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U.N. Interactive Dialogue on Harmony with Nature: Bolivia Statement
United Nations ^ | 4/20/2011 | Ambassador Pablo Solon

Posted on 04/20/2011 3:25:27 PM PDT by wheresmyusa

Speech by Ambassador Pablo Solón, Permanent Representative of the Plurinational State of Bolivia to the United Nations, on the Occasion of the General Assembly Interactive Dialogue on Harmony with Nature, New York, April 20th, 2011

Victor Hugo, the author of Les Misérables, once wrote: “How sad to think that nature speaks and mankind doesn’t listen.” We are here today to attempt to have a dialogue not just among States, but also with nature. Although we often forget it, human beings are a force in nature. In reality, we are all a product of the same Big Bang that created the universe, although some only see wood for the fire when they walk through the forest.

These three questions are the point of departure for our discussion today: First, what is nature? Is it a thing, a source of resources, a system, a home, a community of living and interdependent beings? Second, are there rules in nature? Are there natural laws that govern its integrity, interrelationships, reproduction and transformation? And third, are we as States and as a society recognizing, respecting and making sure that the rules of nature prevail?

The philosopher Francis Bacon said that we cannot command nature except by obeying her. The time for superheroes and superpowers is coming to an end. Nature cannot be submitted to the wills of the laboratory. Science and technology are capable of everything including destroying the world itself.

It is time to stop and reaffirm the precautionary principle in the face of geoengineering and all artificial manipulation of the climate. All new technologies should be evaluated to gauge their environmental, social and economic impacts.

The answer for the future lies not in scientific inventions but in our capacity to listen to nature. The green economy considers it necessary, in the struggle to preserve biodiversity, to put a price on the free services that plants, animals and ecosystems offer humanity: the purification of water, the pollination of plants by bees, the protection of coral reefs and climatic regulation.

According to the green economy, we have to identify the specific functions of ecosystems and biodiversity that can be made subject to a monetary value, evaluate their current state, define the limits of those services, and set out in economic terms the cost of their conservation to develop a market for environmental services.

For the green economy, capitalism’s mistake is not having fully incorporated nature as part of capital. That is why its central proposal is to create “environmentally friendly” business and green jobs and in that way limit environmental degradation by bringing the laws of capitalism to bear on nature. In other words, the transfusion of the rules of market will save nature.

This is not a hypothetical debate, since the third round of negotiations of the World Trade Organization will be about the trade in services and environmental goods.

Humanity finds itself at a crossroads: Why should we only respect the laws of human beings and not those of nature? Why do we call the person who kills his neighbor a criminal, but not he who extinguishes a species or contaminates a river? Why do we judge the life of human beings with parameters different from those that the guide the life of the system as a whole if all of us, absolutely all of us, rely on the life of the Earth System? Is there no contradiction in recognizing only the rights of the human part of this system while all the rest of the system is reduced to a source of resources and raw materials – in other words, a business opportunity?

To speak of equilibrium is to speak of rights for all parts of the system. It could be that these rights are not identical for all things, since not all things are equal. But to think that only humans should enjoy privileges while other living things are simply objects is the worst mistake humanity has ever made. Decades ago, to talk about slaves as having the same rights as everyone else seemed like the same heresy that it is now to talk about glaciers or rivers or trees as having rights.

Nature is ruthless when it goes ignored.

It is incredible that it is easier to imagine the destruction of nature than to dream about overthrowing capitalism.

Albert Einstein said, “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, not because of those who look on and do nothing.”

We have not come here to watch a funeral.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: agenda21; bolivia; rio; un
I've been catching parts of the "Mother Earths Rights" debate, and its been about 10% environmentalism to 90% global financial restructuring/screw capitalism.

1 posted on 04/20/2011 3:25:31 PM PDT by wheresmyusa
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To: wheresmyusa


2 posted on 04/20/2011 3:27:36 PM PDT by wheresmyusa (FTUN)
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To: wheresmyusa

The article deserves a Projectile vomiting alert.

3 posted on 04/20/2011 3:31:29 PM PDT by lastchance ("Nisi credideritis, non intelligetis" St. Augustine)
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To: lastchance

Sorry about that. You are correct.

4 posted on 04/20/2011 3:33:05 PM PDT by wheresmyusa (FTUN)
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To: wheresmyusa

From the speech: Nature is ruthless when it goes ignored.

Jack wagon UN Leaders taste like zebra, only juicier because of their fat asses.

5 posted on 04/20/2011 3:37:10 PM PDT by arkady_renko
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To: wheresmyusa
20 April 2011 – Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro today called on countries to embrace a low-carbon, resource-efficient, pro-poor economic model, which will ensure progress while also promoting harmony with nature.

Ms. Migiro said in her remarks to a General Assembly event to mark International Mother Earth Day that the world is undergoing tremendous change, with considerable growth in the past two decades, particularly in emerging economies.

Hundreds of millions of people – in Asia, Latin America and, increasingly, in Africa – have risen from poverty, she noted. “We need to bring these benefits to hundreds of millions more: decent jobs, clean, affordable energy, and all the social and economic benefits that such advances can bring.

“But we will not achieve this goal unless we respect the human and natural capital that is the foundation for our prosperity and well-being,” she cautioned.

In 2009, the Assembly proclaimed 22 April as International Mother Earth Day, expressing its conviction that, to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations, “it is necessary to promote harmony with nature and the Earth.”

Ms. Migiro told participants at today’s dialogue on harmony with nature that the decline in natural capital is rarely reflected when calculating the sum of a country’s total annual production of goods and services.

“We neither factor in the benefits of ecosystems, nor the costs of their destruction,” she stated. “A country can cut its forests and deplete its fisheries, and yet it shows only as a positive gain in GDP [gross domestic product], ignoring the corresponding decline in assets.

“We count arms sales on the plus side of the ledger, and spend many billions of dollars a year to subsidize coal, gas and oil – with little impact on the lives of the poor. We need to revise our accounting and embrace a low-carbon, resource-efficient, pro-poor economic model.

Decoupling growth from pollution and natural resource depletion will not put a brake on development, as those wedded to the status quo still argue. On the contrary, it will make growth sustainable,” she stated.

She added that next year’s UN Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as “Rio+20,” is an opportunity to assess the world’s relationship with nature over the last 20 years, to reaffirm commitments made at previous sustainable development summits in Rio and Johannesburg, to inject new impetus and to chart a sustainable way forward.

“A holistic view of environmental, social and economic well-being is indeed the only route to truly sustainable development
,” Ms. Migiro said.

6 posted on 04/20/2011 3:39:04 PM PDT by wheresmyusa (FTUN)
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