Event Coverage

Speaking out on sustainable development: Rio+20 in quotes

Companies, communities and governments are beginning to understand that business cannot go on as usual.
Shares
0
Weight of the world

Most popular

RIO DE JANEIRO (22 June, 2012)_Many have criticised the Rio+20 summit as a vague talkfest with a outcome document that fails to achieve much at all. CIFOR has been pushing for forests to be integrated into the summit outcomes, with Director General Frances Seymour stating at Forests: The 8th Roundtable at Rio+20, “let’s hope we’ll remember Rio+20 not as the one that left out forests, but as the moment that forests moved definitively from being understood as a luxury protected at the expense of development, to a necessity that has to be protected in the interest of development.  Here we compile the best, and worst, of what was said on forests during the last week in Rio de Janeiro.

On the discourse:

What strikes me from today’s discussions is just how much the discourse on forests has changed in the last 20 years.

Frances Seymour, Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research

******************************************************************

It sounds lovely, doesn’t it? It could be illustrated with rainbows and psychedelic unicorns and stuck on the door of your toilet. But without any proposed means of implementation, it might just as well be deployed for a different function in the same room.

George Monbiot, The Guardian

******************************************************************

If you put illegal in front of things, people want to get online and do something about it. We should have called it illegal global warming.

Paul Polman, CEO Unilever

******************************************************************

Twenty years ago, there was a rather polarized North-South debate, caricatured as the North wanting forest conservation for biological and cultural diversity, and the South wanting to mobilize forest resources for development. Now….there’s a much greater understanding of the multiple benefits of forests, their relationships to climate change, food and water security, energy, and rural livelihoods.

Frances Seymour, Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research

******************************************************************

Let’s hope we’ll remember Rio+20 not as the one that left out forests, but as the moment that forests moved definitively from being understood as a luxury protected at the expense of development, to a necessity that has to be protected in the interest of development.

Frances Seymour, Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research

******************************************************************

On the science:

I think the days of forests for the sake of forests is over, and now we have to have forests integrated into other research agendas. For example, we have groups that deal with forests and groups that deal with agriculture and that’s not productive. We have to bring them all together in landscapes in an integrated way to make them useful to each other.

Louis Verchot, Principal Scientist for the Center for International Forestry Research

******************************************************************

How can we scientists and policymakers help the local governments to grow and do the right thing for smallholders to survive…The research needed is how can we bring their (smallholders) voices on and (find) the mechanisms that can work on the ground.

Renata Marson Teixeira de Andrade, Catholic University of Brasilia

******************************************************************

The more you go to the regional and global level, the more you face knowledge gaps and controversies. This is where we need to have very targeted research the roles that forests play in the regulating systems in the world.”

Robert Nasi, Director, CRP6, CGIAR Research Programme on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry at the Center for International Forestry Research

 

******************************************************************

On agriculture:

Between now and 2050 we need to produce as much food as we did in the last 8000 years.

Paul Polman, CEO Unilever

******************************************************************

What happens in forests has an impact on water quality and quantity. What happens to water has an impact on agricultural productivity. What happens to agricultural productivity has an impact on how much forest is removed from that landscape.

Louis Verchot, Principal Scientist for the Center for International Forestry Research

******************************************************************

And let’s just be clear what I mean by “food security.” It has to be a form of agriculture that does not exceed the carrying capacity of its local ecosystem and the communities it supports. It can only be done by enhancing, rather than diminishing, the natural capital upon which we depend for our long term well-being. This is why we have to start thinking about reshaping consumption patterns, so that we align them in a far more far-sighted way with the very real constraints of our planetary boundaries.

HRH The Prince of Wales

******************************************************************

If you treat them right, you can create partners from the villagers who, before we began, were destroying the land on which they depend.

Jane Goodall, Primatologist

*****************************************************************

Just investing in women in agriculture alone has led to a 30% increase in yield.

Paul Polman, CEO Unilever

******************************************************************

This urbanisation trend is one of the defining trends of the century that we live in, so we can only expect that these commercial pressures are going to get more and more, as forest become the last frontier for agricultural expansion.

Ruth DeFries, Columbia University

******************************************************************

After all the efforts by the government [of Brazil] and the private sector to reduce deforestation through better monitoring, why is 700,000 hectares still lost each year?  Land clearing for agriculture is still happening while 11 million hectares of land are going to waste.

