The issues in Rio+20

23 May 2012

For Unity and Mobilization of peoples

For Life and Commons, social and environmental Justice

Against Commodification of Nature and « Green economy »

One month before the United Nations Conference Rio+20, peoples of the world don’t see any positive advances in the negotiation process going on within the Official Conference. Indeed, neither the balance Balance End of year statement of a company’s assets (what the company possesses) and liabilities (what it owes). In other words, the assets provide information about how the funds collected by the company have been used; and the liabilities, about the origins of those funds. of agreements concluded in Rio 92 nor the ways to work on the crises’ causes, have been discussed. The discussions focus on a set of fake proposals called « Green economy » and on the implementation of a new international environmental governance, that would facilitate their setting-up.

The real structural cause of the crises is capitalism, with its classical and new forms of domination, that concentrates wealth and products social inequalities, unemployment, violence against people, criminalization of those who denounce it. The current production and consummation system – represented and imposed by corporations, financial markets and governments – products and accelerates global warming, hunger and malnutrition, extinction of forests and biological, social and cultural diversity, chemical contamination, drinking water depletion, oceans acidification, land grabbing and commodification of all areas of life in towns and countries.

The « Green economy », contrary to what its name suggests, is one more stage of capitalistic accumulation. Nothing in the « Green economy » questions or substitutes the economy based on extraction of fossil fuels, or the models of consumption and industrial production. On the contrary, this economy opens new territories to the economy that exploits people and environment, increasing the myth that unlimited economic growth is possible.

The failed economic model that has been dressed in green, aims at submitting all the vital cycles of nature to the market’s rules and to the domination of technology, privatization and commodification of nature and of its vital functions, as well as traditional knowledge, strengthening speculative financial markets through carbon markets, environmental services, compensations for biodiversity and REDD+ mechanism (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation)

Transgenics, agro-toxics, terminator technology, agro-fuels, nanotechnology, synthetic biology, artificial life, geo-engineering and nuclear energy, among others, are described as ’technological solutions’ to the natural limits of the planet and the multiple crises, even though they do not address the real causes that trigger them.

Furthermore, the expansion of agro-industrial food system,one of the biggest causes of climate, environmental, economic and social crises, is promoted, deepening speculation about food, and promoting the interests of global agribusiness industry at the expense of local, peasant, family and indigenous peoples production, thus affecting the health of all.

Negotiation strategy in the Rio+20 Conference, is for some rich-country governments to propose a regression from the principles agreed at Rio 92, such as the principle of common but differentiated responsibility, the precautionary principle, the right to information and participation. They threaten the rights already acquired, such as the right of indigenous peoples, the right of peoples and nations and farmers, the right to water, the rights of working men and women, migrant rights, the right to food, housing, the city, the rights of youth and women, the right to health concerning sexuality and reproduction, education and cultural rights.

There are attempts to establish such Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which will be used to promote ’Green economy’, weakening further the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), already inadequate.

The formal process proposes to implement forms of global environmental governance, which role would be to administer and facilitate this ’green economy’ through the World Bank World Bank
The World Bank was founded as part of the new international monetary system set up at Bretton Woods in 1944. Its capital is provided by member states’ contributions and loans on the international money markets. It financed public and private projects in Third World and East European countries.

It consists of several closely associated institutions, among which :

1. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, 189 members in 2017), which provides loans in productive sectors such as farming or energy ;

2. The International Development Association (IDA, 159 members in 1997), which provides less advanced countries with long-term loans (35-40 years) at very low interest (1%) ;

3. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which provides both loan and equity finance for business ventures in developing countries.

As Third World Debt gets worse, the World Bank (along with the IMF) tends to adopt a macro-economic perspective. For instance, it enforces adjustment policies that are intended to balance heavily indebted countries’ payments. The World Bank advises those countries that have to undergo the IMF’s therapy on such matters as how to reduce budget deficits, round up savings, enduce foreign investors to settle within their borders, or free prices and exchange rates.

and other financial institutions, public or private, national and international, which would result in a new cycle of debt and structural adjustment Structural Adjustment Economic policies imposed by the IMF in exchange of new loans or the rescheduling of old loans.

