International Environment Forum - A Bahá'í inspired organization for environment and sustainability https://iefworld.org/ en Endorse our proposals for UN reform https://iefworld.org/node/1045 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Endorse our proposals for UN reform</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">10. March 2020 - 11:26</span> <div class="field field--name-subjects field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/70" hreflang="en">United Nations</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);"> Endorse our proposals for UN reform</h2> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>Together First is an association of civil society organizations including IEF that is coordinating inputs to the United Nations consultation on UN reform in its 75th year. Many organizations have submitted proposals to Together First for consideration, and the most popular will be incorporated into its submission to the UN. These have now been published on line, and the public is being invited to endorse those that they find most important. Two proposals are of special interest to IEF:</p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><b>Governance, Science and the Climate Crisis</b><br> <a href="https://together1st.org/proposals/118">https://together1st.org/proposals/118</a><br> submitted by the International Environment Forum</p> <p><b>Global Governance and the Emergence of Global Institutions for the 21st Century</b><br> <a href="https://together1st.org/proposals/119">https://together1st.org/proposals/119</a><br> submitted by the Global Governance Forum<br> in which IEF members are major partners</p> </div> <p>We invite you to endorse these proposals if you agree (there is an Endorse button to the left) and encourage all your friends and contacts to do the same.</p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" height="66" width="142"></p> <p><small>Last updated 10 March 2020</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Tue, 10 Mar 2020 09:26:15 +0000 admin 1045 at https://iefworld.org 24th Conference of the International Environment Forum https://iefworld.org/conf24 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">24th Conference of the International Environment Forum</span> <div class="field field--name-field-dates field--type-string-long field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Dates</div> <div class="field__item">2020, May, 15-17</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-place field--type-string-long field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Place</div> <div class="field__item">A virtual conference on line</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">2. April 2020 - 13:17</span> Thu, 02 Apr 2020 10:17:51 +0000 admin 997 at https://iefworld.org Applying the hard lessons of coronavirus to the biodiversity crisis https://iefworld.org/node/1051 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Applying the hard lessons of coronavirus to the biodiversity crisis</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">1. April 2020 - 0:16</span> <div class="field field--name-subjects field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/8" hreflang="en">Biodiversity</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="text-align: center;"> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Applying the hard lessons of coronavirus to the biodiversity crisis</h2> <p>Jamison Ervin<br /> Manager, Global Programme on Nature for Development, UNDP<br /> 27 March 2020</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>I attended one of three major biodiversity planning meetings this February, originally scheduled for China, but relocated to Rome. The day I arrived, there were three cases of the coronavirus COVID-19 in northern Italy. Two days later there were 21, and five days later there were 229. I left the fifth day, without even attending the primary workshop. A colleague teased me, and I worried that I had over-reacted. From my early training in public health, I suspected this was not just a distant wave, but an unstoppable tsunami that would soon crash upon the world. A few short weeks later, the magnitude of this tsunami became clear, a once-in-a-century crisis that threatens to upend every society on earth.</p> <p>This year was supposed to be a ‘Super Year for Nature,’ with a number of global meetings; a World Conservation Congress, a UN Ocean Conference, and a UN Nature Summit – all culminating in a global biodiversity conference that would agree on a decade-long 'Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework'. This was supposed to be the year that launched the Decade of Restoration, and that finally acknowledged nature-based solutions in climate negotiations. But COVID-19 had other plans. We must learn and adapt faster than ever, and the virus has lessons that apply to the global crises of biodiversity loss.</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Exposing societal weaknesses</h3> <p>Complex, interconnected systems are as vulnerable as their weakest links. COVID-19 has exposed societal weaknesses around the world—in health care, homelessness, and inequality. Health care systems depend on vulnerable global supply chains for vital equipment. I had the luxury of returning from Rome early to purchase a modest stockpile of necessities and hunker down, but 80 percent of humanity lives on less than US$10 a day and will face this pandemic with no social or economic safety net whatsoever. These weaknesses both exacerbate, and are exacerbated by, a global pandemic.</p> <p>Change can be complex and unpredictable. As I watched the numbers of cases escalate in Rome, it was clear that this was an exponential growth curve, a pattern that we tend to dramatically underestimate. It was also clear that there are tipping points; early actions have exponential benefits, late actions are exponentially more difficult, and actions beyond the point of no return may have little or no benefit at all. Our responses to change must be smart and proactive. Countries with strong and early measures for testing and isolating in order to ‘bend the curve’ of the pandemic are seeing the lowest death rates. The timing of our response is everything.