It’s Happening - Activistas took part at the Plenaries of Convergences at the People’s Summit

Today was another day that Flamengo Park in Rio de Janeiro was full of people, traditional knowledge, ideas and good intentions for a world socially and environmentally fair. 

This Sunday, the People’s Summit (parallel event to the official Rio+20 conference) was reserved for the Pleanaries of Convergences; the people was divided into 5 plenaries: Rights for Social and Environmental Justice, Protection of the commons goods against the mercantilization, food sovereignty, energy and extractive industries and Labor, for another economy and new paradigms of society. These are central themes to be worked during the Summit, towards a final document, as a counterpoint to the document to be approved by the Official Conference, that for now still doest not attend all the advances we still need for the sustainable development.

Our activistas from Brazil participated in the discussions. Sergio Brito and Giulianna Ferricela were taking part at the Plenary about energy. In Sergio’s opinion, the Plenary was filled with many different claims and demands.

There was a certain consensus that there should be more control over the companies producers

he said. For Arthur, Murta the Plenary about common goods was very positive, the whole plenary was invited to speak into the microphone and bring their causes. “The idea was to converge ideas. The expectation is that from the various claims that were made, we can come together to a unified document and build consensus”, says Arthur.

Carolina Costa joined Arthur at the Common Goods plenary and emphasized during the debate the impact of the mercantilization of common goods on women’s lives. In the Amazonia region, many women are exploited by companies and suffer a great impact due to major development projects, such as the Growth Acceleration Program. According to Carol, the arrival of these projects and the lack of women empowerment causes increased prostitution networks in the region. Regarding the exploitation of women in extractive regions, Carol pointed out that many companies pay very low wages to women miners in exchange for natural resources.

ActionAid is closely following both the Peoples' Summit and the Official Conference. We want to show alternatives that are built in practice for us and our local partners, exposing the value and potential of small holders farmers and how they should be considered at the final document of the official conference, as drivers of changes and keepers of the traditional “sustainable” knowledge; women and men farmers ensure sustainable reproduction of life on the planet.

Tomorrow, the day begins with a Great Women’s March. ActionAid and Activistas will be there: keep tuned!