Posicionamiento de la sociedad civil de América Latina y el Caribe sobre Río+20 y la economía verde Statement of Civil Society in Latin American and the Caribbean on Rio+20

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Defend Life and Peoples’ Rights in Rio+20
Reject the Green Economy and commodification of Nature


The world faces a crisis of civilization in which the global economic system based on the accumulation of capital has broken balance with mother earth. The current model is taking us to the limit, soon arriving at a point where the damage will be having irreversible impacts on and consequences for the peoples of the world.


10% of the world’s richest have more than half of the global income and people in rich countries consume ten times more natural resources than in poor countries, while globally, 1 billion people are hungry, 1.6 billion have no access to electricity and more than 1 billion do not have access to safe drinking water.


The current capitalist system has led to the empowerment of transnational corporations that profit from the natural resources and speculate in the financial market, going so far as that out of the 100 largest global economies, more than 40 are trans-national.


The commitments of governments for the reduction of greenhouse gas are by far insufficient, so many regions will suffer under extreme unpredictability, where billions of people will be affected and displaced.


In the midst of this financial, energy, climate, environmental and food crises, the G8, representing the most powerful countries in the world, with their allies as Brazil and transnational corporations are seeking to save the capitalist system through the imposition of the “green economy”, rather than making changes to the structural causes of the crisis.



The civil society of Latin America and the Caribbean states:


On the proposal of the green economy


We denounce that the green economy is still pursuing to the erroneous idea of infinite economic growth in a world that has limits.


We reject the commodification of mother earth – of their life cycles and their functions, as well as payments for “environmental services” to create new financial products for the speculative market.


We denounce the green economy will not put an end to extractive industries, mining, hydrocarbons and the agro-exporting model that will continue to have negative impacts on the environment and the rights of peoples.


The green economy will strengthen the economic power of transnational corporations, being even much more influential than the more developed countries, having also self-protection mechanisms through free trade agreements, such as arbitration systems to protect their investment and future earnings, such as the ICSID.


The imposition of the green economy in Latin America and the Caribbean will be going far behind the achievements of the peoples’ struggles constituted as the right to water, the right to a healthy environment, the sovereignty and self-determination of indigenous peoples, among others.


We support the State of Acre letter signed by thirty civil society organizations in rejection of the commodification of nature and in defense of the territories. We call on the communities in other territories to be alert and to resist implementation of green economy and not to follow the example of the Government of Acre.


Facing the false solutions that are part of the proposal for a green economy, the North should take the initiative to cut greenhouse gas emissions drastically and immediately and comply with its obligations on technology transfer and financing without any conditions. The green economy is a “permit” for large industries polluting the environment.


We denounce the false solutions to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases such as nuclear energy, capture and artificial storage of carbon, GM crops and bio-fuels. Solutions to the problem the planet is facing, are not the application of new technologies, but the transformation of structural policies.


We demand the immediate stop of all projects destructive to mother earth, such as open pit mining, the exploitation of hydrocarbons in ecologically sensitive areas, the mega-projects and the IIRSA projects.


We reject any process of regional integration dominated by the big capital.


Before the negotiations of Rio + 20


We demand from the national governments to actively defend the interests of their peoples in the current negotiating text and assume responsibility for future generations. We demand the governments to not endorse the green economy and to not accept the agreements of the Rio + 20. Governments should ensure that the negotiations will be comprehensive, open and transparent.


We require national governments to defend the right to water, the rights of mother earth and the rights of indigenous peoples as expressed in the resolutions of the Peoples’ Summit on Climate Change, (Tiquipaya, 2010).


We affirm the importance of upholding the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, the precautionary principle and the principle of access to information, public participation and justice.


We demand realistic and creative mechanisms such as the creation of a tax on financial transactions. It is necessary to construct instruments at the service of the people, with a system of democratic and transparent governance that promotes inclusive public policies, integration between peoples and a new model of development.


Trans-nationals of the G8, in complicity with the governments, have co-opted the UN system, have taken over the social and ecological discourse, and have greater participation in the Rio + 20 negotiations than civil society. Large private corporations have contaminated the planet most, along with the World Bank and the G20, promoting green economy and continue doing “business as usual”. Rio + 20 negotiations must be ” party driven ” with more participation of civil society.


Alternative models of the life – alternatives to the green economy


Living well, a holistic approach to the rights of mother earth are an alternative to the model of capitalist development, exploiting mother earth and human beings. We are not owners of the nature: we are part of mother earth and demand respect for her life cycles.


Likewise we demand governments to promote policies to support a genuine sustainable agricultural production and food sovereignty without GMOs, as the only way to stop the advance of transnational corporations profiting from the food production in the planet.


We must generate a new global alternative to the green economy to restore balance with mother earth and establish living well, with complementarity and solidarity between people and guaranty well being.

  • An alternative economy based on mutuality would mean a life model based on the interests of communities, peasant organizations, workers, peasants, women and indigenous peoples.
  • An equitable redistribution of wealth, establishing modes of production to meet the real needs of women and men.


Build an alternative to the concept of “environmental services” and “natural capital” which only aim to the commodification of nature. Management and integral management of forests, water, land, among other beings of nature is a viable alternative to the philosophy of the green economy.


We demand from governments to comply with the principles of living well, stated in the declaration of civil society at a global level in the Peoples’ Summit on Climate Change Cochabamba, Bolivia, in 2010, in order to not just leaving it a speech, but elaborating specific policies for a gradual transition to overcome capitalism in all its forms.


Immediate joint actions


We call upon the international civil society to build alliances to resist the imposition of the green economy in the region and to build a new model for living well in harmony with mother earth.


The governments, communities, international cooperation and other sectors must prevent the degradation of the environment either directly or indirectly, further violations of human rights and mother earth, (water, air, land), and must ensure the restoration of the affected areas.


Let’s mobilize towards Rio + 20 in rejection to green economy!

Let’s build alternative models to defend life and achieve the living well!