Posts tagged Rio+20
For the original in French by Jane Zhang on Greenetvert click here.
As the world’s governments gathered to discuss sustainable development at the Rio+20 conference last year, vast heavy metal pollution from a steel plant wreaked havoc on residents and the ecosystem of Santa Cruz, located just a few kilometers from the conference in Rio’s West Zone. The company responsible, the German group Thyssenkrup, now refuses to pay its fines and will benefit from compensation for its efforts towards “sustainable development.”
Dull concrete, broken equipment and sparse vegetation compose Vidigal‘s official “Ecological Park.” Like many residents, Felipe Paiva of Cidade Unida (“United City”) wasn’t impressed. His voice carried more than a hint of irony as he detailed its construction: “The Prefeitura (City Hall) tore down some buildings to clear out this square, left the trees around the edges, and called it an ecological park.” An unfinished swing set framed the scene in tired themes of half-hearted government investment that define too many favela communities. But Felipe continued on a brighter note: “Down there, residents built a proper ecological park for ourselves.”
After our More >
By official count, 102,000 residents animate the streets of Rocinha, Brazil’s most populous single favela community. 10,000 mototaxis buzz up and down the uneven landscape. But what called my attention this past Friday was the litter, which had been rendered chaotic by the force of the evening’s downpour. Bottles and cans floated at the edges of a large open sewer – just a few minutes’ walk from the R$15 million Niemeyer passarela (footbridge) and the 2010 sports complex attached to it.
In Rocinha, as in many favelas, we find government investment rooted not in public need but in political imagery. “Rocinha is Ours,” O Globo (the More >
As the closing of Rio’s giant Jardim Gramacho landfill is presented at Rio+20 as an example of substituting an untreated open facility for a modern waste treatment plant, the community that worked there as the city’s recycling force for the last three decades face an uncertain future.
The largest garbage dump in Latin America, the metropolitan landfill of Jardim Gramacho received Rio’s daily 9,000 tons of trash up until its closure on June 3rd. Catapulted into the international limelight by the 2010 Oscar-nominated documentary Waste Land, the landfill’s 1,700 registered recyclable material collectors – catadores in Portuguese – are receiving a lump sum More >
In front of Rio’s Museum of Modern Art, at the heart of the Rio+20 People’s Summit, community leaders gathered on Saturday morning to create a collective narrative of the favela today. Organized by CatComm, the event brought together representatives from five very different favelas in all three major zones of the city, citizens from the asphalt (or formal city) and NGO representatives in a dynamic discussion of the major themes that can be said to define Rio’s favelas in 2012.
The debate opened with explanations of how the different communities were established, largely by Northeastern workers contracted in the various stages More >