</p> <p>The pace and degree of transformative change can surprise us. Powerful business-as-usual interests want to maintain the status quo, but a crisis challenges these dynamics. Actions that seemed impossible yesterday seem possible today and could seem inevitable tomorrow. A Wuhan-like shutdown seemed impossible in Italy, an Italy-like shutdown seemed impossible in New York. Now shutdowns seem inevitable in cities around the world.</p> <p>How can we apply these lessons apply to biodiversity?</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">1. Create a nature-based planetary safety net by strengthening the weakest links in our global systems</h3> <p>Nature and our economic systems are inextricably interwoven. Our global food system, for example, is vulnerable to biodiversity loss - as go the pollinators, so goes 35 percent of our global crops. With a million species at risk of extinction, including pollinators, we must shore up natural ecosystems as a planetary safety net for humanity.</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">2. Select dense, multi-dimensional solutions that solve complex, multi-dimensional challenges</h3> <p>We must be as efficient as possible in simultaneously solving multi-dimensional challenges in nature and development. There is already a growing call for green COVID-19 rescue plans. A good start would be to commit to massive inclusive investments in agroforestry, regenerative agriculture, mangrove restoration, and more. Such solutions help stem our biodiversity crisis, mitigate more than a third of greenhouse gases, prevent disasters, and buffer the more than two billion people in poverty who directly depend on nature for their livelihoods.</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">3. Commit to action now</h3> <p>We must be willing to take smart, strategic action. This means challenging the status quo, and the powerful interests that will resist change. We must listen to science, and understanding and avoiding nature’s tipping points. This means using the best available spatial data to make informed decisions about land use. As with COVID-19, taking steps to prevent species extinctions and ecological collapse is largely a matter of timing. I wondered if I had overreacted by leaving Italy too soon, until I read “everything you do before a pandemic seems overreacting, and everything you do after seems too little, too late.” The stakes for humanity have never been higher, and now is the time to act.</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">4. Craft a bold Marshall Plan for nature</h3> <p>We must act as one planet to solve our biodiversity crisis by crafting a bold, coordinated, comprehensive plan. The draft post-2020 biodiversity framework is not nearly transformative enough to change the trajectory of biodiversity loss. It is time for a Marshall Plan for nature, one that sufficiently invests in the protection, restoration and sustainable management of biodiversity, and that repositions nature at the heart of sustainable development. To do anything less is to succumb to a slow-moving crisis that will eventually have far more consequences for humanity than COVID-19.</p> <p>Like nearly everything else, this year’s biodiversity events have largely been postponed, many until next year. However, if we can learn hard lessons from COVID-19 and apply them to the existential crisis of biodiversity loss as we head into recovery, 2020 just may well turn out to be a 'Super Year' for nature after all.</p> <hr /> <p><small>Source: <a href="https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/blog/2020/applying-the-hard-lessons-of-coronavirus-to-the-biodiversity-cri.html">https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/blog/2020/applying-the-hard-l…</a></small></p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 31 March 2020</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Tue, 31 Mar 2020 21:16:06 +0000 admin 1051 at https://iefworld.org IEF Contribution to UN75 https://iefworld.org/node/1039 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">IEF Contribution to UN75</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">1. April 2020 - 0:07</span> <div class="field field--name-subjects field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/70" hreflang="en">United Nations</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);"> IEF CONTRIBUTION TO UN75</h2> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;"> <p>The United Nations is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2020 by reflecting on its future, and everyone is invited to contribute. The following is a brief description of many of the ways IEF and IEF members can participate in this process. As you will see, we are already engaged in various ways.</p> <p>The UN is holding the “world’s biggest conversation” on “the world we want, the UN we need”. There are many opportunities to feed into this process including:<br> • By making a short social media video talking about the “three things that will change the world” and posting them on the #UN75 hashtag<br> • By filling in this short survey <a href="https://un75.online/">https://un75.online/</a> <br> • By holding your own meeting and conversation <a href="https://www.un.org/en/un75/join-conversation">https://www.un.org/en/un75/join-conversation</a> </p> <p>To mark its 75th anniversary in 2020, the United Nations is igniting a people’s debate, UN75. Launched by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, it promises to be the largest and furthest-reaching global conversation ever on building the future we want.</p> <p>In a world of dramatic changes and complex challenges, from the climate crisis to population shifts to the unknown course of technology, we need collective action more than ever before. Through UN75, the United Nations will encourage people to put their heads together to define how enhanced international cooperation can help realize a better world by 2045, the UN’s 100th birthday. </p> <p>At this pivotal moment in history, UN75 asks three big questions:<br> • What kind of future do we want to create?<br> • Are we on track?<br> • What action is needed to bridge the gap?</p> <p>The IEF has been participating in international discourses on important issues of global concern, especially concerning the environment and sustainability, since its founding over 20 years ago. Many of our members have long experience at the international level, including in intergovernmental organizations. We thus have important perspectives to share.