This blog entry was originally written by Jo on April 24th, but due to our website migration appears to be from a different date and author.
Paloma and Hernan talk about what the World People's Conference achieved and the closing ceremony in their final blog from Bolivia.
It has been a fascinating experience here at the World People’s Conference, which closed on Thursday, World Earth Day.
In the end the numbers were even bigger than we first thought, over 35,000 people from 140 countries came together to exchange views and search for common goals to tackle the climate crisis. Outside of the official panels and working groups, there were some very interesting meetings as well.
Bolivian President Evo Morales officially opened the Conference on Tuesday, when he called for the world's people to work in harmony with nature, and held industrialised nations responsible for the failure of the Copenhagen Climate summit.
Over the course of the Conference, the 17 working groups looked at how to:
- Analyze the structural and systemic facts that cause climate change, and find measures that allow the human welfare to exist in harmony with nature.
- Discuss and come to an agreement of the Universal Declaration of Mother Earth project.
- Agree proposals for new commitments for the UN Convention on Climate Change that will guide the actions of governments.
- Organize a Global People's Referendum on climate change.
- Analyze and make an action plan to advance to establish a Climate Justice Court;
- Define strategies of action and mobilization in defense of life against Climate Change and the Rights of the Mother Earth.
The findings of the groups were compiled into an “Agreement of the People” document that Morales told the closing ceremony, he will present to the UN at an international committee meeting next week.
The closing session also saw Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Juan Estaban Lazo, Vice President of Cuba as well as as official delegations of Nicaragua, Ecuador, Paraguay, Mexico and 47 other countries take part in a dialogue sessions between people and governments.
There was also celebration – traditional music and dance played to the stadium filled with the colours of the flags of several countries of the world, and the traditional costumes of Bolivian indigenous people.
Excerpts from The Agreement of the People were read to the crowd:
“Today, our Mother Earth is wounded and the future of mankind is in danger. We must forge a new system that re-establishes the harmony between humans and nature. There can only be equilibrium with nature, if there is equity between human beings.”
“Let's raise to the people of the world the recovery, revaluation and fortification of the knowledge, wisdom and ancestral practices of indigenous people, affirmed in the experience and proposal of “Living Well”, recognizing Mother Earth as a living being, with the one we have an indivisible, interdependent, complementary and spiritual relationship.”
Among other things, The Agreement of the People text demands:
That on the basis of the common but differentiated responsibilities principle developed countries must commit to the quantified greenhouse gas emissions reductions that will limit global temperature rise to a maximum of 1°C.
That at the next UN Climate Change Summit to be held in Mexico at the end of the year, the Kyoto protocol amendment gets approved, for the second commitment period (2013 - 2017), developed countries commit to domestic reductions of at least 50% compared to 1990 levels - without including carbon markets or other systems that deviate from the real goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Thousands of people of the world have shown concern and their will to make a real and effective agreement that will allow us to stop dangerous climate change.
We hope that the three day work and discussion in Cochabamba will help to pave the road to the construction of a fair global agreement, ambitious and legally binding that recognizes the need to protect and care for Mother Earth, our source of life.