“One more minute, please!”
Students who participated in the launch of “Settlers of a Green Future” never had enough time to enjoy the last bit of the game. They cooperated to build eco-cooperatives; received eco-points for building sustainably; and they got frustrated when “fossil” thwarted their attempts to build towards a green future. Everyone was a winner.
I found it quite hard to explain to my wife why a single sentence (successfully inserted in the text by the way!) will cause under-fed, caffeinated and fatigued FESers at the Rio+20 conference. On the way to Rio I thought on how best to explain the roadmap of having an idea and keeping it on the final declaration, so my shot at this was to use something familiar to her, the salsa garden we planted this spring.
It is easy to visualize the life cycle of a salsa garden; all you need is tomatoes, cilantro, onions and peppers. For explanation purposes I’ll only address three stages needed to grow your own salsa. First, going to the supermarket to buy the works; second, planting the seeds in the right pot…
I feel very privileged to attend this year’s Earth Summit! I had a close mentor that was part of the Nigerian delegation in 1992, and I can still remember the global momentum that was unleashed at the time as the world sought to aspire for sustainability.
In retrospect however, I am also critical of what has or has not happened in the last 20 years and what may or may not happen in the next 20 years.
In this year’s summit, I will work with NRDC to gauge country delegations level of commitments. I will also observe the role and impact of other major groups and Brazil; to note their sense of urgency to act and to set a legacy for the next 20 years.
The Republic of Vanuatu is an archipelago of more than one hundred islands floating in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean; all of these islands combined would roughly equal the land area of Connecticut and Rhode Island together. As a Small Island Developing State the people and the government of Vanuatu face numerous challenges towards their environmental, social, and economic development. While it’s true that their natural resource base is constrained by their terrestrial boundaries, there is no reason why these resources could not be used wisely and improve both their human and financial resources in the process. The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development is attempting to address this very issue, but I am eager to see how the agreements decided here in Rio will affect the lives…
I am fortunate enough to have landed in Rio to witness the history in making. After having read all about the 1992 Earth summit as a part of our course work and followed the preparatory meetings for the Rio+20 in New York it is indeed exciting to be here to see hours and hours of negotiation come to fruition. As an intern for the Nepal Mission through our Environment Diplomacy Practicum class I got to see part of the under belly of negotiations. The twenty page text that was initially compiled from hundreds of submission came out in the early 2012 seems like a long time ago. Since then it gone through several revisions, proposals, streamlining, combining and editing expanding it to 300 pages and now down to 80 pages…
Rio’s winter sun lightly bakes my face as I step off the shuttle bus outside of the conference center. Orange silk contrasts with mahogany skin as a woman in a kaftan walks out from the entrance. “One less nuclear power plant!” advocates the t-shirt of a Korean activist as we stand in line to receive our conference badges. Excitement radiates in the air in the quickness of steps—boots, heels, flip-flops—and the animation of exchanges. We are here as a collective because we want to realize the survival and flourishing of our plant earth.
As a Yale student I have studied international environmental governance, landscape ecology, the science of air pollution, and environmental policy. I am very familiar with the dire straits our planet is in, from overfishing to tremendous…
Shortly after I landed in Rio de Janeiro, I participated in a side event hosted by the Armenia government on “Sustainable Development Indices – possible options” at the 2012 Rio Earth Summit. In a previous post I mentioned the importance of metrics and indicators to help track progress toward the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of clearly defined objectives that were originally proposed by Colombia and are meant to get governments to pay attention to poverty eradication and environmental sustainability.
Can games help us understand the complexity of environmental negotiations? We – José Medinamora (MEM ’13), Soojin Kim (MEM ’12), and myself – have adapted the popular game, The Settlers of Catan, to explore this very question. Our game – Settlers of a Green Future – introduces the trade-offs between individual goals and the greater good. Using real-world sustainable development policy and action proposals that are being discussed here at the Rio+20 Earth Summit, this game helps participants understand the diversity and range of options available that can help nations achieve a green future.
As 20 students of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies arrive in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, they will join over 50,000 delegates and more than 130 heads of state and government that will participate in what is already being deemed as the “largest U.N. conference” ever.
Historically, F&ES has a long tradition of participating in international environmental conferences as a way of bringing to life the challenge of developing institutions and treaties to deal with pressing environmental issues. Twenty years ago, the first Rio Earth Summit in 1992 was a landmark event in that sustainable development came to the fore of the political agenda.
Prof. Pavan Sukhdev, leader of the TEEB initative and founder and chair of GIST advisory announced the release of Corporation 2020 web portal, www.Corp2020.com, a platform for the “Corporation 2020” campaign that was launched last June 14th at Rio+20. This campaign lays out a vision for today’s outdated ‘cost-externalizing’ corporation to be transformed into the engine of tomorrow’s ‘green economy.’
Corp2020.com features exclusive film interviews with leading CEOs and thought leaders, including:
- Rob Walton, Chairman of Walmart, the world’s largest public company.
- Jochen Zeitz, CEO of the German sportswear company, Puma, who have recently completed the first ever ‘environmental profit-and-loss statement.’
- Alessandro Carlucci, CEO of Natura, Brazil’s largest cosmetics company.
- Julie Katzman, Executive VP of the Inter-American Development Bank.
- Jochen Flasbarth, President of Germany’s