Rio:Peoples’ Summit

Rio 1
 
Friar Cathal Duddy, the Animator of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) for the Irish Franciscan Province, is attending the Peoples´Summit shadowing the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development. He sends a report.
 
May the Lord give you peace!

Our group here numbers about 50 Franciscans from all over the world. We are here to attend the Peoples´ Summit which shadows the UN Rio+20 conference on sustainable development. Not too much is expected from the governments at this meeting in spite of it being held in Rio because it’s 20 years since the Earth Summit here. Franciscans International may enter this UN event but the rest of us attend the Peoples´Summit only.

We are asked to network with one another and meet the other delegations that have come to Rio for the conference. We also select some of the smaller events to attend at the Peoples´Summit. One input so far described the process from the 1992 Rio Earth Summit up to the present, another critiqued the ‘green economy’ which governments are proposing. Another was on mining and the extraction industry and how this is impacting on the environment and especially impacting on the poor.

The Peoples´Summit is taking place in a park with many tents and stalls filling the site. It is right next to the bay and a busy city airport with planes taking off every few minutes. Some of those present were Greenpeace, Scouts, Food and Water Action group, indigenous peoples´groups, Religions for Peace, and young peoples´environment groups.
 
The gathering is proving to be a very interesting experience… it’s a Franciscan challenge!
 
 
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