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The fourteen Peoples’ Sustainability Treaties, evolved through a consultative process with hundred of civil society organizations, converged at the Rio+20 to launch a Manifesto on the final day of the summit. They have declared that another world is possible after Rio+20 and pledged their commitment to a transition toward increasingly sustainable futures on earth.

The signatories to this Manifesto refuse to sit idly by in the face of another failure of governments to provide hope for a sustainable future for all. They announced their own responsibility for undertaking actions, inviting and encourage similar actions and commitments by other rightsholders and stakeholders, communicating a vision for healthy communities, sustainable and equitable human well-being and its associated strategies, and coming together in the form of a global citizen’s movement to shepherd the transition to a sustainable, equitable, and democratic future. These would come together in the form of a global citizen’s movement to shepherd the transition to a sustainable, equitable, and democratic future, one in which ethics is both a right and a responsibility—at the level of the individual, the community and the planet.

Humankind faces multiple and daunting crises that are more than likely to confront and impact billions of people in the decades to come.  In addition, research is showing us that our actions are very likely going to cause us to transgress multiple planetary thresholds and boundaries.  Despite this, governments at Rio+20 are missing yet another opportunity to formulate an effective response to these crises.  Indeed, since 1992, there has been a retrogression in the consensus that was reached at the Earth Summit—and reflected in such principles as burden sharing, articulation of rights, mobilization of support, and protection of the vulnerable.  Repeated attempts to revive this consensus—at Johannesburg in 2002, Bali in 2007, Copenhagen in 2009, and now Rio de Janeiro in 2012—have come up empty handed, thus thwarting efforts to build upon it.  Despite unprecedented growth in the global economy since 1992, governments are trapped in making insatiable demands for still more unsustainable growth and rising inequity to remedy problems that economic globalization itself has caused.

The signatories have pledged to:

Equity is the overarching demand from the civil society world, and must be the foundation of the collective global response. We call for equity within generations, equity across generations, and equity between humans and nature.  For this we need to revert back to making individual and societal decisions based on equity and ecological factors and not merely on monetary factors. A different sort of economics, a new approach to learning and education as a process, a revised understanding of ethics and of spirituality then become the ways in which we can work toward a more Equitable society; one that recognizes our integral relationship with the natural world

Localizing our systems of economies, decentralizing governance, and advancing sustainable lifestyles and livelihoods becomes the new social order of sustainable societies. Localism is the theme emerging across the board which is linked to the principles of devolution, of decentralization and of subsidiarity, turning localism into a world-wide movement becomes the key to unpacking many of the complexities we face, whether in the case of sustainable consumption and production or in the case of radical ecological democracy. Protecting the rights of Mother Earth and of humans, transforming our governance systems through radical ecological democracy, respecting cultural diversity, and strengthening sustainable economies is the way towards sustainable futures for all. It is thus essential that we create a more effective, responsible and democratic system of global governance

A Global Citizens Movement is the collective response towards transitioning to a sustainable world. All sections of society must thrive to converge upon their visions and convictions and find common ground for collective action that can bring about the transformation required to ensure the wellbeing of all on the planet—humans as well as nature. Such a global citizens movement would catalyze for a peaceful and prosperous new world that generates widespread happiness and contentment – thus propagating widespread practices of mindful intentional action. For this, a new sense of ethics, values and spirituality must be seeded within current and future generations through a redesigned system of learning, education and enlightenment.

This manifesto calls for action that helps move simultaneously toward a more localized socio-economic structure and toward a supra-national mindset that helps us transcend the parochial concerns of a corporate-capitalistic globalization to activate a global citizens movement.

The Peoples’ Sustainability Treaties is an initiative by global civil society organizations to come together to develop an independent, collective outcome for a sustainable future beyond Rio+20. The treaties are essentially a forward looking process and targets a future beyond Rio+20 and will become a living document towards the transition to a sustainable world order.

More information on the Peoples’ Treaties process, the outcome documents and on the Manifesto of post-Rio+20 action can be found at:  http://sustainabilitytreaties.org/.

All civil society organizations and citizens of the world are invited to commit themselves by endorsing the Manifesto at: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/peoples-sustainability-manifesto/

For any Rio+20 follow-up action please contact Mr. Uchita de Zoysa at uchita@sltnet.lk)

Find the Peoples’ Sustainability Manifesto at http://sustainabilitytreaties.org/pst-manifesto/

 Sign the Manifesto