Structural Adjustments policies were enforced in the early 1980 to qualify countries for new loans or for debt rescheduling by the IMF and the World Bank. The requested kind of adjustment aims at ensuring that the country can again service its external debt. Structural adjustment usually combines the following elements : devaluation of the national currency (in order to bring down the prices of exported goods and attract strong currencies), rise in interest rates (in order to attract international capital), reduction of public expenditure (’streamlining’ of public services staff, reduction of budgets devoted to education and the health sector, etc.), massive privatisations, reduction of public subsidies to some companies or products, freezing of salaries (to avoid inflation as a consequence of deflation). These SAPs have not only substantially contributed to higher and higher levels of indebtedness in the affected countries ; they have simultaneously led to higher prices (because of a high VAT rate and of the free market prices) and to a dramatic fall in the income of local populations (as a consequence of rising unemployment and of the dismantling of public services, among other factors).

dressed in green. There can not be democratic global governance without ending the influence of corporation on the United Nations.

We reject this process and are appealing to all to come and strengthen demonstrations and constructions of alternatives in the whole world.

We struggle for a radical change of the current model of production and consumption, strengthening our right to expand with alternative models based on the various realities experienced by the peoples, truly democratic, respecting collective and human rights and in harmony with nature and social and environmental justice.

We affirm the collective construction of new paradigms based on food sovereignty, agro-ecology and non-profit Profit The positive gain yielded from a company’s activity. Net profit is profit after tax. Distributable profit is the part of the net profit which can be distributed to the shareholders. economy, struggle for life and public property, on the affirmation of all threaten rights such as rights to land and territory, the right to the city, the right of nature and future generations, and on the elimination of all forms of colonialism and imperialism.

We appeal to all peoples of the world to support the Brazilian people’s struggle against the destruction of one of the most important legal frameworks to protect forests (Forestry Code), which opens the door to increased deforestation in favor of the interests of agribusiness and strengthening of monoculture Monoculture When one crop alone is cultivated. Many countries of the South have been induced to specialize in the production of a commodity for export (cotton, coffee, cocoa, groundnuts, tobacco, etc.) to procure hard currency for debt repayments. ; also to support the fight against the implementation of Belo Monte mega water project, which affects the survival and life of forest peoples and Amazonian biodiversity.

We renew our invitation to take part in the People’s Summit to be held from June 15 to 23 in Rio de Janeiro. This is an important step in global struggles for social and environmental justice that we have built since Rio 92, particularly from Seattle, WSF, Cochabamba, where struggles have been amplified against the WTO WTO
World Trade Organisation
The WTO, founded on 1st January 1995, replaced the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT). The main innovation is that the WTO enjoys the status of an international organization. Its role is to ensure that no member States adopt any kind of protectionism whatsoever, in order to accelerate the liberalization global trading and to facilitate the strategies of the multinationals. It has an international court (the Dispute Settlement Body) which judges any alleged violations of its founding text drawn up in Marrakesh.

and the FTAA, for climate justice and against the G20 G20 The Group of Twenty (G20 or G-20) is a group made up of nineteen countries and the European Union whose ministers, central-bank directors and heads of state meet regularly. It was created in 1999 after the series of financial crises in the 1990s. Its aim is to encourage international consultation on the principle of broadening dialogue in keeping with the growing economic importance of a certain number of countries. Its members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, USA, UK and the European Union (represented by the presidents of the Council and of the European Central Bank). . We also include the mass mobilizations and popular struggles as Occupy, the Indignados, the struggle of Chilean students and the Arab spring.

We appeal to all global mobilizations happening on 5 June (International Environment Day), 18 June against the G20 (which will focus on ’green growth’) and 20 June for the March of the People’s Summit in Rio de Janeiro and worldwide, for social and environmental justice, against ’green economy’, commodification of life and nature and for commons and rights of peoples.

The International Coordination Group (CG) of the People’s Summit for social and environmental justice

Rio de Janeiro, 12th of May 2012

The International Coordination Group (CG) of Civil Society Facilitating Committee at Rio+20 (CFSC) in the People’s Summit is made up of 35 networks, social movements and organizations from 13 different countries. Its representatives work together at National CG (with 40 represented networks) for methodological and political coordination of the People’s Summit, parallel and critical event for Rio +20, which will gather millions of people to ’Aterro do Flamengo’ from15 to 23 June..



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