In the second day of the Conference, IUCN made a presentation at the roundtable on Green Economy. The main message was that the Biodiversity Strategic Plan adopted in Nagoya in 2010 has basic elements that contribute to achieving the Green Economy. It was well received by participants as there are only a few who bring to the discussion the importance of biodiversity and the successful outcomes of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Many organizations tend to remember the failures of climate change instead of bringing up the good outcomes of other environmental meetings
In the afternoon there was also a roundtable on civic engagement to achieve sustainability. Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration, which is about ensuring that people know what decisions are being taken and allowing them to participate meaningfully in the decision making process, was discussed at length. Panellists underlined the importance of democratic and non corrupt governments to properly achieve sustainable development. IUCN will be supporting the position that people must have access to information so that they, not only actively participate in decision making, but also enforce policies and their right to a clean environment in tribunals when policies are not followed and this right is violated.
At the margins of the main meeting, the government of Brazil and a representative of the Brazilian civil society, Civicus, were invited to explain the strategies and logistics for the Rio conference. The conference will end up being 10 days instead of the short official period, from 4 to 6 June because the preparatory committee meeting will be held from 28-30 May in Rio too. With the “sandwich days” (as it was called) in between the two meetings, there will be more time for corridor negotiations. The Brazilian government’s objectives for this meeting are to have an effective meeting that demonstrates that multilateralism is the way to go; to take the opportunity to involve the youth more actively in the sustainable development planning; to have a consensual output and to move beyond the North –South divisive discourse. Civicus mentioned that Brazilian civil society would seize this opportunity to push the government to take bolder decisions on the Amazon which is the subject of current discussion in the Brazilian government with very little positive outcome as they are rising the cap on deforestation.
Many of the participants, including the writer of this blog, ended the day at 4 in the morning helping out in the drafting of a Declaration which will be discussed and adopted today, Monday, the last day of the conference.