</p> <p>We participated in a similar wide consultation preparing for the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012, and our contributions had an impact. We therefore launched our own consultation, inviting our members to contribute our vision of the future of the United Nations as part of UN75.</p> <p>The following is the compilation of member contributions to a joint IEF contribution to UN75.</p> <p><br> </p> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">International Environment Forum contribution to UN75</h2> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">What kind of future do we want to create?</h3> <p>In the future, we want to see a world where all people live in peace with each other and in harmony with the Earth, where all people consider the Earth as one country, and mankind its citizens. This will spread care from one country to others, and all the world will be a better place.</p> <p>Local and national communities organize a system of governance to provide common services and meet basic needs for security, health, education and well-being. In a globalized world, we need to ensure that the same common services and basic needs are met for everyone on the planet, leaving no one behind. The pandemic has demonstrated that national borders have lost their importance and only a global approach can ensure everyone's health. The WHO needs a stronger mandate and adequate means to respond rapidly and uniformly to such global health challenges. The same is true for other global catastrophic risks.</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Are we on track?</h3> <p>The present results are mixed. Some countries think only from a national point of view, but some issues are now clearly seen as global, such as climate change. We made some progress in the 1990s and at the Paris climate change conference, but more recently the trend is in the opposite direction with people closing their hearts, minds, and borders to people in need and ignoring the accelerating environmental crisis. Nationalism and populism are on the rise, and actions to mitigate climate change are far from commensurate to its enormous threat to human civilization. Many of today's problems such as the increasing gap of wealth and poverty, climate change, and the refugee crises are all interconnected and require a fundamentally new perspective. These challenges call for a change in the way we look at the world, at other human beings, and at nature. For too long, the rich have exploited other people and nature for their own personal gain. As long as we continue to only seek the best for our own selves or for our own nation, these global problems will exacerbate despite enormous efforts to address them.</p> <p>Multilateral cooperation in particular has been under attack in recent years, with increasing social fragmentation within and between countries, governments losing trust and failing to meet the needs of their citizens, and increasing numbers of displaced persons and marginalized groups no longer under the protection of any government. Despite our technological progress, the world is today in an advancing state of disintegration, with the pandemic just the latest blow. The forces of progress and integration are still too weak to reverse the negative trends, both social and environmental, although the present crisis could weaken or remove some obstacles to change.</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">What action is needed to bridge the gap?</h3> <p>The lessons now being learned from the present crises should be used to take another step forward in global governance, at least as incremental improvements to the UN system. In particular, the mechanisms to focus scientific research, capture the emerging knowledge rapidly, and put it in action all around the world, need to be strengthened. Health is one obvious area, but the climate crisis and biodiversity loss are other areas where science must become a stronger driver of policy and action, with the common global good taking precedence over national sovereignty. If trust in global institutions can be built in these areas, then further steps towards UN reform may become possible.</p> <p>One idea is to promote and develop a new consciousness by the leaders as well as by the citizens of all countries that humankind is one, that all people are created equal and no nation is better than any other nation, and that humanity is one big family with rich cultural diversity. People need to deeply understand that the well-being of each individual and each country is intricately interconnected with the well-being of society and all of humanity. We also need a holistic approach to make progress with the Sustainable Development Goals. Climate change mitigation and adaptation cannot be addressed in isolation, but need to be considered together with fundamental economic and agricultural changes to eradicate hunger and poverty. We humans are all interconnected with each other and with all other life.</p> <p>Education is one key. The students all over the world must learn that they must take care of the entire world, and not only their own country. Students are often not motivated to study, with high drop-out rates in universities. It is possible to better motivate this generation if we empower them to tackle our global problems. Students must learn about UN SDGs and make a link between the knowledge they are learning and how they can apply it to achieve the SDGs. Instead of just learning mathematics, for example, how can anyone use this knowledge for the betterment of the world? This can be used in universities too! The high drop-out rate at engineering courses, for example, could be reduced if the undergraduate students could understand that they can apply this knowledge to help others around the world.</p> <p>In recent weeks, we have seen a world-wide successful effort to raise consciousness about the importance of washing one's hands because of the coronavirus. Similarly we could create a new awareness that the Earth is one country and all its peoples one family. This concept could be shared, nurtured, and deepened in numerous and different ways. There could be media announcements, videos, concerts, and conversations from the local to the international level. The following words by Baha'u'llah, prophet-founder of the Baha'i Faith, may provide the impetus and enthusiasm for this emerging consciousness: “Let your vision be world-embracing rather than confined to your own self.” “The Earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.”