In Rio de Janeiro, the differences between Copacabana and the Rocinha favela exemplify what is wrong with our world, but hopes that Rio+20 will result in bold action are fading.
The bustling beaches of Copacabana and the centre’s shiny skyscrapers show participants to the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development the bright side of Brazil’s booming economy. But the country’s economic growth is leaving many behind, like the inhabitants of the Rocinha favela. Here, nearly 200.000 people live in less than one and a half square kilometers, struggling to make a decent living.
The gap between Rio’s rich and poor is only one example of the consequences of our flawed economic system, but it is an unmistakable one. Sadly, the final declaration text of the conference, which negotiators have passed on to their heads of state and government for approval, makes no serious attempt to bridge this gap. Continue reading