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Rio 20 Sustainable Development Conference

RIO+20 Sustainable Development Conference
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil June 13-23, 2012

The Franciscan Family has recently decided to highlight
the issue of environmental justice. As part of our
common effort, a group of about sixty Franciscans met
in Rio de Janeiro during the People’s Summit and the
Rio+20 Conference of the United Nations.

Our delegation included those who participated in the official events of the United Nations, led by a team from Franciscans International, and those who participated in the parallel events of the People’s Summit.  Together we studied and reflected on some of the basic themes, including spirituality, sustainability, human and environmental rights, poverty, indigenous people, green economy and others.  We shared our values and vision for a better world where people would be raised from poverty and Earth would be freed from human exploitation.  As Franciscans we have a common vision of the human person, of society and of nature.  Our Franciscan heritage enables us to share our ethical concern for healthy relationships with all of creation, focusing especially on the marginalized.

We reflected on our different realities and local needs, and in the course of our discussions it became clear that our local problems are intimately related to the global reality .   Consequently we decided, as members of the international Franciscan family, to prepare proposals that we might implement together.  Local and regional groups will continue to work on their own specific issues, but participants chose and committed themselves to the following three proposals, to be implemented by the global Franciscan family.

                                                           Promote authenticity of lifestyle
                                Participate in the mining project of the JPIC promoters in Rome
                Continue the campaign “ No to the Green Economy,” denouncing the problems raised
                                 by the green economy and seeking alternative paradigms for society      

The official outcome document from Rio+20 “The Future We Want” provides a firm foundation for moving forward.  Following Rio, according to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon there is:

          • Renewed and strengthened political commitment to sustainable development
          • Agreement to launch a process to establish sustainable development goals as an integral part of Importance of partnership
          • Voluntary commitments made at Rio in all areas will be a concrete and lasting legacy

A form of mining presently being pushed in U.S. with devastating effects for humans and Earth is “Hydrofracturing,” aka “fracking.” Click on
1) http://ncronline.org/news/ecology/fracking-gas-puts-life-giving-water-risk ;
2) http://www.marcellus-shale.us/fracking.htm ;



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