In a few days, the world’s largest sustainability conference begins in Rio de Janeiro – the UNCSD RIO+20 meetings. What will be accomplished? What are reasonable expectations? What are the unreasonable ones? Will the world have new global environmental agreements or lack the will to reach beyond political deadlock?
We will be there, working with businesses, governments, students and other NGOs to think about health as an indicator through which we can measure sustainability actions and outcomes. Contributing to the zero draft document, hosting an official side event and working with partners SeaTrust Institute staff (those who are going to RIO and those who are staying home) fervently hope that our efforts offset our carbon expenditure to be there through some of the things that can only be accomplished face to face – building trust.
The UN multilateral system is facing extreme difficulties as negotiations on any type of global climate or energy agreements have stalled. We, and many of our partners have concluded that it is only through building (and rebuilding) trust that progress can become a real possibility. And progress now is what the world requires. In all likelihood, we have passed the 2 degree C. mark that was the target for slowing disasters related to escalating climate change.We cannot stop the changes but we can slow them by actions and political will, while we learn to adapt to a new world with fewer species, fewer ecosystem services and a harsher physical environment.
People have trust in people – not in institutions or governments. Connecting with people is why we go; to contribute to building the trust that the world must have if we are to have a future worth choosing.