Statement from Stakeholder Forum Executive Director, Felix Dodds

In a video statement Stakeholder Forum’s Executive Director, Felix Dodds talks about expectations and hopes for what Rio+20 could deliver and how stakeholders can play a major role in the summit.


We are one year out from the United Nations new Earth Summit. A summit which will address two vital themes, namely:  how we transform our economy to move quickly to a green and sustainable one and second, what forms of governance at all levels do we need to help this happen and address the new and emerging threats such as energy, food, climate and water security that are becoming more evident because of the lack of fulfillment of previous commitments.

The current economic model, which has brought unprecedented prosperity to the more developed countries and to particular people in those countries, has only deepened the disparity between them and most developing countries.

The parallels of the ecological problems with the financial crisis are clear. The banks and financial institutions privatized the gains and socialized the losses.

We are doing the same with the planet’s natural capital.  According to WWF, we are operating at 25% above the biological capacity to support life and that is before adding another billion people by 2020 and three billion by 2050.

We are going to see an even greater ecological crunch in the years to come.

Our present lifestyles are drawing down the ecological capital from other parts of the world and from future generations. We are increasingly becoming the most irresponsible generation our planet has seen.

The past 30 years have been characterized by irresponsible capitalism, pursuing limitless economic growth at the expense of both society and environment, with little or no regard for the natural resource base upon which such wealth is built. We are recognizing at last that we have planetary boundaries.

Today, the principal goal of our economy must be to improve the lives of all the world’s people and to free them from want and ignorance – without compromising the planet itself.

An economy that integrates sustainable development principles with responsible capitalism can produce enough wealth to meet the needs of people in all nations, equitably and sustainably.

Earth Summit 2012 can clearly draw a roadmap to set the world on the path to a new “economy” that is sustainable, equitable and accessible to all.

We are looking for governments to commit at the highest level to attend the conference, to bring their new commitments to the table. This should include sustainable development goals and targets for areas of the economy such as energy, agriculture, urbanization, biodiversity and the blue economy (fisheries and oceans). It should include how we move to greener procurement policies and more sustainable consumption patterns.

We are also looking at the conference enabling a platform for individuals and stakeholders to make their commitments to a new ‘spirit of Rio’ to engage this generation in a ‘yes we can’ movement for one planet living.

Felix Dodds

To view Stakeholder Forum’s open letter to the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, click here.

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