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Challenges for the Sustainability of the Planet

Challenges for the Sustainability of the Planet

By Pablo Valenzuela

Water, Peace, Biological and Cultural Diversity, Equity, Food Sovereignty, Forests, Energy and Climate Change, Desertification, Population, Democracy. Impossible Agenda for Paraguay.

Main Challenges for the Sustainability of the Planet:

1. WATER
2. PEACE
3. BIOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY
4. EQUITY
5. FOOD SOVEREIGNTY
6. FORESTS
7. ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE
8. DESERTIFICATION
9. POPULATION
10. DEMOCRACY

Impossible Agenda for Paraguay:
1. BIOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY
3. EQUITY
4. FORESTS
5. DEMOCRACY

1. WATER


Conserve and restore water sources and the territories that produce it.

Reverse water pollution processes

Guarantee access to water for all the inhabitants of the planet.

Prevent the concentration of power over water.

Prevent the conversion of water into merchandise and the privatization processes that ensure the domination of large transnational companies and corporations over the sources and distribution systems of water.

2. PEACE

Stop the development of weapons of mass destruction.

Start the process of disarmament of the main arsenals of the world.

Free the world from armaments and militarisms.

Ensure peaceful forms of conflict resolution between human groups.

Re-establish justice in the world to ensure peace.

3. BIOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY


Stop the process of erosion of biological and cultural diversity.

Promote processes of restoration and cultivation of biological diversity and guarantee the conservation and vitality of cultural diversity, recognizing the close correspondence between one and the other.

Stop the advance of agricultural, mining and extractive ‘borders’ on ecosystems.

Promote the cultivation and enhancement of biological and cultural diversity in all territories (including urban ones).

Prevent the privatization of biodiversity and the ‘kidnapping’ of genes and living beings by large companies.

Strengthen the appropriation and community use of biodiversity, guaranteeing the sovereignty of native peoples and traditional communities over their territories.

Strictly regulate genetic research and prevent the production and commercialization of transgenic products.

4. EQUITY

Eradicate poverty and all forms of exclusion (economic, social, political, environmental).

Guarantee for all human beings the satisfaction of essential needs for the full development of a dignified life.

Guarantee the existence of environmental justice, condemning discrimination and environmental racism, and preventing the establishment of polluting activities in the places where the most deprived live.

Guarantee the correct correspondence between the distribution of wealth and the distribution of the damages caused to produce it.

To reveal the direct correspondence between excessive consumption and environmental destruction and to become aware of the enormous environmental debt that the northern countries have with the southern countries.

5. FOOD SOVEREIGNTY

Ensure for each human being the availability of the food necessary for the full development of all their potentialities.

Recover for communities and users the power to decide on food production and supply systems.

Guarantee the right of consumers to full knowledge of the characteristics of food and promote processes of transparency about food production and distribution chains.

Promote diverse, healthy and clean agriculture as a fundamental basis for food production, avoiding the inclusion of transgenic and inorganic biocides.

Guarantee food production and supply systems based on control over the main factors of production (seeds, land, technology) by coalitions of producers and consumers.

Establish strict control over biotechnological development in food, with jealous safeguards on the health of people and ecosystems.

Recognize the flavors on food products and on dietary patterns developed by indigenous peoples and traditional communities, and stimulate forms of agricultural and horticultural food production in urban areas.

6. FORESTS

To become aware that the thresholds of availability of forest mass have been exceeded that ensure the conservation of climate, water, soils and biodiversity necessary for life on earth.

Definitively stop the destruction of forests and restore forests in deforested territories.

Develop awareness that the implantation of tree monocultures does not constitute reforestation.

Urgently develop forest restoration processes, particularly in critical areas for the conservation and restoration of water sources, ensuring the rights of the peoples and communities that inhabit them.

Promote the sustainable use of forest products and value their environmental services, recognizing their potential to face the problems of hunger and pandemics that afflict humanity.

7. ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Reduce global energy consumption with criteria of national and social equity.

Implement a sustainable energy matrix, based on renewable sources and decentralized generation, distribution and consumption systems under citizen control.

Prevent the development of nuclear energy, and those from the use of fossil fuels (oil, gas) and large hydroelectric dams.

Promote the implementation of renewable energy sources: wind, solar, bioenergy, tidal, geothermal.

Get the large industrialized countries to reduce emissions of ‘greenhouse effect’ gases and initiate repair processes for those economies and societies already affected by climate change.

Promote forest restoration and avoid the use of monoculture tree plantations in the south as compensatory areas for the emissions produced by the northern countries

Prevent developing countries from agreeing to become ‘carbon sinks’.

8. DESERTIFICATION

Raise awareness that desertification does not only imply the absence of water, but also the destruction of agricultural and natural diversity, and the creation of sterile territories that generate gradual and sustained non-viability of human life.

Remember that desertification processes are very difficult to reverse, and when they are, they are excessively onerous.

Stop the processes of creating deserts, generated mainly by deforestation, the advance of monocultures.

Adapt the processes of human occupation to the vocation of the ecosystems, avoiding interventions on those components that ensure the production of water in the territories.

9. POPULATION


Develop global policies for a gradual deceleration of the population growth curve.

Guarantee an adequate distribution of populations in the territories of the planet.

Discourage mass migration processes to large urban conglomerates.

Promote forms of land use planning to avoid uncontrolled urbanization.

Encourage the roots of the population in rural areas by offering conditions for the development of a dignified life.

10. DEMOCRACY

Ensure that societies are governed by legitimate institutions, in origin and functioning, by the full participation of the ‘governed’.

Guarantee the conditions for participation in decision-making, based on information, freedom of expression and association, and full knowledge of the existing legal and institutional frameworks.

Ensure the existence of government institutions in charge of safeguarding the integrity of ecosystems and safeguarding the interests of the people and communities that currently live associated with them.

Create in government institutions the idea of ​​‘environmental justice’ and ‘intergenerational solidarity’.

Strengthen local, national, regional and global democratic institutions today hijacked by concentrated and sectoral political and economic interests.

SURVIVAL, Friends of the Earth Paraguay
June, 2004

* By Pablo Valenzuela
It belongs to the Communication Unit of SURVIVAL Friends of the Earth, Paraguay www.sobrevación.org.py

Review by Tania Fernández P. for Ecoportal.


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