Though, as one of our reporters wrote “scepticism ahead for Rio is rife“, many people – both close and in particular those distant to the topic of sustainable development – have lost any expectation of the outcome of Rio+20. Still there is lots of faith left and we will keep it up and running. Rio+20 is an event that the UN Secretary General (CEO) Ban Ki-moon himself labels as “one of the most important conferences in the history of the United Nations and a once-in-a-generation opportunity to gear the world on sustainable development path”. Those that are only jealous about us being in Rio can go immediately to the bottom of the post and enjoy listening to the song “Girl from Ipanema”.
Why at all caring for an event, people believe, which already wasted thousands of working hours of ministry delegates to prepare and protect governments’ interests and distract more than hundred heads of state from more important duties in times of financial crises and geopolitical power shifts. In June European soccer passionates, which is almost everybody in Europe, will sit in beer gardens enjoying cold beer while watching, though politically heavily debated, the European Soccer Championships. Elsewhere, people just enjoy their summer breaks or my hard working academic fellows prepare for the presentation of their research ideas in the large academic conferences taking place in Africa, the US and Europe.
What’s the point of going to Rio+20, probably not even having the time to enjoy one of the most beautiful cities in the world while reporting day and night about meaningless negotiations? Lucky us, however, as nowadays many of those distant to Rio and to sustainable development might still take a chance to read and listen to our posts on their smart phones and other handheld online devices even while having a barbecue before ie. watching how England, host country of the champion league winning team, gets kicked out in the first round and Germany beats Spain in the final game.
Make it a meaningful summer apart from BBQing and drinking cold beers, academic career pushing at conferences, or enjoying the summer breezes at the beach. Follow our reporter teams at a selection of events taking place in Rio. We hope to reveal the hidden stories beyond grey suited ministry delegates minglying about a sheet of paper.
New York Times’ Elisabeth Rosenthal knows that it is not an easy task to get readers on board of such topics as the environment that do not address their daily concerns and needs. Read our position on Journalism in Rio or listen to Elizabeth.
Girl from Ipanema
Those not able to catch up with us at a conference venue can come visit us on Ipanema beach. We are stationed in the former childhood residence of songwriter Tom Jobim who wrote the famous song “Garota de Ipanema”. Listen to a beautiful version of the song and feel the Rio vibes. And don’t forget Rio+20 back home at the BBQ and make it a meaninggul and pleasant June.