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Rio+20: What does sustainable development mean to people?

Rio+20_What_does_sustainable_development

 


Vivian Pastor, Costa Rica
Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in San José

When asked about sustainable development, the first thing that comes to mind is the well-known Chinese proverb: “Give a man a fish and he’ll feed for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll feed for a lifetime.” Our generation should be committed to teaching one another how to grow in a way that will help us meet the needs of today without preventing future generations from meeting them tomorrow.

This growth pattern should ensure a decent living environment for all human beings. Habitat for Humanity’s solutions provide us with one example – slum developments typically have poor living conditions, high pollution, a lack of safe drinking water and non-environmentally friendly construction. These situations promote disease, poor access to education and other issues that result in larger and less educated families, as well as unbalanced communities.

Read full interview in the Guardian projects Rio+20: Global Voices.

Rio+20_What_does_sustainable_development

 


Andrei Chirila, Romania
Construction manager with Habitat for Humanity

In Romania, like in many other former communist countries in eastern Europe, the notion of democracy has been interpreted very differently, depending on each person: from abusive privatisations to uncontrolled exploitation of forests, from unauthorised constructions to education programmes carried out by unskilled or poorly trained people.

If the period that followed the 1989 revolution has been turbulent and transitional, like we Romanians like to call it, this was due to our unique way of interpreting things. We love to reinvent the wheel, again and again, to put forth the same amount of effort to go down the same road made by others, just to arrive, best case scenario, in the same place.

Read full interview in the Guardian projects Rio+20: Global Voices

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Silvia Peres Gomes, Mozambique
Resource and development coordinator for Habitat for Humanity

Sustainable development is a highly contested notion and one that has taken many forms: economic, political and social. Mozambique has come out of a long civil war and emerged as one of the booming African economies in the past 20 years, through undergoing structural reforms, stabilising macroeconomic environment thus attracting major foreign direct investment. It has had an average GDP/P growth rate of over 6%, irrespective of the global economic downturns since 2008. On the other hand this growth has not resulted in poverty reduction or job creation as expected. Therefore, one can suggest that development within Mozambique has only been economically focused.

Read full interview in the Guardian projects Rio+20: Global Voices

Rio+20_What_does_sustainable_development

 


Alex Eduque, Philippines
Founder and chair of the Habitat for Humanity Philippines youth council

Building upon the conventional meaning, I think sustainable development should be taken on as a duty by “Generation Now”. It is the duty of youth today to act NOW without compromising the prospects of an optimistic future. We must work together with what we have, capitalise on the energy of young people, and work towards developing our cities and our countries on a positive platform – enhancing and optimising resources for a more sustainable future.

Read full interview in the Guardian projects Rio+20: Global voices

What is next?
Habitat wants people not only to read about poverty housing but to do something to fight it. You can support Habitat’s work in Europe and Central in a number of ways. Here are some examples:

• Visit our U.S. Dollar donation page to support projects in Europe and Central.
• Visit our Euro donation page to support projects in Europe and Central.
• Go to country profile pages to learn about other programs in this region.

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