Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Want to learn more about Rio+20 ?

Following is a special message from David Woolcombe, president of Peace Child International. This NGO created an educational hub that can help young people, whether they are participating in a Rio+20 simulation or not, to know more about the issues raised at Rio+20.

Dear Friends:
Education & Awareness-raising for Rio+20: 
I am delighted to be able to announce today the launch of our Education Hub for Rio+20:

For the first time, it brings together everything Peace Child has ever published on the Rio Earth Summit Process – - from our  Children’s Edition of Agenda 21:  Rescue Mission : Planet Earth, to our Johannesburg update: Rescue 2002, our Copenhagen briefing:Energy Revolution – to the 6 new Education Booklets on Sustainable Human Development  we have prepared for Rio+20, loosely based on the UN Human Development Reports and the UNEP Green Economy briefing. All these are created by young people for young people – based on the original UN documents, almost all of which are featured on the Background section of the site.

Our goal is to get every school on the planet to teach their students about the crucial issues addressed by Rio+20: the website Home page starts with seven jargon-free slides that summarise some of the Rio+20 issues, linked to posters outlining some solutions. It goes on to propose ideas for Action:
1.    The UNESCO-supported ‘My City+20’ – Model Rio Earth Summit idea;
3.    A ‘Do it yourself Green Economy Transition Plan’ – for your self – your household – your community – and your Nation.
The site also links to the UN’s Rio+20 sites and its Global Conversation Campaign: The Future We Want. It will, we hope – through the Add section – link to many other great initiatives for action and awareness-raising. Like your’s! Please share your ideas with me, or Simon Howlett, the young webmaster who created the site, at:

Peace Child International has worked continuously on the Rio Earth Summit Agenda since 1992. For us, the road does not end in Rio: it begins again in Rio this June – and continues for the rest of our lives, seeking – struggling – committing – innovating – and energizing our communities and nations for SUSTAINABILITY.  It is truly our generational challenge: and we hope this site will help us all rise to it.

Thank you for sharing news about this site with your network.

David R. Woollcombe, President, Peace Child International
International Director, World Youth Congress  Series on Youth and Sustainable Development

Monday, March 26, 2012

Rio+20: Logistics and Agenda

Hi Everyone,

Looking for details on the dates of the conference, the mission of the organizational committees and who's compiling the zero draft? There's a small power point presentation that you can view at the link below that will give you all the useful information you need to know about the Rio+20 conference including the venue of the conference and side events.

For those interested, remember that the last day to apply for the side events is the 31st of March! That's by the end of this week.

Yours sustainably,


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rio+YOU - It's time to mobilize!

MyCity+20 has been adopted by Road to Rio+20, an NGO coalition, as one of their two worldwide campaign. The second one is Rio+YOU, and we strongly encourage you to take a look at what it's all about.

Join the campaign, spread the passion.

See more at:

Your time, your future !
Yours sustainably,

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

NRDC’s Vision for a Different Kind of Earth Summit

Today we host on our blog an article by NRDC, on the kind of inovations the Rio+20 simulations could try out!
by Michael Davidson, Natural Resources Defense Council

From NRDC’s participation in international summits since Stockholm 1972, we recognize the value of gatherings such as Rio+20 in generating real progress on the ground toward environmental goals. Success at Earth Summit 2012 is particularly important given the growing skepticism worldwide about the ability of such international negotiations and gatherings to do anything worthwhile on the huge environmental and economic challenges we face. The summit process will involve thousands of officials, business and civil society leaders throughout the world and a collective investment of hundreds of millions of dollars. It is critical that this time and energy is not wasted.

In order to realize its potential, we propose the following structure for Earth Summit 2012. A one- to two-day conference simulation based on this will benefit from previous successes and be readily accessible to advanced undergraduate and graduate students. For more information on our priority outcomes for Rio+20, visit .

Three Days of Recognition and Support for Country Actions
The official high-level Rio+20 meeting from June 20-22 must be different than earlier summits.  There is no need for another long Plan of Action or the addition of another treaty to the hundreds that have already been adopted.  The three-day meeting should instead put the spotlight on individual and collective actions of presidents and prime ministers to move toward sustainable development goals. These sessions should:

      Encourage all presidents and prime ministers to use their allotted time for speeches – usually about 5 minutes - to present on the specific sustainable development initiatives, challenges, and needs in their respective countries.
      Create the expectation for new or substantially scaled-up commitments from all countries, which are specific and short-term; and identify partners for technical assistance and coordinating actions. Here are some examples.

