Thanks for this. Let me directly come to the point.
After having seen
– the encyclical from Pope Francis about Climate Change and protecting our environment,
– the speech from the Dalai Lama at Glastonbury also about Climate Change and lately
– the speech from Prince Charles about the pressing necessity of rewiring the global economy to halt the destruction of our planet
probably best moment could not be expected to direct the attention of NBSAP Forum members to the fact that their main objective: “Supporting countries in their critical work in reversing the global loss of biodiversity by 2020.” will be nothing more than an empty slogan unless all the stakeholders combine all their capacity to address the single most important cause for biodiversity loss: Anthropogenic pressure on this planet.
To tackle this issue I can see the following “sub-tasks”
– Work out the framework for a new global economic model replacing the current growth and profit centric exercise;
– Educate nations all around the globe about the finite nature of our planetary resources, and as part of this also educate them about their responsibility in the exploding population;
– Propose a mechanism to be implemented worldwide for Carbon Labeling every products and services.
Infrastructure for teaching, education are given in much more places than such kind of information is distributed in any way, so education can be started right now.
We, The Biodiversity Alliance can act as a facilitator to contact and communicating with stakeholders to deliver the above message.
I hope to see your thoughts on this. 🙂
Nicely put Janos. Like you I’m watching closely, but not with bated breath, to see what happens in Paris this December. Will anything at all happen, or will it be another ‘talking shop’ like the interminable Doha waffling? It is debatable just how many ‘top priority’ crises the global elite are able to focus upon. I think more than one would be challenging for them.
I’m starting to like the ‘carbon labelling’ idea 🙂
Thanks Mike, my point and I hold it, was that NBSAP Forum is not about the global elite but the folks involved in biodiversity research and field work.
To be honest I am a bit terrified to see that majority of them on this forum keep social networking and talking about important field and research topics – falling into 3rd or 4th level of priority compared to anthropogenic pressure on this planet.
I do not even understand how could someone come up with their motto “reversing the global loss of biodiversity by 2020” without tackling the root cause. Are they serious about it?! They can stand on top of their head, nothing good will happen unless this community grow up and focus all their capacity to direct global attention to the core problem.
So I think we need to step up. Sitting and watching phase is over for everybody I guess. 🙂
A second thought for your sub-task 2: I wonder how many countries actually recognise that natural resources are mostly finite? Then, how many of those that do recognise it have tailored their national policies (economies etc) to meet sustainable use? Any or none?
Northern Cook Island for sure needs to be mentioned here, so ‘none’ doesn’t play anymore 🙂
Thanks Janos, yes Tokerau too got solar (& maybe water sustainability) from NZAID I think.
Your core problem is right on the mark too. I’m uploading Steven Rockerfeller’s essay for us. It was part of Earth Charter, but very timely (15th anniversary of the Charter). It’s quite long, but nothing unknown to us here. As I worked my through I came across the UN World Charter on Nature (1982) … and wondered why I didn’t know anything about it. But countries, well the greedy ones, didn’t support it. Hence my ignorance.
What is important in Steven’s essay is that the inequality is rapidly worsening again. I’d said last year that we were in the same situation as before the French Revolution ~ and it was obviously similar for the Americans. We face a serious dilemma: the capitalist’s play so many games, just to keep making a profit ~ taking more and more. SDGs are the latest round of their games: amongst those goals are reducing child mortality, improving reproductive health, ensuring more people get enough food and clean water, pushing back on major diseases etc. These are all wonderful, ethical and moral goals. But they increase the population pressure on our planet. The essay says clearly that inequality is the major concern ~ the very greedy few want most of the resources. We know that for sure. The ones that caused the most damage are the ones least affected by the impacts of their actions.
Given that the greedy nations will not cut back at all ~ what can we actually do? We can hold up the Northern Cooks as a shining example, but is anyone going to listen? I was thinking a lot about this yesterday: why is it that New Zealand tries so hard, and most other countries care so little? I know we see shifts as politicians change, but NZ consistently tries its best. Think of its movie industry ~ highlighting the beautiful scenery (Lord of the Rings etc.). Why don’t the other countries do similar?
Your thought on ‘reversing global loss of biodiversity by 2020’ is correct. That will never happen without resolving poverty & inequality. For that to occur probably means participative democracy (people power) has to be implemented first; but vested interests would not want that. “Between the devil and the deep blue sea” [well these days ~ the plastic-filled carbonic acid realm]. It really feels like we have to have some major disasters ~ pushing humanity to the brink of existence ~ before we will change our ways. At the moment the consumer world is not affected by our planet’s problems: they still have stuff in the shops, still get paid, and life proceeds pretty much as usual. They read about climate change & biodiversity loss, watch the documentaries and may chat about these issues …. but they are not real for them. In contrast for the voiceless majority these issues are all too real. Real enough to walk across Africa and risk their lives in small boats trying to reach Europe ~ just for some stability, a liittle work, some healthcare, some food and water … very real indeed.
