With less that two weeks left to the big Rio+20 conference (take a look at my previous blogs on the blue economy and the three Ps), my expectations of the conference are enhanced by two thoughts, namely:
• A new mnemonic for sustainability: iss – innovate to squeeze and share;
• success is a bottom up approach rather than a top down – it’s time to celebrate local heroes.
I am following the developments leading up to Rio+20 on the basis of what might really be possible against what is hoped for. Two things I have seen underline my feelings that international conferences are important, but that progress does not depend on international agreement; the two pieces are both from well respected sources.
Part 1 – in RSA Journal Spring 2012 Roger Scruton argues in “Green shoots” that “history shows that most effective environmental initiatives arise not at a global scale or government level, but through the efforts of local people”. I agree with him. Using just two LR examples we can see this in action: the success of the British Council E-idea in Asia (sponsored by LRQA), and equally the exciting stories coming out of the ongoing LR 250 community support programme.
Part 2 – a few weeks ago I read with amusement, but also agreement, an Economist article on Rio+20 – in simple terms it argued that sustainability, while still a buzz word as in my blog on 3P for organisation, is increasingly being translated into:
• innovation to squeeze more out but also improve products
• squeeze more out of finite resources. So lean production, distribution, lean usage at consumer premises. (note to squeeze requires measurement)
• sharing – cooperation where there is no conflict of interest and being altruistic
The implications for me are that:
• quietly, the world is changing but there is no fanfare associated with the change
• the new mnemonic for sustainability: iss – innovate to squeeze and share
One the key issues at Rio+20 is the “Blue economy in a Green World”, which is still under discussion. See IMO’s video on Rio+20 that they launched last week here.
With the history of LR in mind I link the journey that the concept of safety has been on and how invisible, when they happened, some of the improvements in safety were. 250 years ago safety as a concept = safety of my investment/cargo. Today safety as a concept = human, goods and assets as well as eco systems in terms of pollution damage from sudden incident.
Information note – The outcome so far of the Rio+20 journey is uncertain but there is still a short window of opportunity left to reach agreement on the major parts of the text – even if only just. IISD report of the third round of ‘informal informal’ consultation, which ended on 2 June, that some issues have been agreed but that “with less than three weeks to go before Rio+20, key areas of divergence remain, including: several issues within the framework for action, such as climate change, oceans and food and agriculture; the process for the establishment of sustainable development goals (SDGs); means of implementation, most notably finance and technology transfer; IFSD; and green economy.”