Statement of GABRIELA Philippines on the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro (Rio+20)
Since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, the United Nations working on the behest of imperialist powers produced the Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration and the Forest Principles and Framework Convention on Climate Change, Convention on Biodiversity and other instruments to use the language of environmentalism in masking their global designs of monopoly capital to control, partition and plunder the natural and human resources of the world for corporate greed and profits.
The UN World Commission on Environment and Development and its partner UN agencies are now again orchestrating the manoeuvrings of industrial superpowers in the Brazilian capital of Rio de Janeiro from 20-22 June to rubberstamp the ideological crusade of monopoly capital to pass binding legal agreements that would formalize the sacrifice of the riches of underdeveloped countries to further liberalize trade, privatize our common ancestral lands and waters, and deregulate whatever remaining protection of our local livelihoods to the ravages of international trade.
Behind the token words of environmental protection and social equity, Rio+20 is ramming “Green Economy” down our throats as its mantra for sustainable development. The toiling masses of Filipino women and their families oppose this deceptive green washing program as it will have far-reaching effects on our livelihood, human dignity and ecological balance of our cities, forests and farms.
The stated aims of the “Green Economy” include efficient use of resources, lower greenhouse gas emissions, new sources of economic growth, social equity, and inclusiveness. The draft new Rio Declaration twenty years after the first failed document, however, promises more horrors for women, the people and the environment of the Philippines.
Instead of addressing the problems brought about by logging, mining and fishing firms on our ecology, the Green Economy pushes for more capitalist market investments that would evict millions of indigenous women, peasant women, and fisherfolk women and their families from their ancestral domains, farms and fisheries as foreign and local firms will now be encouraged to purchase “carbon credits” and other finance instruments that will convert homelands into reforestation zones, protected areas or renewable energy farms that are off limits to the locals.
In the towns and cities, we foresee so-called green NGOs collaborating with local governments to forcibly convert households to adopt expensive green technologies out of their own pockets, such as low-emission kitchen stoves and gas-fired motorbikes all in the name of mitigating climate change.
Massive foreign capital in the guise of green investment to lower carbon emissions is already being poured to rebuild and privatize water resources such as the Angat Dam, ensuring that water and generated electricity become even more expensive for millions more of urban poor women.
The Green Economy being peddled by Rio+20 and now being foisted upon our country by the puppet regime of President Noynoy Aquino as the Public-Private Partnership is the same bankrupt model of neoliberal economics. It is essentially the language of the World Trade Organization xeroxed into the document. The document being finalized, not surprisingly, removed all references to gender equality, women empowerment and human rights. Rio+20 offers only more poverty, more natural disasters, more global warming, much less job, health and income security for women, while worsening climate-related mass migration and sex trafficking, violent crimes against women, and wholesale destruction of ecosystems.
We join billions of women, men and children around the world marching against Rio+20’s false green promises and the onslaughts of corporate greed. We call your attention to the Parallel People’s Summit in Rio, and the June 20 sympathy protest before the United Embassy in Manila as part of the Global Day of Action on Rio+20, where thousands of peoples organizations, mass movements, and progressive groups forging real plans for saving the planet. We will defend the environment and humanity with the genuine agenda that will protect the rights of women, men and children to a sustainable future.