</p> <p>Another opportunity opening up with the present crisis is to accelerate the needed paradigm shift in the economic system, away from an almost exclusive focus on return on capital and shareholder value with increasing inequality, towards a system founded on altruism and cooperation, creating meaningful employment for all and reducing poverty. Many vested interests in the present system are being weakened, and a financial collapse from excessive debt is a real possibility. This could remove blockages that have impeded progress on the 2030 agenda, allowing transformative change. Now is the time for the forces for international reform to organize and prepare to move forward, before we slip back into business as usual, as we did after the 2008 financial crisis.</p> <p>This movement forward should combine the best efforts of willing governments with a much larger circle from science, academia, civil society and progressive businesses.</p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;"> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" height="66"></p> <p><small>Last updated 31 March 2020</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title">comments</h2> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="1386" id="comment-52" about="/comment/52" typeof="schema:Comment" class="comment js-comment clearfix"> <span class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1584038927"></span> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/1386" class="profile"> <a href="/blog/1386">View recent blog entries</a></article> <p class="comment__author"><span rel="schema:author"><span lang="" about="/user/1386" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Christine Muller</span></span> </p> <p class="comment__time">12. March 2020 - 20:48 <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-03-12T18:48:47+00:00" class="rdf-meta hidden"></span> </p> <p class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/52#comment-52" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></p> </footer> <div class="comment__content"> <h3 property="schema:name" datatype=""><a href="/comment/52#comment-52" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Promote the consciousness of the oneness of humankind</a></h3> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Comment</div> <div property="schema:text" class="field__item"><p>In the future, we want to see a world where all people live in peace with each other and in harmony with the Earth.</p> <p>The current trend goes in the opposite direction with people closing their hearts, minds, and borders to people in need and ignoring the accelerating environmental crisis. Nationalism and populism are on the rise, and actions to mitigate climate change are far from commensurate to its enormous threat to human civilization. Many of today's problems such as the increasing gap of wealth and poverty, climate change, and the refugee crises are all interconnected and require a fundamentally new perspective. These challenges call for a change in the way we look at the world, at other human beings, and at nature. For too long, the rich have exploited other people and nature for their own personal gain. As long as we continue to only seek the best for our own selves or for our own nation, these global problems will exacerbate despite enormous efforts to address them.</p> <p>One idea is to promote and develop a new consciousness by the leaders as well as by the citizens of all countries that humankind is one, that all people are created equal and no nation is better than any other nation, and that humanity is one big family with rich cultural diversity. People need to deeply understand that the well-being of each individual and each country is intricately interconnected with the well-being of society and all of humanity. We also need a holistic approach to make progress with the Sustainable Development Goals. Climate change mitigation and adaptation cannot be addressed in isolation, but need to be considered together with fundamental economic and agricultural changes to eradicate hunger and poverty. We humans are all interconnected with each other and with all other life.</p> <p>In recent weeks, we have seen a world-wide successful effort to raise consciousness about the importance of washing one's hands because of the coronavirus. Similarly we could create a new awareness that the Earth is one country and all its peoples one family. This concept could be shared, nurtured, and deepened in numerous and different ways. There could be media announcements, videos, concerts, and conversations from the local to the international level.</p> <p>The following words by Baha'u'llah, prophet-founder of the Baha'i Faith, may provide the impetus and enthusiasm for this emerging consciousness: “Let your vision be world-embracing rather than confined to your own self.” “The Earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.”</p></div> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=52&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="0CeNmbeikEwUFjqSJGdCi627Veo-QTNG_kO0_L3CNIY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="3" id="comment-55" about="/comment/55" typeof="schema:Comment" class="comment js-comment clearfix"> <span class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1585074906"></span> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/3" class="profile"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <a href="/user/3" hreflang="en"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/thumbnail/public/userpictures/ADahl0605c.jpg?itok=Gk-F13Pv" width="69" height="85" alt="Profile picture for user Arthur Dahl" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-thumbnail" /> </a> </div> <a href="/blog/3">View recent blog entries</a></article> <p class="comment__author"><span rel="schema:author"><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Arthur Dahl</span></span> </p> <p class="comment__time">24. March 2020 - 20:35 <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-03-24T18:35:06+00:00" class="rdf-meta hidden"></span> </p> <p class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/55#comment-55" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></p> </footer> <div class="comment__content"> <h3 property="schema:name" datatype=""><a href="/comment/55#comment-55" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">The pandemic crisis can help to leverage change</a></h3> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Comment</div> <div property="schema:text" class="field__item"><p>What kind of future do we want to create?