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The next United Nations press conference on sustainable development will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from June 20 to 22, 2012. More commonly known as, Rio +20, this international conference, marks the twentieth anniversary of the first Earth Summit also held in Rio de Janeiro, 1992. This conference will review the commitments made by member countries on the issue of a greener economy and the institutional framework for sustainable development.
Numerous civil society organisations throughout the world are already mobilised for this event. Activists in the field of “alternative media” are using this opportunity to organise, the second World Forum of Free Media (WFFM) at the same time as Rio +20. This document seeks to retrace the various stages of preparation of the Second WFFM.
All began in Belem, 2009, during the first World Forum of Free Media organised alongside the more established, World Social Forum (WSF). The initial meetings and debates continued in Dakar as part of the WSF held in February 2011, and later in Marrakech during which an open-space on "alternative media" was arranged, then in December 2011 and January 2012 in Porto Alegre during the third World Forum of Free Media and lastly in Tunis during the workshop on "Community Media and the Arab Spring".
During the World Social Forum held in Belem, January 26 and 27, 2009, five hundred people came throughout the world to organise the first World Forum of Free Media. This meeting was an opportunity to discuss other possible forms of communication that concern the global civil society. Two discussion workshops were organised as well as a seminar on communication and sixteen independently organised activities took place during the event.
Another media is possible (and necessary) (Carta Maior)
Workshop “Alternative Information in support of Political and Social Mobilisation”
February 8, 2011, seven associations working in the field of alternative media, organised in Dakar a media workshop entitled “Alternative Information in Support of Political and Social Mobilisation”. By the end of this workshop, participants agreed to hold a second “World Forum of Free Media” in 2012. It was thus suggested that the second WFFM would be organised alongside the twentieth anniversary of the United Nations conference on sustainable development (Rio +20), which will be held in June 2012, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
Conference on the Right to Communicate
During a conference on the Right to Communicate, held on February 11, 2011, participants adopted a “Declaration on the right to inform and be informed”.
The Moroccan Alternative Forum organised a seminar in Marrakech, December 9 to 10, 2011 on “Social movements and associations, what strategies ought to used in light of changing dynamics?”. Moreover, E-joussour's Community Portal for the Civil Society in the Maghreb and Mashrek regions organised a workshop (known as an open-space) on the subject of alternative media in preparation of the second “World Forum of Free Media”, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), June 2012. This event will be attended by 33 participants from seven countries representing 3 continents.
A preliminary meeting regarding Latin American dynamics took place alongside the “Forum on Climate Change” in Porto Alegre, late January 2012. Partners from Africa and the Mashrek region were equally present.
Work began with a plenary presentation on "Alternative Media and the Arab Spring: using case studies from the Maghreb / Mashrek region and Palestine." Later participants took part in workshops which covered the following themes:
A panel has since been brought together on the protocol of the networks used by social movement and on the second World Forum of Alternative Media and Communication alongside the Rio +20 conference.
The forum culminated in the adoption of the Charter of the III Free Media Forum, Porto Alegre and the creation of a follow-up and coordination committee.
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