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Culture is crucially important as fourth pillar of sustainability for Rio+20

Background on the Unconference on Culture and Sustainability in the Rio+20, organized by the Brazilian Ministry of Culture.

Here is the invitation to attend:

http://www.cultura.gov.br/riomais20/spc/2012/06/04/invitation-the-m...

Via Jose Murilo:

More at http://www.cultura.gov.br/riomais20/spc/2012/06/05/unconference-cul...

Past "discussions led to the structuring of sustainable development around three main pillars: the environmental, the economic and the social. But what is the role of culture in this trinity? Is it subsumed within the social field? Is it an additional 4th pillar? Or, Is there a possible new configuration? In Brazil, we have been exploring these themes in several ways.

There has been much recent discussion under the presidency of Ms. Dilma Rousseff, and with Ms. Ana de Hollanda at the head of the Ministry of Culture. We have conducted a series of debates called, “Culture and Sustainability: Towards Rio +20”. The debate series included: (1) the ‘Interlocal Network General Assembly’; (2) the ‘Meeting of the Thematic Unit on Culture for the Mercocities Network’; and (3) the ‘Agenda 21 for Culture’ in Belo Horizonte.

This latter meeting was held on 27-29 October, 2011, and discussion focused on the document “La Cultura es el Cuarto Pillar del Desarrollo Sostenible”, which proposes a wide and solid local cultural policy, based on the cultural rights of citizens, as well as the inclusion of cultural considerations in all public policies. This 2010 document was produced by the ‘Executive Committee of Cities and Local Governments – UCLG’ during the ‘World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders’ in Mexico City.

On January 29, 2012, the Brazilian Ministry of Culture organized another meeting at the ‘Thematic World Social Forum’ in Porto Alegre and the ‘Meeting of Mercosur High Authorities – Culture and Sustainability Towards Rio +20’ was held in Sao Paulo. This meeting was part of the Cultural MERCOSUR agenda, with the presence of representatives from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. The gathering of these Mercosur leaders produced the ‘São Paulo Declaration on Culture and Sustainability’.

These forums and discussions shed new light on the integration of cultural expressions in the process of sustainable development and carried us forth to RIO+20.

Unconference: Culture and Sustainability in Rio+20

What is an unconference? A model of self-organized forum for sharing / exchanging ideas, networking, learning, conversation, expression and interaction between people. The unconference format is based on a premise that, whatever the diverse kind of the audience, these people – and not just those selected to speak on stage – have interesting thoughts, insights and skills to share. It is a process centered on a theme, but open to be influenced by the participants.

What is the purpose? To provide a space for civil society to discuss ‘Culture as the Fourth Pillar of Sustainable Development’ and to produce the ‘Charter of Culture Rio +20’.

What is the proposed methodology? From the discussions held on the meetings ‘Towards Rio +20’, we proposed four themes to be developed by specialists / curators and published on this blog during the 30 days preceding the Rio+20 Conference (14-15 June, 2012). During the meeting the curators will work on the consolidation of the virtual inputs on each theme, which will be discussed in four sessions. From this dynamic will emerge the ‘Charter of Culture Rio +20’.

During the Rio +20, the Ministry of Culture will develop thematic activities in two warehouses in the port area of Rio de Janeiro. On June 14th and 15th we will hold the ‘Unconference Culture and Sustainability in the Rio +20’.

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