mercoledì 4 luglio 2012

Youth VS Fossils during the Rio+20 Forum

On Sunday 23rd, the G77 obtained the “Fossil of the Day” award : 

"Climate Action Network’s 700+ member organisations regularly judge ‘Fossil of The Day’ awards, giving them to countries who have performed badly in the climate change negotiations. When earned, these slightly sarcastic yet highly prestigious awards are presented daily during climate talks. The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate talks in 1999 in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum".

The award was delivered by the Children and Youth Major Group to a representative of Algeria on behalf of the Group of 77 (all the governments representative attending the Forum). He received the award in front of a huge mass of people, outraged by the obstruction demonstrated by this group of countries. The demonstration, during which members of the Children and Youth Major Group wore tapes on their mouth as a sign of silent indignation, ended with a symbolic act : a little child was tied after having screamed “Plant trees, don’t ruin our Planet”.
The Fossil of the Day awards have been attributed every day, during the Forum, by members of the Civil Society to countries demonstrating unsustainable and anti-environmental practices and blocking the negotiation process. The United States was granted the award on the first day of negotiations, followed by Canada, for their poor environmental record and in particular for having tried to prevent the conference from adopting commitments requiring an end to fossil fuel subsidies. Those countries are considered as putting barriers to a desired outcome.

The Children & Youth Major Group held daily meetings in the RioCentro Major Group pavilion to discuss the strategy to be heard by decision-makers and to make the difference in the Earth Summit. It was established that each Major Group will have the right to talk for strictly two minutes during the Opening Plenary Session of the Rio Conference. Some members of the Children and Youth Major Group suggested to use the “strategy of silence”, that is to not speak during their two minutes and leave the room without saying a word, demonstrating the indignation and disillusion of future generation for what the adults are doing. But others disagree with this strategy and continue to suggest a more proactive statement in order to make their voice heard.
The issue was, in the end, still undecided. The motivation, passion and will to make real change are extremely strong within the group. However, they are still working on how to use the tools available to them and how to best express themselves in the time allocated.

You can read about more reactions on:

Romina Puccetti

Marta Castellani

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