Ângelo Marcelino da Silva, 61 years old, Pernambuco, Brazil
Photo: ,Helder Tavares/ActionAid
The true transformation to sustainable development is not in the Rio+20, but in the People's Summit.
After an exausting three days of negotiations to try and reach consensus on the final document for Rio+20, it is becoming very clear that there will not be a true and strong commitment from the countries to the need and urgency to achieve change.
Delegations waste precious time in discussing if they should reaffirm commitments previously made, instead of negotiating and agreeing on new and important terms on how to achieve sustainable development. This stalemate is evident in the crucial negotiations on food security and sustainable agriculture. While a billion people go hungry every day around the world, countries waste 3 hours in trying to agree if they should reaffirm the right to food and the importance of promoting or supporting or enhancing (they cannot even decide which term to use) sustainable agricultural practices.
The right to food has already been agreed and affirmed in many previous conferences! It is time to commit and take action towards ending hunger and transforming the current agricultural system, to support and strengthen the ones who are already working on real and effective solutions.
Meanwhile, people from all over the world, national and international social movements and civil society organizations are at the People's Summit showing the world that it can be done! That the solutions already exist and that these solutions are coming from the people. Solidarity economy, agroecology, urban agriculture, clean energy systems, alternative means of transportation, are amongst some of the possible, sustainable, effective solutions that we are able to see here at the People's Summit.
These, however, can show their true potential to bring change, when supported by public policies. It is the case of the cisterns in Brazil, which was an initiative that came from civil society and that became supported by the government. With the construction of the cisterns in the semi arid Northeast of Brasil, where populations often suffered from lack of water and consequently hunger, are now able to go through the dry season with plenty of water to drink and produce food.
It is through social participation, people's alternatives and government support to these alternatives that we will be able to achieve change towards the future we REALLY want!