</p> <p>Communities organize a system of governance to provide common services and meet basic needs for security, health, education and well-being. In a globalized world, we need to ensure that the same common services and basic needs are met for everyone on the planet, leaving no one behind. The pandemic has demonstrated that national borders have lost their importance and only a global approach can ensure everyone's health. The WHO needs a stronger mandate and adequate means to respond rapidly and uniformly to such global health challenges. The same is true for other global catastrophic risks.</p> <p>Are we on track?</p> <p>Multilateral cooperation has been under attack in recent years, with increasing social fragmentation within and between countries, governments losing trust and failing to meet the needs of their citizens, and increasing numbers of displaced persons and marginalized groups no longer under the protection of any government. Despite our technological progress, the world is in an advancing state of disintegration. The forces of progress and integration are still too weak to reverse the negative trends, both social and environmental.</p> <p>What action is needed to bridge the gap?</p> <p>The lessons now being learned from the present crises should be used to take another step forward in global governance, at least as incremental improvements to the UN system. In particular, the mechanisms to focus scientific research, capture the emerging knowledge rapidly, and put it in action all around the world, need to be strengthened. Health is one obvious area, but the climate crisis and biodiversity loss are other areas where science must become a stronger driver of policy and action, with the common global good taking precedence over national sovereignty. If trust in global institutions can be built in these areas, then further steps towards UN reform may become possible.</p> <p>The other opportunity opening up with the present crisis is to accelerate the needed paradigm shift in the economic system, away from an almost exclusive focus on return on capital and shareholder value with increasing inequality, towards a system founded on altruism and cooperation, creating meaningful employment for all and reducing poverty. Many vested interests in the present system are being weakened, and a financial collapse from excessive debt is a real possibility. This could remove blockages that have impeded progress on the 2030 agenda, allowing transformative change. Now is the time for the forces for international reform to organize and prepare to move forward, before we slip back into business as usual, as we did after the 2008 financial crisis.</p> <p>This movement forward should combine the best efforts of willing governments with a much larger circle from science, academia, civil society and progressive businesses.</p></div> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=55&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="OyaawYTpBpmKJ7jw5DtLL8rjasH4FeWTSwghGoJxP1o"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> </section> Tue, 31 Mar 2020 21:07:16 +0000 admin 1039 at https://iefworld.org Global Social Health https://iefworld.org/node/1050 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Global Social Health</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">31. March 2020 - 13:39</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);"> Global Social Health</h2> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>A new platform, Global Social Health <a href="http://www.globalsocialhealth.org">www.globalsocialhealth.org</a>, has been launched by the Foundation “Terry Madison for Virtues and Social Health” based in Bulgaria. It shares many of the same values as the International Environment Forum.</p> <p>This platform was created at a critical moment in contemporary history – in the midst of the global corona virus pandemic essentially closing down much of our planet. The platform opens space for dialogue with young people, as well as all thinking people, regarding the role of each of us in these intensive processes. It emphasizes practical approaches, based on meaningful communication, spiritual values, and a reasonable aspiration toward justice – approaches that develop character and a sense of responsibility, offer a concrete vision, and develop skills for citizenship in an independent world.</p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" height="66" width="142"></p> <p><small>Last updated 31 March 2020</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Tue, 31 Mar 2020 10:39:59 +0000 admin 1050 at https://iefworld.org Does the Pandemic have a Silver Lining? https://iefworld.org/node/1049 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Does the Pandemic have a Silver Lining?</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Arthur Dahl</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">19. March 2020 - 13:31</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="text-align: center;"> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Does the Pandemic have a Silver Lining?</h2> <p>Arthur Lyon Dahl</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>Should we thank God for the Pandemic? It may seem weird to be thankful for a catastrophe. Human suffering is never something to be sought or revelled in. But the pandemic now sweeping the world, with its ultimate outcome still uncertain, may be a blessing in disguise or a cloud with a silver lining. Let me explain.</p> <p>We have been working for decades to identify and address social and environmental challenges and to make plans and set goals for a sustainable society across the planet. I have personally been involved since the first Earth Day in 1970 and have contributed to many constructive processes, leading most recently to the UN 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the Paris Agreement to address climate change.