Aside from the policy discussions among top-level government officials at Rio+20, this week’s summit provides a valuable venue for thousands of non-governmental participants to connect, share their ideas and forge crucial partnerships. Rio Matters caught up with Illac Diaz of 1 Liter of Light, whose work we spotlighted earlier this month, to talk about his experience at Rio+20. Diaz shared his reflections on the summit, as well as this collection of photos of his visit to a Rio shantytown. (Photos by Alex Rodrigues, Digital Ally.)
1 Liter of Light’s advantage is its grassroots philosophy that is replicable anywhere it is needed in the world. Rio +20 was an incredible opportunity for 1 Liter of Light to share and spread this philosophy with communities that want and need solar lighting, or want to build solar day lighting for others.
On Monday, June 11, I shared 1 Liter of Light’s story with youth from all over the world at the TED X “Human Power” event at the Copacabana Fort. The following week, 1 Liter of Light staff and volunteers went to the Mangueira favela and lit up a home with solar bottles. In a matter of just a few minutes, we lit up what was once a dark home and showed the community that access to electricity was well within their reach. This was an incredible start in what can eventually transform the whole hillside and a small step towards creating many other community-based green technologies that can be acted upon immediately for those at the bottom of the pyramid.
Even though the discussions at Rio +20 did not advance as far as many hoped, 1 Liter of Light is grateful to have had the chance to exchange ideas and solutions with others in business, government, and civil society who are all committed to sustainable development.