Guanabara Bay in the spotlight after one year of the 2016 Olympic Games

By: Aikaterini Tsakanika

Exactly one year after the Summer Olympics opening ceremony on 5 August 2016, the RIO+ Centre, committed to its role in reinforcing the dialogue among the citizens and the public authorities for a sustainable future of the cities, participating in the all-day long event “Rio 2016+1: Where we are and where we are heading to? ’’ co-organized by the Goethe Institute in Brazil and the Carioca Centre of Design (CCD)/ Institute Rio World Heritage.

The event started early in the morning with an action organized by Baia Viva, a civil society movement, and local artisanal fisher communities. In the opening ceremony, Baia Viva narrated its historical formation and presented the ‘Agenda for the Health of Guanabara Bay’: a document elaborated by various local institutions, associations and partners of Baia Viva as a contribution to the public policy discussions for the post-mega event future of the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro state and the protection of the Guanabara Bay ecosystem. In defense of both vulnerable social groups and the environmental sustainability, RIO+ Centre representatives were also invited to speak briefly in support of such initiatives by pointing out the importance of integrating such public policy proposals to the 2030 Agenda.

Then, representatives from Baia Viva and artisanal fishers invited their families, the RIO+ Centre, the marine scouts, the Goethe Institute, and other guests. The big blue sky was in contrast that day with the scenery of gray colors from the urban settings and the huge commercial boats. With dozens of middle-sized fisher boats with important messages for sustainability were sailing towards the Guanabara Bay.  The flag of the 17 SDGs also waved among the participants as a reminder that to protect urban inland and marine ecosystems is to have integrated and more inclusive local governance approach.

Back to the land, the participants rode their bicycles to the Tiradentes Square, in demonstration of alternative means of environment-friendly urban transportation that is possible even in cities with no consolidated bike paths. In this revitalized venue, more events took place including the tournament of the Street Football World (SFW) with the participation of local youth teams from vulnerable areas in Rio de Janeiro state, peaceful ceremonies from local indigenous communities, artistic interventions and live concerts.

In celebration of the civil society involvement, alsoRIO+ Centre stood proud among this vibrant crowd discussing the 2030 Agenda and the future that we want for our wonderful city, Rio de Janeiro! At the stand of RIO+ Centre, citizens of all ages and backgrounds were informed about the work ofUNDPin Brazil, the United Nations Volunteers Programme (UNV), CAP-NET of UNDP, the 2030 Agenda and its 17 SDGs .


See pictures of the event:

©UNDP/Aikaterini Tsakanika/Lorenzo Casagrande