</p> <p>However, along side this, governments have given priority to their national sovereignty, multinationals to their profits, and many world leaders to their inflated egos. Wealth is increasingly concentrated alongside growing inequality. Governments are failing to meet the needs of their people as they succumb to political fragmentation undermining democracy, when not already subverted to nativism, racism, corruption and despotism. A corporate stranglehold on the economy, feeding off a materialistic consumer culture, has escaped from all regulation or control. It is plundering the planet’s resources while driving us to a climate catastrophe and the collapse of world biodiversity as we drown in pollution. Nothing that we have done on the positive side has slowed this headlong drive to destruction.</p> <p>As a systems scientist, I have often asked myself what it would take to slam on the brakes and slow the momentum of this material society out of control, before it takes us so far beyond planetary boundaries that it leads to the complete collapse of civilization. In our rapidly globalizing world, our economic, social and environmental systems have become increasingly interconnected, and while this has greatly increased human productivity and interaction, it also raises our vulnerability to a complex systems failure, with one problem precipitating many others like falling dominos.</p> <p>For a triggering event, a third world war is an obvious possibility, but not very desirable, with most of the world’s population dying in atrocious circumstances. The Doomsday Clock has recently moved closer to apocalypse than it has ever been as reckless leaders re-arm in their desire for global greatness or domination. If nuclear arms are used, this could precipitate a nuclear winter and leave much of the planet uninhabitable for the survivors.</p> <p>My preference leaned towards a financial collapse, as government, corporate and consumer debt grew into a giant bubble after the 2008 financial crisis. If currencies lost their value and global trade shut down, that might save us from a climate catastrophe and give us time to move to renewable energy sources.</p> <p>A global pandemic was always another option, something resembling the Spanish Flu of 1918, but the emergence of such a threat, while probable at some point according to the World Health Organization (WHO), was unpredictable. Suddenly, it has happened. The situation could be worse if the coronavirus behind Covid-19 was more lethal, although it could still kill millions before it runs it course. The knock-on effects could be much worse, as populations are forced into isolation in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. Millions are losing their jobs and incomes. Education is interrupted. Whole sectors of the economy are frozen and driven towards bankruptcy. Supply chains are broken, including for essential medicines. Governments are doing everything they can to protect their populations, shore up their overloaded health systems, and preserve their economies. With such obvious priorities, worries about expanding debt are left for later. While it is too early to predict where all of this will ultimately lead, it is clear that the world will never be the same.</p> <p>The challenge now, as we struggle through the immediate crisis, is not to plan to go back to business as usual, as most governments seem to be doing. We should see this as an opportunity to fix what is wrong in society. People are being forced to rediscover the benefits of a strong local community, with solidarity for those more vulnerable. Our addiction to material things and the consumer lifestyle is being broken, as we learn that getting along with much less in a simpler material lifestyle is not necessarily a disaster. The forced shift to digital communications technologies is stimulating creative new ways to maintain social ties and economic activities. Behind all of this is the need to rethink our basic values and our ultimate purpose as human beings. This period of forced isolation is a unique opportunity to read, study, reflect, pray and meditate on what kind of future we want for ourselves, our families, our communities, our nations and the whole world. With modern communications, we can still hold meaningful conversations with others, and help them to see the positive side of what we are going through.</p> <p>We are also being forced to see the necessity of global cooperation and a multilateral approach to governance. A virus respects no borders. No country can solve this problem by itself. The rationale for an effective system of global government has never been clearer. We take it as normal that a national government has legislative, executive and judicial functions that apply to everyone. Our ministry or department of health is at the centre of national mobilization to fight the virus, and extreme measures can be imposed immediately for the common good. Yet governments have failed to give the WHO this capacity at the global level to organize a coherent approach to the crisis, and many lives will be lost as governments fumble to find the best way forward. As we move beyond this crisis, reforming global governance should become a priority <a href="#1">1</a>.</p> <p>We also will be forced to reimagine how the world economy should work. We were on the verge of a major debt crisis before the pandemic started. The financial effort necessary to respond to immediate needs will leave an unmanageable level of debt behind. Many business of all sizes will be bankrupt. A financial system based on endless borrowing was never sustainable in the long term, and its collapse now seems inevitable. What will we put in its place? Should we go to a world currency? Should businesses be chartered to serve society rather than just their shareholders? How do we create meaningful employment for everyone? What mechanisms for the more equitable distribution of wealth would meet everyone’s basic needs and eliminate poverty?</p> <p>Perhaps you now see why I am positive about the opportunities that the pandemic should ultimately open up. This could be the chance we need to make the paradigm shift called for in the UN 2030 Agenda and to accelerate our transition to a just, sustainable, climate-friendly civilisation in harmony with nature. Beyond the immediate crisis I see hope <a href="#2">2</a>.