The first people’s manifesto for democracy and sustainable development

News, 8 June 2012
A process to develop the world’s first people’s manifesto for democracy and sustainable development will kick off on 16 June at IIED's Fair ideas conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Picture of a bamboo forest canopy.

Bamboo forest canopy. (Photo: The Pug FatherCC BY 2.0)

The manifesto process, led by London-based group the Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development (FDSD), aims to provide a platform for action around the world to ensure that democracy is properly equipped to deliver sustainable development outcomes.

Speaking about the manifesto process, FDSD’s Director Halina Ward said:

"Democracy needs to be cherished if it is to thrive and adapt to pressures that climate change, resource scarcity and major demographic shifts will create.  

The manifesto will set an agenda for tackling problem areas such as the way that democracy is so often hitched to business-as-usual economic growth, or lack of respect for future generations. At the same time, we’re looking to raise awareness of the increasing risk that unsustainable development could erode democracy.

We need suggestions on ways of working, or institutions, policies or practices that can point the way to democratic decision-making tailored to sustainable development. We want to hear from organisations and individuals who care about democracy and what it can do to deliver a healthy environment and fairness for all now and in the future.

We want the manifesto process to create a ripple effect around the world.”

Co-Chair of FDSD’s board, John Lotherington, added:

It’s fitting that we’re launching the process in Rio de Janeiro, twenty years on from the 1992 Earth Summit. Governments at Rio will be talking about institutional frameworks for sustainable development and the green economy. But these efforts will not succeed unless we also pay attention to the health of the world’s dominant political system – democracy”.

The manifesto process will be launched at IIED's Fair ideas conference, an event designed to build commitment to the Rio+20 (UN Conference on Sustainable Development) agenda by acting as a platform for stimulating debate and highlighting practical solutions to global challenges.

A public consultation process will run until the end of November 2012

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