet faces today, and guarantees

a future that we all want.

“Thank you Vice-President.

I am making this statement on behalf of NGOs at Rio+20.

It feels amazing to be in this room among all the world

leaders, and feeling all this power around me that can

shape the World. We all know the threat that is facing us,

and I do not need to repeat the urgency. The science is

very clear. If we do not change in the coming five to ten

years the way our societies function, we will be threatening

the survival of future generations and all other species

on the planet. Nevertheless, you sitting here in this room

have the power to reverse all of this. What you can do

here is the ideal dream of each one of us: you have the

opportunity to be the saviours of the planet.

And yet we stand on the brink of Rio+20 being another

failed attempt, with governments only trying to protect

their narrow interests, instead of inspiring the world

and giving us all back the faith in humanity that we

need. If this happens, it will be a waste of power and a

wasted leadership opportunity.

You cannot have a document entitled The Future We Want

without any mention of planetary boundaries, tipping

points, or the Earth’s carrying capacity. The text as it

stands is completely out of touch with reality. Just to be

clear, NGOs here in Rio in no way endorse this document.

Already, more than 1,000 organisations and individuals

have signed, in only one day, a petition called ‘The Future

We Don’t Want’, which completely refuses the current

text. It does not in any way reflect our aspirations, and

therefore we demand that the words “in full participation

with civil society” are removed from the first paragraph.

If you adopt the text in its current form, you will fail to

secure a future for the coming generations, including your

own children.

To mention a few examples of failures in the document:

Countries are failing to find resources to implement

sustainable development, using the economic crisis as

an excuse, while at the same time spending hundreds of

billions of dollars subsidising the fossil fuel industry, the

most profitable industry in the world. The first thing you

can do is eliminate existing harmful subsidies, especially

fossil fuel subsidies, which was voted as the number one

issue during the civil society dialogue.

Under the oceans section, you have failed to give a clear

mandate to even start negotiating an implementing

agreement to stop the Wild West abuse of the high seas.

There are many other failures in the document related to

women’s reproduction health, missed opportunities to

start new global treaties on civil society participation or

on sustainability reporting, the extraordinary lack of any

reference to armed conflicts, nuclear energy (especially in

light of the Fukushima disaster), and many, many others.

But it is not too late. We do not believe that it is over. You

are here for three more days, and you can still inspire us

and the world. It would be a shame and a waste for you

to only come here and sign off a document. We urge you

to create new political will that would make us stand and

applaud you as our true leaders.

Thank you”.

Rio+20 side event calendar

Date Time Venue Title Organisers

09:00 - 10:30 RioCentro T-5

CSR and sustainability reporting: creating a green economy and sustainable


Global Reporting Initiative


09:00 - 10:30 RioCentro T-1 Sustainable, Inclusive Growth: The Way Forward from Rio+20 and G20 Denmark

09:00 - 10:30 RioCentro T-9 Environmental Auditing for Better Environmental Governance INTOSAI Working Group on Environmental

11:00 - 12:30 RioCentro T-2 The Rights of Nature to reach Buen Vivir Ecuador

11:00 - 13:00 RioCentro P3-1 Women Leaders' Summit on the Future Women Want UN Women

11:00 - 12:30 RioCentro P3-E Tax and Subsidy Reform for a Greener Economy International Monetary Fund (IMF)

11.15 - 13.15

EU-Pavillon at

Athlete's Park

12:00 - 13:00 UNEP Pavilion

13:00 - 14:30 RioCentro T-6

13:00 - 14:30 RioCentro T-2

14:00 - 17:00 HSBC Arena

Civil society taking global responsibility

Microsoft - A Private Sector View: Business Reengineering for Sustainable Business


Creating Wealth and Prosperity in a Resource Constrained World: Country

Experiences and Best Practices in Designing Inclusive Green Economies

Inclusive Green Growth: Challenges and Opportunities on the Pathway to

Sustainable Development

Sustainability Reporting and Corporate Accountability: 20 years of debate on the

role of private sector in sustainable development. Is a report or explain approach

to sustainability reporting the way forward

European Economic and Social Committee



World Bank

Global Reporting Initiative, Stakeholder Forum,

Vitae Civilus

15:00 - 16:30 RioCentro P3-B Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Global Sustainability

16:30 - 18:30 t1d, Dragao do Mar

Voices from Fukushima: Calling for a Nuclear Power Free World

for a Sustainable Future

17:00 - 19:00 UNEP Pavilion Outcomes of World Congress on Justice, Governance and Law UNEP

17:00 - 18:30 RioCentro T-2 Brazilian Policy to Reduce Deforestation Brazil

17:00 - 18:30 RioCentro P3-E Green Economy: Achievements & Perspectives in the Adriatic-Ionian region Serbia

17:00 - 18:30 RioCentro T-6

17:30 - 19:00


(Barra Arena)

Global Partnership for Oceans: Coming Together for Healthy and Productive


A global convention on corporate sustainability reporting

Peace Boat

19:00 - 20:30 RioCentro T-6 Volunteer Action Counts: The Power of Volunteerism for SD United Nations Volunteers (UNV)