Like you I want to do something real ~ to make a difference for good on our planet.To help it survive into the future, even without the presence of humans. I still don’t see the Light!
Well Mike, I think if New Zealand can systematically behave that way than other nations also have the possibility to do so. We need to look at it and try to find what makes NZ people behaviour and mindset different than others.
Few months ago I wrote in our Core Values that ‘The BA holds the view that the time for global governance has arrived’. As time is passing by I can see more and more sign of it. Greece is one of the latest and most profound among them.
So the need of participative democracy is here, it is also real. But in order to exercise it, i.e. to bring people in a position to be able to exercise, the must be educated – worldwide. Luckily education system is already in place, it must be utilized properly. That’s why I think since a while that we should conduct a ‘campaign’ to contact with schools and teacher. You also wrote about this earlier.
Your question, whether or not the rest of the world will listen to what we are saying, is a fully valid question. Probably at the very beginning only very few will listen. But this is not a reason for us to remain silent.
Nevertheless maybe Krishnan might let us know exactly what sort of input did he expect.
Thanks Janos, good idea about investigating why Kiwis are so different. I’ve also followed Greece election closely … the only workable solution is to write off at least 50% of the debt. I’d also make the balance interest free ~ that way at least some of the creditors will get something. Perosnally I’d write off 90% ~ which is roughly what would happen if a person or small business went bankrupt. There was a comment in news yesterday about needing a mechanism for country bankruptcy.
Article below from Julia Gillard on education. More later, Mike 🙂
Varoufakis left, my heart is broken 🙁 , good new though is that opposition parties except KKE are backing Tsipras in talks with creditors tomorrow.
I’d like to see rather you charing IMF or Eurogroup 🙂
I need to read Krishnan’s email a few more times …
Dear Mke, Ven and Janos,
As one who had been concerned with the National Biodiversity Action plan in India, well over a decade, I have quite a few doubts about its immediate utility value, practical convenience, hurdles to be crossed in the legal platform, acceptability by the public, understanding by the politicians and policy makers and the stake holders in general.
Biodiversity, had all the way been a white elephant in the minds of the so called business and corporate communities, an inbuilt mechanism for stalling development by the communal forces, a bowl of fortune for the so called NGOs to siphon out public money with an ever acceptable excuse why something has not happened or should not have happened, a threatening instrument for the land owners in sensitive areas, a play field for many of the academics and researchers who had no focus either on the scientific or utility or ethical values in addition to scores of other factors.
Most of the APs, if they had a sensible input, suffer for want of patronage by the so called National Biodiversity Authority, which is always interested in finding loop-holes. Many a time, I have seen, the best APs which have been conceived and nurtured in the best possible ways have been relegated to the trash can straight away without even being seen by the so called “subject experts, leave alone screening by a committee constituted “for the purpose”. Plans are always good but integrating scores of them into a single fabric is a craftsman’s job, and we do not allow these craftsmen to function authoritatively.
Some times, Biodiversity succumbs in the hands of too many cooks, the classic examples exist in the mining, power and real estate sectors, that too in eco-sensitive areas in the north, south, east and west. Biodiversity is best misunderstood by the elected members of legislature assemblies and parliament, at least, in India. Any effort to pump some money into it is considered a wasteful expenditure and this attitude has to be changed at the basic level itself. People should realize that monetary inputs are not an expenditure but investment in a long term activity. Can be a deferred income too. A fond investment in the next few generations. To bell the cat is not that easy. Democracy has become demon-crazy due to greedy elected representatives of the public, who have a well cooked recipe for earning a minimum of ten times their investment in the “vote hauling” maneuvers within five years. Judiciary in large democracies is either a stool-pigeon of the ruling party or a silent spectator postponing the judgment for ever. Justice is just ice, melts immediately in the least heat of arguments. Courts give judgments on the basis of the so called evidences “produced” and in most of the cases justice is not done – even when open facts are glaringly in the eyes of all. Environmental violations are galore and escaping is very easy for the filter passers. Corporate widen the mesh size to their convenience.
But still, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Is it human nature that “all come together” only when a natural calamity strikes? A solution comes into view only when the geo-physical forces drive us to get united?. If we don’t realize that a local village problem need not be solved at the UN level and trans-national issue cannot be resolved beyond the neighborhood level by cling on to those? If the homo species does not realize that it will be first to be sent out, what use of preaching a sermon in the deaf ears? No extra-terrestrial body can save us. Philosophical and religious sentiments. if can inject some sense into the minds of people, what is wrong in trying that too? Let the Pope, Obama, Modi and the like try their hands too. After all we don’t have much to salvage. I know for sure that “restoring biodiversity to its original glory by 2050” is not at all possible, but what is wrong in aiming high? We need not reach the pole star, but aiming at it can open new vistas, an outlook , from a higher plane or elevation can get a better picture.
Ruling out the negatives, propels us forward. We have to decide the direction only. NBSAP with other charters CAN do something in the right direction, and if it fails, no harm, a few billion $ or Euros down the drain, that’s all.