</p> <hr /> <p><small><span id="1">1</span>. See our book <i>Global Governance and the Emergence of Global Institutions for the 21st Century</i> <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/global-governance-and-the-emergence-of-global-institutions-for-the-21st-century/AF7D40B152C4CBEDB310EC5F40866A59">https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/global-governance-and-the-emergenc…</a><br /> <span id="2">2</span>. <i>In Pursuit of Hope: A Guide for the Seeker</i> <a href="http://www.grbooks.com/george-ronald-publisher-books/social-and-economic-development/inpursuitofhope-1557910160">http://www.grbooks.com/george-ronald-publisher-books/social-and-economi…</a></small></p> <hr /> <p>Reprinted by ebbf: <a href="https://medium.com/@ebbf/does-the-pandemic-have-a-silver-lining-bd866046f183">https://medium.com/@ebbf/does-the-pandemic-have-a-silver-lining-bd86604…</a><br /> Reprinted by <i>Other News</i>: <a href="https://www.other-news.info/2020/03/does-the-pandemic-have-a-silver-lining-covid-19-what-comes-afterwards/">https://www.other-news.info/2020/03/does-the-pandemic-have-a-silver-lin…</a><br /> Published in modified form by BahaiTeachings.org:</p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 23 March 2020</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-blog-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Thu, 19 Mar 2020 11:31:04 +0000 Arthur Dahl 1049 at https://iefworld.org Leaves - March IEF newsletter is available https://iefworld.org/node/255 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Leaves - March IEF newsletter is available</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">15. March 2020 - 19:08</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Read on line: <a href="/newslt129"><strong><em>Leaves</em></strong> 22(3) March 2020</a> light text version with fewer illustrations.<br /> Download as a <a href="/fl/IEF_Leaves200315.pdf">pdf version</a> [481 kb].</p> <table background="/gr/BLEAF1.JPG" style="background-color: rgb(0, 153, 0); width: 100%; height: 55px; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"> <tbody> <tr> <td>&nbsp;</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Sun, 15 Mar 2020 17:08:08 +0000 admin 255 at https://iefworld.org Climate Change Accelerating https://iefworld.org/node/1047 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Climate Change Accelerating</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">10. March 2020 - 22:01</span> <div class="field field--name-subjects field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/9" hreflang="en">Climate change</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="text-align: center;"> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">UN study shows accelerating climate change on land, sea and in the atmosphere</h2> <p>World Meteorological Organization, 10 March 2020</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>A wide-ranging UN climate report, released on Tuesday, shows that climate change is having a major effect on all aspects of the environment, as well as on the health and wellbeing of the global population.</p> <p>The report, The WMO Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2019, which is led by the UN weather agency (World Meteorological Organization), contains data from an extensive network of partners.</p> <p>It documents physical signs of climate change – such as increasing land and ocean heat, accelerating sea level rise and melting ice – and the knock-on effects on socio-economic development, human health, migration and displacement, food security, and land and marine ecosystems.</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">‘Way off track’ to meet 1.5 degree target</h3> <p>Writing in the foreword to the report, UN chief António Guterres warned that the world is currently “way off track meeting either the 1.5°C or 2°C targets that the Paris Agreement calls for”, referring to the commitment made by the international community in 2015, to keep global average temperatures well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.</p> <p>Several heat records have been broken in recent years and decades: the report confirms that 2019 was the second warmest year on record, and 2010-2019 was the warmest decade on record. Since the 1980s, each successive decade has been warmer than any preceding decade since 1850.</p> <p>The warmest year so far was 2016, but that could be topped soon, said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. “Given that greenhouse gas levels continue to increase, the warming will continue. A recent decadal forecast indicates that a new annual global temperature record is likely in the next five years. It is a matter of time”, added the WMO Secretary-General.</p> <p>In an interview with UN News, Mr. Taalas said that, there is a growing understanding across society, from the finance sector to young people, that climate change is the number one problem mankind is facing today, “so there are plenty of good signs that we have started moving in the right direction”.</p> <p>“Last year emissions dropped in developed countries, despite the growing economy, so we have&nbsp;to show that you can detach economic growth from emission growth. The bad news is that, in the rest of the world, emissions grew last year. So, if we want to solve this problem we have to have all the countries on board”.</p> <p>Mr. Taalas added that countries still aren’t fulfilling commitments they made at the UN Paris climate conference in 2015, leaving the world currently on course for a four to five degree temperature increase by the end of this century: “there’s clearly a need for higher ambition levels if we’re serious about climate mitigation”.</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Australian wildfires spark global CO2 increase</h3> <p>Mr. Taalas noted that 2020 has seen the warmest January recorded so far, and that winter has been “unseasonably mild” in many parts of the northern hemisphere.</p> <p>Ongoing warming in Antarctica saw large-scale ice melt and the fracturing of a glacier, with repercussions for sea level rise, and carbon dioxide emissions spiked following the devastating Australian bushfires, which spread smoke and pollutants around the world.</p> <p>Australia’s 2018-2019 summer was the hottest ever recorded, reaching a peak of 41.9 degrees centigrade on December 18. Australia's seven hottest days on record, and nine of the 10 hottest, occurred in 2019.