• picture
  • picture
  • picture
  • picture
Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Voice of the People

Air Date: Week of

stream/download this segment as an MP3 file

The 2002 Earth Summit may be over, but the talks are not. Conference attendees gathered together for a post-summit party in the spirit of the South African word "ubuntu," meaning "coming together for the common good."



CURWOOD: Let’s see what the message is that other folks here at Ubuntu Village is going to take home with them from this World Summit on Sustainable Development.
Excuse me, can I ask where you’re from?

WOMAN 1: I’m from Oxford.

CURWOOD: What’s the message you’re going to take home from this summit?

WOMAN 1: The message I’m going to take home from here is that we are not alone in the world anymore. But we have to contribute and participate in respect of elevating our own standards of development.


CURWOOD: Can I ask where you’re from?

MAN 1: Honduras. We’ve got to do it ourselves, with a little help from our friends, like Colin Powell.

MAN 2: Back in my community in Des Moines, Iowa., I’m taking a strong concern for the position of the United States. Very concerned about their attempt to move the agenda from sustainability to trade, in line with the WTO.

MAN 3: My major concern is fresh water. Water and sanitation are the human rights.

CURWOOD: Can I ask where you’re from?

WOMAN 2: The United States. The message is, ultimately, it is the individual who has got to have their voice heard and who has got to make a commitment to something that is sustainable in their behavior, attitude and way of living in this world. Because the governments are not going to do it for them.

MAN 4: Basically, what we need now is to go for implementation so we will not see the same as after Rio where there was a lot of high flying ideas and too little implementation.

MAN 5: Well, I accomplished a great deal by meeting a lot of new people and making a lot of friends and business contacts, and a stack full of business cards. So that’s been my main accomplishment.

WOMAN 3: I’m originally from England, but more recently I’m in Geneva in Switzerland. I think I felt that bringing together all the people from the world has brought a lot of hope in spite of a lot of the negative messages, and that there really is something that each one can do. But a lot of it really depends on attitudes. So it’s really a matter of looking inside and really knowing what I want for myself, and then what I want for the world.

CURWOOD: Thank you very much.

WOMAN 3: Thank you.


CURWOOD: Over here is, this has got to be the biggest drum I’ve ever seen. It’s made out of baobab wood, and it’s here, smack in the middle of Ubuntu Village, in a replication of a tropical rainforest. And right in the middle of the pavilion is a tree. It’s called the Dream Tree. And school children from all over South Africa were asked to write out leaves that have their dreams.

Here’s one that comes from Robin Hills. "My dream is that we should plant more trees and cut less down."

Here’s another one that says, "My dream is that everyone in South Africa, you and me and everybody, would be joyful and content in their lives.

This is from Matthew, at Trinity House Preparatory School. He says, "My dream is that all war will stop, that we can accept other people, that people will stop killing animals, that there will be no poor people, no more pollution, and that we can take care of the environment."




Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

P.O. Box 990007
Prudential Station
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Telephone: 1-617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Newsletter [Click here]

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.

Creating positive outcomes for future generations.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.

Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth