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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Voice of the People

Air Date: Week of September 6, 2002

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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."

Transcript

(PEOPLE MILLING IN BACKGROUND)

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.

[SOUND OF DRUMS]

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.

[SOUND OF DRUMS]

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."

(DRUMMING)

 

 

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