From Rio+20 to Rio+30: what actions are needed to reverse global environmental degradation?by Don Knapp
Reposted from the ICLEI World Congress Blog:
The second day of the congress opened with a procession, composed of 1,200 students from schools in the city of Belo Horizonte who welcomed the delegates with the vibrant sound of drums, percussion, and positive messages.
Afterwards, the plenary from Rio to Rio, involving several youth speakers and international experts, highlighted the need to act rapidly to combat environmental conflicts facing the planet. The idea is that these solutions are implemented by the year 2030.
ICLEI Founder Jeb Brugmann, Secretary General Konrad Otto-Zimmermann and Deputy Secretary General Gino Van Begin, were among those present at the session along with the chairman of ICLEI Brazil, Pedro Roberto Jacobi, and Belo Horizonte Mayor Marcio Lacerda.
The experts drew attention to the decisions that need to be taken and applied today. The debate gained even more strength when Martin Lees, Former Secretary General of the Club of Rome and Gino Van Begin explained the environmental situation of the planet with data and statistics from 20 years ago.
Despite some positive aspects in areas such as soil degradation, water resources management and reduction of greenhouse gases in some regions, Van Begin is convinced that there is still a long way to go. "When it comes to environmental issues in global reality is still serious. But with the participation and creativity of all we can find one or more ways, "he said.
One of the members of the table discussions, Simone Ariane Pflaum, a member of the City of Freiburg in Germany, spoke about everyone's responsibility to ensure a sustainable future for generations to come. The councilor said that one can go further when there is a collaboration. "Right now we are here to propose challenges, but also to share our dreams, on which world we want and how we can make it real," she announced.
According to Pedro Roberto Jacobi all issues raised in the session, such as responsible and sustainable policies need to mobilize and engage all actors.
"We live in an extremely important moment of decision making for future generations. And it's not today that we live with troubling news about the environment. Therefore, the ideas developed here lead us to consider ways to reverse this degradation, "said the president of ICLEI. "This is an ideal time to multiply the experiences successful and sustainable, above all, strengthen the perception that we are only a planet," he added.