By the time you read this, the Rio+20 Earth Summit will seem like a long time ago – but the decisions world leaders failed to make will have far-reaching repercussions affecting generations to come. So serious was the lack of vision and commitment that Kumi Naidoo, International Executive Director of Greenpeace, put it this way: “Rio+20 has turned into an epic failure. It has failed on equity, failed on ecology and failed on economy.”

That’s why a group of concerned world citizens has drawn up a Peoples’ Sustainability Manifesto for Action Beyond Rio, which outlines the steps that should have been taken by our government representatives (whom we cannot call leaders).

Key to initiating a New Ecological Order, a New Economic Order and a New Social Order, through sustainable transition, is the building of a Global Citizens Movement. So founding signatories to the Manifesto are calling on students, teachers, representatives of Indigenous people, local communities and farmers, fisherfolk, pastoralists, craftspeople, workers, participants in social movements, representatives of women’s organisations and civil society, businesspeople, journalists, lawyers, physicians, parliamentarians, government officials and politicians to join the campaign towards advancing a Global Citizens Movement by endorsing the Manifesto and its associated 14 Peoples’ Sustainability Treaties, which evolved through a consultative process with hundreds of civil society organisations, committing themselves to action, and crafting and proposing additional actions and treaties.

Founding signatory Dylan McGarry says: “The Manifesto draws attention to the need for a collective global response to climate change and environmental decline through the combined efforts of all earthlings. I feel that in connection with the rights of Nature movements, we will see legitimate forms of healing between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, between wealthy and poorer communities, and between humans and other animals, plants and natural ecosystems. These are the most valuable and important steps we will make in the 21st century.”

Recognising that a Manifesto is just the starting point, signatories resolve to come together to build such a movement, to support its evolution and progress and to make it both a cradle and a touchstone for values and actions that lead to a sustainable future. They call upon all ecologically and socially sensitive people in the world to join this movement and make it a reality.

Lorna Howarth is Director of the Write Factor publishing agency.