19:00 - 20:30 RioCentro P3-6 Decisions we need for the city of 2030 ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability

19:00 - 20:30 RioCentro T-2 Educating for a sustainable future



United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization



09:00 -11:00 t1d, Dragao do Mar

Voices from Fukushima: Calling for a Nuclear Power Free World

for a Sustainable Future

Peace Boat

11:00 - 12:30 RioCentro T-4 U.S. Priorities for Rio+20 United States of America

11:00 - 12:30 RioCentro T-2 UN System: Together for the Future We Want UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB)

11:00 - 12:30 RioCentro T-9 Sustainable Global Transformation and Inclusive Green Growth German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU)

11:00 - 12:30 RioCentro T-6 Partnership for Sustainable Development of Afghanistan Afghanistan

11:00 - 12:30 RioCentro T-2 UN System: Together for the Future We Want UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB)

12:00 - 13:00 UNEP Pavilion Partnership and Implementation of Sustainable Development: What has worked UNEP

13:00 - 14:45 UNEP Pavilion

Global MEAs for Atmosphere, Hazardous substances and Biodiversity: What are

the lessons for Future Synergies

13:00 - 14:30 RioCentro T-9 Enhancing science-policy links for Rio+20: The Future Earth Initiative International Council for Science (ICSU)

13:00 - 14:30 RioCentro P3-F Decent Work and Social Protection Floors for Sustainable Development International Labour Organization (ILO)

13:00 - 17:00 RioCentro T-1 What Happens On Monday Stakeholder Forum

13:15 - 14:45 UN2 Barra Arena

15:00 - 17:00 UNEP Pavilion

17:00 19:00 UNEP Pavilion

Roots of Equity : what rights and safeguards do women need who are dependent

for their livelihoods on forest, biodiversity and subsistence farmers.

Advancing the Sustainability Science Agenda: To Support Sustainable

Development and the Green Economy

Synergies among the Rio Conventions: Exploring opportunities for a more

integrated reporting to the Rio Conventions by LDCs and SIDS


Women Major Group





Reflections from Rio+20, Wednesday 20 June

Nick Meynen

ANPED, Northern Alliance for Sustainability

Delegates crossed our red lines and they know it. If they had

not realised it by Wednesday morning, a demonstration with

people in red shirts, red bracelets and a red rope got the

message across. The media jumped on it, with over a dozen

video interviews taking place with the likes of the Associated

Press, Brazil national television, and Japanese media to

name just a few. The demonstration was organised by youth,

with support from other Major Groups. Even some delegates

spontaneously joined the protest as it proceeded. Many are

saying that they do not want to be associated with this text at

all. NGOs and Trade Unions are now even asking to erase 'with

full participation of Civil Society' in paragraph 1, to reflect that

this is not the future they want.

We could talk about a few positive points in the text. We could

say that going from MDGs to SDGs – however vague they still

are – is some sort of progress, but the bigger issue is: the

basic fundamentals of our economy are still remains the same.

This agreement affirms a green growth strategy that does not

even mention the existence of planetary boundaries or limits.

This text was made by people living in a fictional world where

the economy is detached from, or unrelated to, the complex

ecosystem we called Earth.

Just one day's worth of events here calls to attention a myriad

of places to enter the call – add this one day to all the events

and efforts associated with the Summit and the thousands of

organisations in all countries and you get the picture.

Hopefully, our leaders at the top will take the ensuing agenda

and run with it. Hopefully, they will set the goals and parameters

that will allow us to measure, analyse, determine and provide

what is needed for creating sustainable environments that

foster human wellbeing while wisely conserving resources for

present and future generations.

We need leaders from the bottom up and at the middle. Each

one of the thousands of people registered here can return home

and lead in their own areas of expertise and interest, enhanced

by what they have learnt. Most of all, I am encouraged by the

youth, by their enthusiasm, interest, innovative approaches,

ability to challenge what exists and replace it with something

more sustainable, their sense of humour, imagination and

creativity. It is in our hands collectively; and ultimately, it is the

youth that will lead the way.

We urge world leaders to re-open the negotiations to raise

the ambition level. We did not elect you to come here, make

a political statement and then head to Copacabana beach.

Not only because a large chunk of civil society at the People's

Summit has just declared war on you, but because you have

a responsibility to protect the whole world, not just national

interests. We live in a globalised world where your actions affect

all of us. You have to provide us with a future we can believe in.

Catherine Skopic

Leadership involves being a person of integrity; gathering

interested, capable persons; setting the agenda and leading

your constituents in the right direction with full group

participation, openness and transparency.

There is so much work to do – all leaders are being called

upon to start, and continue, what is before us to accomplish

– the potential, realised outcome of Rio+20. Leaders at the

local, state, regional, national and global levels are needed.

Captain Planet, he's our hero, taking uninformed delegates down to zero

Outreach is made possible by the support of

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