     Produce a politically-binding outcomes document of not more than ten pages that recognizes the imminent threat of exceeding our planet’s natural boundaries, the need to move to a new green economy, and recommits governments to act on their promises to move towards sustainable development. Here’s what we think about the current zero draft: on clean energy/climate; oceans; from a youth perspective.
      Generate an appendix of country commitments to the outcomes document that provides a foundation for a registry of such commitments at a new global center for sustainability actions:  

Four Days of Engagement and Cooperation with Major Stakeholders
The period of four days (June 16-19) prior to the official summit provides an unprecedented opportunity to engage sub-national governments, businesses and civil society on an equal footing. These sessions should be coordinated closely and in parallel with the official meeting; they should:

    Invite CEOs of major corporations, local government officials, and civil society leaders to give presentations on sustainable development challenges and opportunities in their sectors.
      Create the expectation for commitments from all major businesses and local governments that are specific and meaningful, and complement or exceed national goals.
      Produce a registry of major stakeholder commitments, which includes robust monitoring and reporting provisions, and is in parallel with the national registry above.

To learn more about NRDC’s Race to Rio campaign, please visit us and sign up for our periodic newsletter at

Monday, March 12, 2012

Highlight: Paris+20 and an idea for a framework you can adopt

As you may already know, the idea of organising simulations of Rio+20 was born in Paris. At the moment, MyCity+20 is receiving many requests regarding how the simulation should or could look like. This post aims at sharing how Paris+20 is making the magic happen :)

First of all, we are differentiating between the responsibility of the organisers and the secretariat  and presidency. The organisers are creating a "big box", which is a framework for the simulation, while the secretariat and presidency are creating a "medium box", inside the big one, which is a framework for the negotiation.

The "big box" is about setting the date, the place, which delegation is represented, which twist you want to introduce compared to the real process, etc. The previous post, called "The framework of Rio+20 simulations" are about this big box.

The "medium box" is about setting negotiation rules, deciding how to facilitate the negotiations, etc. They are mostly the responsibility of the secretariat and presidency.

In the case of Paris+20, we are doing the following: 

From the organisers point of view:
1. Preparations. They consist of 3 phases:
1a. Conferences, so the participants get a background knowledge on the issues at stake. In this phase and the following one they go from individuals to participants.
1b. Delegation preps: participants are divided in teams, so they can prepare their positions, go deeper on some topics and decide their working methods.
1c. Prep-coms: there will be intermediate (short) meetings so the delegations can start interacting with each other, establish alliances, etc.

2. The simulation itself : 
We, as organisers of Paris+20, provide food, a place for a three-day negotiation (including one night), and all the necessary material.

3. Debriefing:
It will last one day and will happen at the UNESCO building, which is not the same place as the simulation itself. The point of the debriefing is to allow delegates to become individuals again, i.e. who are not role-playing any more. Psychological studies have shown that this is absolutely necessary in order to turn anything experienced during the game to a positive and enriching learning experience.

4. Day of action:
We now address the daily life of our participants. What are the kind of projects, actions or careers they could pursue in order to "be the change they want to see in the world" ?

From the point of view of the delegates:
In parallel to the work of the organisers, and from phase 1.b to 2:

- A zero draft (simplified) is published by the secretariat.
- Delegations have time to amend the draft
- The draft is modified, and thus becomes draft 1. It will be the basis for the negotiations in phase 1c and 2.

In parallel with this work on the draft, one has to decide the voting rules & procedures, the way the negotiations will be held, etc. It is the responsibility of the Secretariat and the Presidency, but any decision taken has to have a consensus among the voting delegations (and eventually be formally voted on). The Secretariat will transmit a document called "rules of procedure", based on the Rio+20 rules of procedures, which can be found on the internet.

We are not yet sure how the negotiations will be held, but we forsee the following:
- one opening session, very formal, to help people get into the roleplay, as well as voting the procedures (can NGOs/IMF attend any session? can they vote ?)
- negotiation blocks: delegates are divided in discussion groups, where every country is represented. After each block of discussion, we will schedule buffer time, for each delegation to meet again, and for setting the agenda of the next block. Each decision will need a vote from the plenary to be finalised.
- closing ceremony, for the final voting.

These explanations are based on the design of Paris+20 and are not at all a "must" for all the simulations of Rio+20!

We hope it does help you :)
Yours sustainably,