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About this Story

This article is the outcome of an initiative World Pulse launched on our online community platform, inviting global grassroots women leaders to outline their personal experiences and recommendations on equitable and sustainable development.

In partnership with Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), we gathered 55 statements representing women from 28 countries ranging from Papua New Guinea to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The stories were delivered via the Women's Major Group to top world leaders at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) that will take place June 20-22, 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This conference marks the 20th anniversary of the first 'Earth Summit' in 1992—a landmark UN summit organized in response to the growing ecological crisis.

Click here to learn more and to read all the powerful submissions.

Rio+20: Highlighting the Voices of Women

World Pulse delivered the voices of grassroots women leaders to the UN’s 2nd Landmark Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Hear a selection of their recommendations, exposing that sustainable development must tackle issues ranging from sanitation to land rights to economic empowerment for women.

"The grandchildren of today’s youth will need to eat, to breathe, to have their thirst quenched."

Valéria Barbosa da Silva, Brazil

© Lourdes Segade Botella

"Garbage collects in heaps and dust and plastic bags fly throughout the air."

Bagirathi Ramanathan, India

Recommendation: Invest in Community-Driven Development

BRAZIL: The Future of My Grandchildren

My city of Rio de Janeiro is beauty: It has stunning beaches, breathtaking scenery, and hospitable people. The beauty of the city goes beyond the landscape and extends to the culture of the people. Many of our people live in the many favelas of Brazil, sometimes called slums.

Poor immigrants make their homes in risky areas—on hillsides, on the banks of rivers, in places that are not structured to uphold homes. When the rains fall, there are always losses, either the death of loved ones or the collapse of homes. In addition to environmental issues, favelas are known for violence and high rates of drug use.

We have taken measures into our own hands. Policing units are working to create a state of peace. There are groups working on issues of urban sanitation. In partnership with the government, civil society provides care and social programs for these at-risk communities. But we must go further.

All must unite for the sustainable development of our state, our country, and our world. We must invest more in education, teaching our children to preserve their planet. This means lessons in entrepreneurship, recycling, conservation, and better utilization of natural resources.

Teach children and community members to ask questions. What do you do with leftover food to discourage insects and rodents? How do you reduce the flow of debris and sewage? How do you conserve water? Protect vegetation? Does new construction meet the environmental needs of the future? By asking these questions, we allow people to envision a new world.

The grandchildren of today’s youth will need to eat, to breathe, to have their thirst quenched. And the parents of the future—our youth today—need to eat, breath, and have their thirst quenched. And for that to happen, people must feel responsible for the longevity of our planet’s natural resources.

Valéria Barbosa da Silva | Manager, ONG Cruzada do Menor | Brazil

INDIA: Sanitation in My Little Village

I live in a village in India. Here, the public uses vacant sites and roadsides for toileting and health problems are rampant due to poor sanitation and hygiene. Local administrations have created a number of public toilets for public use, but water scarcity and maintenance of the facilities are major issues. The unclean toilets are causing disease, and there is no sufficient water supply for cleaning them. This drives community members back to open land for toileting.

Garbage collects in heaps and dust and plastic bags fly throughout the air. Cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens, and other birds roam the neighborhoods. We are vulnerable to health issues caused by lack of sanitation and there is no immediate health care available. Public health officials fail to step in.

As a social worker, I educate rural women about environment and sanitation. Physical and mental health and environmental health are linked. I meet young girls who are not urinating during school hours due to the conditions of the facilities, which leads to urinary tract infections, bladder stones, and painful vaginal ulcers. These conditions have an impact on emotional health as well. I am working to encourage local agencies to construct toilets in schools—toilets that have a continuous water supply and that are easily maintained.

I encourage leaders at Rio+20 to consider the impact sanitation issues have not only on our environment, but also on the health of men, women, and children.

Bagirathi Ramanathan | Founder, Women in Solidarity | India . . .

Comments

Unless government investments focus on having a quality population and a well managed and sustainable environment , only then can our countries ensure a bright future for the next generations

Grace Ikirimat

"It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success."


