Good job bringing this to light. People won't realise how huge the problem is and municipalities are woefully ill equipped to...
Agreed; mining can never be sustainable, but then how do you get the metals to make all the things you need in the course of...
Very good piece.
"don't consider this as a big disaster" said Emil Salim referring to the fourth preparatory committee (prepcom) for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (wssd), that was held in Bali from May 27 to June 7, 2002, of which the former Indonesian minister was the chair. This, the latest instalment of "we are all doing well" from the organisers of the Summit belies the real truth: we are not well -- we are all in the well, deep, down and under. Delegates have been unable to come to an agreement on three important issues: timebound commitments, means of implementation and the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" -- all of which will be transmitted as "bracketed" text in a 'draft plan of implementation' to the summit, to be held in Johannesburg from August 26 to September 4, 2002.
At the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, civil society groups were the conscience of the negotiations -- ensuring that the process maintained vision and focus. But since Rio, ngos have left the business of negotiations to government and governments have been merrily going around many bushes (from senior to junior) fighting over full stops and commas in the text. Global environmental negotiations have become a cause without concern. It is this that Bali and now Johannesburg suffers from most.
Currently the draft plan of implementation -- the substance of Rio +10 -- is full of empty sentences. Take the issue of poverty eradication -- a chance for the world to integrate the concerns of the poor and marginalised for whom ecological poverty matters more than the lack of cash -- the document is full of nothing. Any issue, which is even mildly relevant has been left undecided with governments squabbling over the very meaning of sustainable development.
What is more worrying is the effort being made to rewrite the Rio agreement. It had been agreed that the Northern industrialised countries had to take on greater commitments to improve the global environment because they were more responsible for its destruction. This was encapsulated in the phrase, 'common but differentiated responsibilities'. Now some countries in the North, particularly the us, want to rewrite this crucial environmental history. The us wants no special responsibility. It only wants rights.
If Bali is a precursor to what is expected from Johannesburg, then it is definitely a meeting we should all boycott. We have to demand more from our leaders. It is the least that we can do for our common future.