‘Seperated at Birth , reunited at Rio’ – ODI


May 30th, 2012

‘Separated at birth, reunited at Rio’

What a great title for an article by ODI (Overseas Development Institute) Loved the title – not sure about the premise which is that environmental concerns and development have up until now been viewed separately. I can see where ODI are coming from – separate policies, normally separate government departments etc. but on the ground the reality is that development and environment are interlinked. But maybe that’s just for Practical Action. I can, of course, think of development initiatives that have trampled over environmental concerns – they aren’t in short supply.

The poorest people are nearly always forced to live on the most marginalised land – land most susceptible to environmental shocks, be it changes in rain patterns leading to uncertain and sometimes no harvest, land so steep it’s vulnerable to landslides, etc. For this reason, and many others environment and development are intrinsically lined.

Personally, I’m deeply worried about Rio – we seem to be postponing yet again vital decisions to protect our planet and tackle poverty. There seems to be a lack of urgency, I understand that so little progress has been made towards agreed outcomes that the ‘sherpa’s’ (pre planners) have asked for another week to prepare and even then are making worrying noises!

It’s not that I care about the meeting but it did seem to be an opportunity to deliver vital change, to reinvigorate sustainable development –for poor people and for everyone – and to paraphrase an old song ‘if you can’t make it here, you can’t make it anywhere …‘

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