Paulo Barreto, Imazon

******************************************************************

On the private sector:

The biggest challenge we have is to get the consumer to reward sustainability.

Paul Polman, CEO Unilever

******************************************************************

Companies need to understand they need to be active participants in the system that gives them life.

Paul Polman, CEO Unilever

******************************************************************

Although we need money to live, we shouldn’t live for money.

Jane Goodall, Primatologist

******************************************************************

I just came back from the Global Compact Conference with the CEO of Unilever. Normally conservationists didn’t sit with private sector representatives but now we sit together as human beings with the same values.

Julia Marton Lefevre, Director General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

******************************************************************

Companies are beginning to understand that business cannot go on as usual.

Jane Goodall, Primatologist

******************************************************************

We’ve had chief sustainability officers come to us and ask us to help them make the argument to their CEOs as to why this investment [in environmental protection] makes sense.

Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency

******************************************************************

On green growth:

We have 250 million americans using a quarter of the world’s resources and the rest of the world aspiring to live like them.

Paul Polman, CEO Unilever

******************************************************************

Combating the drivers of deforestation will be less costly than simply adapting to its consequences. Form a scientific point of view, from a theoretical economic viewpoint, it is indisputable that preserving the worlds tropical forests is integral to green economic growth.

Bard Vegar Solhjell, Minister of the Environment, Norway

******************************************************************

Without poverty reduction, forests cannot be green and without a green economy, poverty cannot be reduced.

Ghanshyam Pandey, the Global Alliance of Community Forestry in Nepal

******************************************************************

The cost of deforestation and forest degradation alone will likely cost the global economy more than all the losses in the 2008 financial crisis.

Bard Vegar Solhjell, Minister of the Environment, Norway

******************************************************************

In Africa 50 years ago, our first priority was to fight disease, poverty and ignorance… The challenges ahead include environmental degradation and climate change.

Freddie Kwesiga, African Development Bank

******************************************************************

On gender:

I’m frankly losing my patience. We have perfected the literature. We have perfected the speeches. We have perfected the speaking points. That is not what it is about anymore. Unless we actually are having an effect on the ground, we are not doing anything.

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

******************************************************************

Moving forward:

Knowledge is a big issue: there is an 80% illiteracy rate which means it is difficult for small holders to access new technologies. Also, with 300,000 people without access to clear land tenure, they are less likely to take risks when it comes to expanding production.

Paulo Barreto, Imazon

******************************************************************

We must adapt to our ways to the capacities of the plant, and distribute resources fairly. And the only way to achieve is to move towards a model of economic growth where the value of natural capital is fully integrated in economic and political decision making- by government, by business and by citizens.

Bard Vegar Solhjell, Minister of the Environment, Norway

******************************************************************

The world today needs plenty of “do the right thing”.  And the choices are not so easy. Looking at the global landscape, anyone can see the glass as half full – OR half empty. But for all of us in this room, we do not have that luxury to see the glass as half empty.  The world looks to us to find solutions which they may benefit from.  Our job here is to find an answer in every problem, not find a problem in every answer.

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia

******************************************************************

On REDD+

It is indisputable that REDD should become a game changing part of the global green transition For this to happen, developing countries a, developed countries, companies and non- governmental org must come together in a grand coalition.

Bard Vegar Solhjell, Minister of the Environment, Norway

******************************************************************

REDD+ is a development choice, which is most of all crucial to the people. Protecting forests is both a means to this end and an objective in itself. It supports all three pillars of sustainability – environmental, social and economic.

Bard Vegar Solhjell, Minister of the Environment, Norway

******************************************************************

We need to establish that foundation, clear things, and start investing and spending in a way that gives REDD+ funding and practices a good foundation to continue…Since it is so critical for sustainable development, because it’s land-based and people-based, you cannot fail. Once you fail, it’s very difficult to resurrect, so we need to make it successful from the very beginning.

Heru Prasetyo, Member of REDD+ Task Force and Deputy of the President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight (UKP4), Indonesia

(Visited 551 times, 1 visits today)
Topic(s) :   Climate talks REDD+ Peruvian Amazon Gender
More in Climate talks
See all on Climate talks or REDD+ or Peruvian Amazon or Gender
Most popular