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With just 106 days remaining in the Countdown to Rio, the internet is percolating with discussions and strategizing on the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD). Rio+20 aka The World Summit takes place  June 20-22 in Rio de Janeiro and focuses on two key issues:

• defining and designing a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and
• developing the institutional framework for sustainable development.

Sans doute, Ushahidi has rolled out the chef-d'oeuvre of pre-Rio cyber eco-engagement,  with its empowering Map it Change it project.

Map it Change it invites world citizens to hone in on both local and global stories that are pertinent to sustainable development,  decide on an issue relevant to where you live or resonant with what you care most about, and create a crowd sourced map project to  generate buzz, awareness and participation.

To date, some stellar examples of Ushahidi eco mapping include:

   •Global Energy Shortages This map includes a layer of Ajay Kumar’s project Powercuts.
    •Find Fuel in Nairobi, Kenya
    •iWitness Pollution(Louisiana, USA) (Note: A project Dkos located which was jump started by the LA Bucket Brigade in response to the Gulf Oil Spill)
    •Spotting Fair Trade in North America (supporting sustainable products) (USA)
   • Qiantang River Water Map钱塘江水地图: A Collaborative Interactive Water Map for Qiantang River (China)
Participants can also share examples of maps in the comments sections of existing projects or add maps to Deployments Map. (Visit the site for details and follow @UN_Rioplus20 and @ushahidi. Use the hashtags #futurewewant)

Meanwhile, in real spacetime, a San Francisco Bay Area collaboration of environmental organizations, NGOs and media channels launches the first of an exceptionally choreographed schedule of events in the prelude to Rio with Fired Up For Rio+20, an evening focused on establishing Ecocide as the United Nation’s 5th Crime Against Peace.

WiserEarth founder Paul Hawken joins the 'Earth’s Lawyer' Polly Higgins in an evening to garner support for introducing a platform at Rio to grant ecocide the same official status as the other four UN crimes against peace -- genocide, crimes against humanity, crimes of aggression and war crimes. Ratification, which only requires the consent of 86 member states, would hold CEOs and Heads and State legally responsible for environmental destruction.

“Rio+20 is a moment in history when world leaders can demonstrate their commitment to the Earth,” says Higgins. “Under an Ecocide law, the world can opt-in to a law that places people and planet first.”

A UK barrister and author, Higgins is universally known for championing the legal status of the Earth through a strategy which includes mock trials. In a test trial in the UK supreme court last autumn,  two multinational corporations involved in Tar Sands extraction were found  guilty of ecocide for destroying global ecosystems.

In 2010, Higgins addressed the UN on the concept of Ecocide.

Produced by Cinema Connect, Friday's event also features  filmmakers Josh Tickell and Mark Kitchell, who will show excerpts from their films "THE BIG FIX" and "A FIERCE GREEN FIRE."

Not in San Francisco? Check out Eradicating Ecocide for a substantial outline of what you can do to help this effort. Register your support for this idea by following on Twitterand clicking 'like' on Facebook.


Conversations are currently incubating  @ Women on the Road to Rio, a virtual global town hall created by WEDO for women to collaborate and communicate on draft documents as momentum builds. Representatives from  "The Women's Major Group" are available each day to chat and assist newcomers navigate the forum and prepare for the Summit.


The Women’s Rio 2012 Steering Committee is the coordination and decision making body of the women’s major group for Rio 2012. The steering committee includes international women’s networks working on sustainable development issues:

    ENERGIA International Network on Gender on Sustainable Energy
    IUCN Gender Department
    GFC Global Forest Coalition
    VAM Voices of African Mothers
    WEDO Women's Environment & Development Organization
    WECF Women in Europe for a Common Future
    WOCAN Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and NRM
    Earth Day Network, Earth Care Africa, Eco-Forum Kazakhstan, UNISON Kyrgyzstan, Commonweal, Black Sea Women Club, as well as many other regional and national women and sustainable development organisations.

Next: Revving up for Rio: What's At Stake. The Major Players. Optimistic Outcomes. Next Steps in a Post Rio World. The role of the 'unSummit' and the voice of the disenfranchised. Join the Rio+20 Group at DailyKos to participate in the process.

Originally posted to EcoJustice on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 06:16 PM PST.

Also republished by RoadtoRio and DK GreenRoots.

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