Urgent: Sign-On to Support the Rights of Mother Earth in the Rio+20 Negotiations

[Articles and opinion pieces published in this blog do not necessarily reflect the policies and opinions of the organizers of the International Conference on Degrowth in the Americas. They are posted here to stimulate discussion and debate on issues relevant to degrowth.]

From: Anil Naidoo, Blue Planet Project
Council of Canadians
At the Rio+20 Negotiations in New York, April 24, 2012

Dear Friends,

For the first time ‘Mother Earth’ has appeared in the Rio+20 negotiation text!

This represents a potential shift in the negotiations which have thus far been weighted dramatically towards the economic over the environment… but we must act quickly and strongly to support this initiative.

Please circulate this request widely!

Last night the G77 proposed language referencing Mother Earth and the interdependence between Human Beings, other living species and the planet we inhabit.

There is, however, a big debate within the G77 on just how far to go with these concepts, under the section on Harmony with Nature.

This is a critical moment in these negotiations as governments are deleting, bracketing or integrating items and our voice needs to be heard as civil society and social movements. Much of the debate is happening behind closed doors in sessions between blocks like the EU or the G77 and this is where decisions are made to retain elements or remove them.

If we want the Rights of Mother Earth and these broader concepts to appear in the text, we must move quickly and show that we support this initiative by the G77!

This is a message that must be heard by all G77 Member States, and by all UN Member States, before the Harmony with Nature section is again negotiated in a few days.

I am asking you to sign the following statement to support ] putting forward concepts and frameworks that put human-centred activities in the larger context of Mother Earth and the environmental systems we must protect.

This is probably the most important step we can take to counter the narrow and dangerous focus of the false Green Economy that is based on markets, pricing, commodification and financialisation of nature; completely without respect or regard for Mother Earth!

We must protect human rights, the Rio Principles and other safeguards in the negotiating text, but going beyond a focus solely on people and narrow economic interest is critical.

If no voice speaks for nature in these negotiations, then we are leaving future generations and Mother Earth completely vulnerable; Rio+20 must be the moment for a bold new vision of our common future and it must include the Rights of Mother Earth!

If you agree, please sign the following statement by Sunday April 29th, we will fax in signature before the negotiations begin again on Monday April 30th.

Send your name, organization and country to anil@canadians.org

===================

Dear Ambassador,

We, the undersigned representatives of civil society organizations and social movements,

  • Encouraged by the vision of the G77 to include the concept of Mother Earth in the Rio+20 negotiations,
  • Commend this step as a sign of commitment to a just and sustainable future for people, all species and for our Mother Earth,
  • Request that all UN Member States work vigorously to retain and expand the sections on the Rights of Mother Earth and Harmony with Nature,

Ambassador, Rio+20 is the moment to define ‘The Future We Want’ and that future must include the Rights of Mother Earth as well as safeguards for people and nature, especially in the context of an ill-defined Green Economy.

We therefore call upon you to continue to respect your obligations to Human Rights, the Rio Principles, Equity and to support further efforts to defend Mother Earth!

Signed,

In solidarity,

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