Reflections from the Regional Preparatory Meeting for Rio+20 for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

By Simone Lovera on 13/Sep/2011

Until now the discussions have been pretty interesting here at the regional preparatory meeting for Rio+20 for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and the women’s major group representatives have made a lot of impact.  Monday started with a regional consultation by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), officially to prepare for their own Governing Council but of course we discussed the same themes.

I personally felt it was quite a problematic process, in so far that UNEP very much tried to steer the discussion in an innocent direction, away from any criticism on the use of the concept of ‘green economy’. However, several major group representatives stated they were opposed to using the term and Jocelyn and I have pointed out that there are a lot of concerns within the women’s major group as well and that there was no consensus about the use of the term. This latter position finally became the formal position in the statement that has been elaborated by all the major groups.

It should be highlighted that UNEP tried to manipulate the text so that it would state that there was no consensus about the interpretation of the term, but it was emphasized that there is no consensus about the use of the term, which is quite something different.  The discussions on IEG were relatively less controversial I think. There were a lot of more or less general suggestions about the need to improve and strengthen sustainable development governance, increasing participation etc, but nobody seemed in favor of a UN Environmental Agency or something alike. I guess the fact that UNEP is so much pushing its “green economy initiative”, ignoring the concerns of many social movements, countries and even its own staff (some of who, I heard in the corridors, are quite unhappy the 10 year old SPAC programme is being undermined by this new initiative), is also damaging its attempts to become a UN agency.   Download the Rio+20 Women’s major group statement received during the opening plenary of the official meeting.

Simone Lovera is the Managing Coordinator at Global Forest Coalition, Paraguay. Special thanks to Isabella Montgomery from Freshwateraction who helped in writing this blog.

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