This is the second installment of the UNEP/TreeHugger blogging competition. The writer with the most votes will win a trip to cover World Environment Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012.
Three TriplePundit writers have made the finals of the competition. Here are their final posts. If you’d like to send a 3p author to Brazil, vote for these blog posts on the UNEP website before midnight on April 30. If you haven’t already, you can vote for their first posts, as well.
Topic: Rio+20 – It’s a Bit Quiet Out There! Mobilizing the Masses to Make June a Big Deal
Mobilizing the Masses by Nurturing Your Niche
By Jonathan Mariano
If you want to mobilize* the masses not just for Rio+20, but beyond, it would be apt to nurture your niche in the context of sustainability. It is your niche, so you have in depth and tacit knowledge of niche concepts and niche reactions.
By touching and nurturing each of our niche’s, respectively, we will be able to cover and mobilize the masses. I bet there is a person interested in sustainability in nearly every niche we can name. (As a side note, remember, the masses also include people who do not necessarily agree with sustainability principals. If we are not inclusive of the opposition, we are not inclusive of the masses.) How is Rio+20 and sustainability related to your niche? How can your niche move sustainability forward?
Those Who Don’t Care About Rio+20 By Now, Probably Won’t By June, Either
By Andrea Newell
Instead of hyping people outside green circles for a single event, we need to focus on long-term systemic change. Yes, environmental events educate people, but they don’t guarantee fundamental, ongoing change. Many show interest, talk the talk for the day, resolve to do better and walk the walk for a week, and simply revert to previous behavior. Change comes when it impacts those people on a personal level in some way, and when children take up the cause.
…sustainability must be integrated into core beliefs (both business and personal). As the next generation grows up armed with this knowledge and sustainable behaviors become ingrained, I believe we will see positive, long-term change. Will it be immediate and dramatic? Systemic change rarely is. However, if Rio+20 is successful, that would go a long way toward inspiring people.
Urban Design with a Jab of Asian Medicine Can Inspire the World, Beginning with Rio+20
By Leon Kaye
Can grassroots green design with a dose of ancient Asian medicine save our world’s cities? Urban acupuncture, the idea that views cities as living organisms with pinpointed locations that could use some repair, can help cities cope with overcrowding, changing climate and strain on local infrastructure. Rio+20 organizers and attendees could give sustainable development a huge shot in the arm this summer if they lead by example, take a break from their meetings and symposia, grab shovels and gardening gloves, and then clean and green public spaces in Rio de Janeiro. A diversion from the usual meetings and negotiations would be a huge help to some neighborhoods in Rio. In turn similar projects could unfold worldwide, and therefore prove that our leaders will match words with deeds this June and inspire similar activity throughout the world.
Talking about sustainable development is hardly enough to motivate the world’s seven billion people about an event occurring many time zones away. Urban acupuncture, an often spontaneous movement that traces its origins in Curitiba, Brazil, is a way to both embed sustainable thinking throughout communities and inspire citizens to transform their neighborhoods into areas that are more breathable, livable and resilient.
Thanks for your support!