Rosa's picture

It's my honor tor have the

It's my honor tor have the chance to post my comment here to stand by your article and express my happiness to see yor post. live in a village in India. Here, the public uses vacant sites and roadsides for toileting and health problems are rampant due to poor sanitation and hygiene. Local administrations have created a number of public toilets for public use, but water scarcity and maintenance of the facilities are major issues. The unclean toilets are causing disease, and there is no sufficient water supply for cleaning them. This drives community members back to open land for toileting.Yes, it's a meaningful article.excellent post, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector do not notice this. You must proceed your writing. I’m confident, you have a great readers’ base already!
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ikirimat's picture

Bravo

Thank you Rosa for the positive comments. We shall continue to make our voices loud until as one of the approaches as we move towards action. One by one, we shall change attitude. You also point out the serious issue of poor sanitation in our communities especially for girls. I agree and more needs to be done. Together we can change the world to a better place to live in by all.

Grace Ikirimat

"It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success."


richard23's picture

gareat

Américains ont investi un montant énorme d'argent à essayer d'obtenir des pays de l'Est de l'emprise de la Russie, tout pour naught.Congress maintenant réunis pour «accélérer sanctions» sur l'Ukraine.
clash of clans hack
Policier mondiale des États-Unis aura bientôt des sanctions à tous les pays du monde, sauf Israël.
Plus de travailleurs américains seront mis à pied .. Quel idiot pays aux États-Unis est devenu!

Sustainable development is all about securing an uncompromisable future for humanity and our ecosystem; and we can only succeed in the drive by tackling the very issues that fuel the embers of exclusion and injustice. Everyone has a role to play and there is something every one can do. The need for man to live in harmony with nature is not negotiable and the earlier we accept this fact and have the will to make certain of that, the better.

Olanike

Wendyiscalm's picture

This is very eloquent, well

This is very eloquent, well said and true. Thank you.

Ubuntu (I am who I am because of who we are together)

Wendy Stebbins

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

Greengirl's picture

Best Wishes!

Many thanks to you! You are an embodiment of encouragement!

Very warm regards,

Olanike Olugboji

Greengirl's picture

Best Wishes!

Many thanks to you! You are an embodiment of encouragement!

Very warm regards,

Olanike Olugboji

ikirimat's picture

Good!

Thank you Olanike for adding your voice. Yes people are central in all this issue.

Grace Ikirimat

"It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success."


Dear need to move information between people as well as their rights. Care and value is a solidary way to the environment and the lives of our brothers around the world
Kisses,

Frenny Jowi's picture

where is the commitment?

Media reports say the Rio outcome document is weak and lacks ambition. And with the latest environmental assessment report dubbed GEO5 having stated that earth's resources especially the marine ones are still at high risk even after 20 years since Johannesburg summit,that resolved to reverse this kind of degradation among other resolutions, it calls for high will power and commitment by leaders and citizens to save the earth.

I don't how sustainable development can be achieved without linking climate change to sexual and reproductive health: an issue that affect girls and women most.

kind3500's picture

Olympics...

Why will Brazil be hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics when there is so much else to be done there? Will the Olympics bring more wealth and awareness to the issues as outlined above , or will it be a distraction, something that will convince the world that everything is okay in Brazil? I believe something needs to be done, and priorities need to be straightened out.

Kindersley

lovepowerrespect's picture

Love one another

It is really important to care and love each other in spite of racial differences.

Paula LaPierre Kichesipirini Algonquin's picture

Kichesipirini Continues...

Thank you so much for the encouraging words. Words are important. Women's views of their own life experiences are a unique perspective of world events and how they play out in the real life grassroots level....We continue to assert, through a fog of misinformation and selective social participation and consultation processes at the State level, that there are ways to avoid these social problems. Many of the solutions have already been established but are not implemented. Brave women must carry on telling the Truth.
Love,
Paula

Paula LaPierre
Principal Sachem
Kichesipirini Algonquin First Nation
Kichi Sibi Anishnabe
Canada
Culture is a pillar of sustainable development. Make certain then that is is culture with integrity.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/48051716/Prior-Social-Org

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