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"The world needs to change."

"In general there are high – even if frustrated – hopes for Rio+20. The world needs to change. It needs to wake up from the ideological crisis in the aftermath of the 20th century and put in place a new, firm model that thoroughly respects sustainability and includes social, economic and environmental homeostasis.

Knowing that an area of forest the size of Switzerland is devastated every year, that millions of plastic bags which take 500 years to decompose are not being properly disposed of, that 300,000 members of the population die each year from hunger, that 10 million people have no access to basic sanitation is one thing. Doing something about it is another. And it mainly comes down to our generation to decide.

Rio+20 is just one step that is needed. The sooner we take action the better. That may mean that we don't share the same perspective as José Saramago, that slow and modest progression is best. The problem is that we don't have the time to waste. Forests are already being completely demolished and people are dying everyday. In some respects, we can reflect on the examples from other countries currently suffering from the disastrous consequences of their unsustainable development programs. They now have to invest billions to undo processes begun just a few years ago. As an illustrative example, China isn't counting on a "Sebastianist hero" to come and save them. That means that they are one of the major countries losing billions because they failed to plan everything.

This can be applied to the rest of the countries that think they're an exception to the rule or still haven't noticed that they're falling into the same abyss. There is no more space for all the waste created by planned obsolescence and the tons of discarded natural resources and human lives which sustain this model. Even in the country hosting the event – Brazil – the prominent failures there are evidence that sustainability if often a secondary concern. "Veta Dilma" (eds: the campaign to veto changes to the forestry code in Brazil) didn't go as planned, but still, everyone is hopeful that Rio+20 can have positive repercussions."

Lucas Valle, Brazil

Editor: Helen Whittle

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