Sunday, 17 June 2012
The new compilation draft outcome document was released on Saturday in the afternoon. At 8.30 p.m. a plenary convened to discussed it. The session was opened by a representative of the Brazilian government, Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado. He said that the preparation of the text implied a number of choices, and that the authors had tried to keep a certain balance while looking at the positions of the main negotiating groups and countries. He also noted that the text would make 'all members a little bit happy and a little bit unhappy too.'
First reactions were mixed, often negative. Greenpeace responded that the document: 'would condemn the world to a future of pollution, plunder and destruction'. Others complained that the text lacks commitments: "As far as I can count only 7 (out of 287) paragraphs starts with "We commit…" noted one of the participants.
Despite initial critics, negotiations concerning the text of the outcome document were relatively successful. According to the Rio+20 Secretary-General, Sha Zukang 37 per cent of the text has been agreed on by stakeholders. Taking into consideration slow pace of the negotiations during earlier meetings, this can be regarded as significant progress.
Another important theme in Rio was Soil and Land Degradation. Today sessions in the Rio Conventions Pavilion were fully devoted to this topic, with a special session Toward a Zero Net Land and Soil Degradation World in the early afternoon.
Meanwhile one of the participants of the conference remarks that 'favelas and posh residentials are lying next to each other in the outskirts of Rio. Painful reminder of the increasing gap between rich&poor'. Worth consideration.
Tomorrow is Agriculture and Rural Development day at Rio, let's see what it will bring! AgriCultures network will be in conference centre to stand for sustainable family farming.
Text: Marta Dabrowska