</p> <p>The country was not the only place affected by extreme heat, or wildfires. Heat records were broken in several European countries, including France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Even Nordic countries saw record-breaking temperatures, including Finland, which registered a high of 33.2 degrees in the capital, Helsinki.</p> <p>Several high latitude regions, including Siberia and Alaska, saw high levels of fire activity, as did some parts of the Arctic, where it was previously extremely rare. Indonesia and neighbouring countries had their&nbsp;most significant fire season since 2015, and total fire activity in South America was the highest since 2010.</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">The widespread impacts of ocean warming</h3> <p>Greenhouse gas emissions continued to grow in 2019, leading to increased ocean heat, and such phenomena as rising sea levels, the altering of ocean currents, melting floating ice shelves, and dramatic changes in marine ecosystems.</p> <p>The ocean has seen increased acidification and deoxygenation, with negative impacts on marine life, and the wellbeing of people who depend on ocean ecosystems. At the poles, sea ice continues to decline, and glaciers shrunk yet again, for the 32nd consecutive year.</p> <p>Between 2002 and 2016, the Greenland ice sheet lost some 260 Gigatonnes of ice per year, with a peak loss of 458 Gigatonnes in 2011/12. The 2019 loss of 329 Gigatonnes was well above average.</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Unprecedented floods and droughts</h3> <p>In 2019, extreme weather events, some of which were unprecedented in scale, took place in many parts of the world. The monsoon season saw rainfall above the long-term average in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar, and flooding led to the loss of some 2,200 lives in the region.</p> <p>Parts of South America were hit by floods in January, whilst Iran was badly affected in late March and early April. In the US, total economic losses from flooding were estimated at around $20 billion. Other regions suffered a severe lack of water. Australia has its driest year on record, and Southern Africa, Central America and parts of South America received abnormally low rains.</p> <p>2019 also saw an above-average number of tropical cyclones, with 72 in the northern hemisphere, and 27 in the southern hemisphere. Some notably destructive cyclones were Idai, which caused widespread devastation in Mozambique and the east coast of Africa; Dorian, which hit the Bahamas and remained almost stationary for some 24 hours; and Hagibis, which caused severe flooding in Japan.</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">The human cost</h3> <p>The changing climate is exerting a toll on the health of the global population: the report&nbsp;shows that in 2019, record high temperatures led to over 100 deaths in Japan, and 1,462 deaths in France. Dengue virus increased in 2019, due to higher temperatures, which have been making it easier for mosquitos to transmit the disease over several decades.</p> <p>Following years of steady decline, hunger is again on the rise, driven by a changing climate and extreme weather events: over 820 million people were affected by hunger in 2018. The countries in the Horn of Africa were particularly affected in 2019, where the population suffered from climate extremes, displacement, conflict and violence. The region suffered droughts, then unusually heavy rains towards the end of the year, which was a factor in the worst locust outbreak in the past 25 years.</p> <p>Worldwide, some 6.7 million people were displaced from their homes due to natural hazards – in particular storms and floods, such as the many devastating cyclones, and flooding in Iran, the Philippines and Ethiopia. The report forecasts an internal displacement figure of around 22 million people throughout the whole of 2019, up from 17.2 million in 2018.</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">COP26: time to aim high</h3> <p>“We have to aim high at the next climate conference in Glasgow in November”, said Mr. Guterres, speaking at the launch of the report at UN Headquarters in New York, on Tuesday, referring to the 2020 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), due to be held in the Scottish City in November.</p> <p>The UN chief called on all countries to demonstrate that emission cuts of 45 per cent from 2010 levels are possible this decade, and that net-zero emissions will be achieved by the middle of the century.</p> <p>Four priorities for COP26 were outlined by Mr. Guterres: more ambitious national climate plans that will keep global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels; strategies to reach net zero emissions by 2050; a comprehensive programme of support for climate adaptation and resilience; and financing for a sustainable, green economy.</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">'We will not fight climate change with a virus'</h3> <p>The UN chief also addressed the ongoing spread of COVID-19, in response to a question on its likely effect on the climate, given the resulting drop in economic activity and, consequently, emissions. Mr. Guterres firmly responded that "both require a determined response. Both must be defeated".</p> <p>Although emissions have been reduced, Mr. Guterres noted that "we will not fight climate change with a virus". In addition, he underlined the importance of not allowing the fight against the virus to distract from the need to defeat climate change, inequality and the many other problems the world is facing.</p> <p>Whilst the disease is expected to be temporary, climate change, added the Secretary-General, has been a phenomenon for many years, and and will "remain with us for decades and require constant action".</p> <hr /> <p><small>Source: <a href="https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/03/1059061">https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/03/1059061</a></small></p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 10 March 2020</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Tue, 10 Mar 2020 20:01:09 +0000 admin 1047 at https://iefworld.org Unity: Indicator of True Success https://iefworld.org/ddahl20b <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Unity: Indicator of True Success</span> <div class="field field--name-field-author field--type-string-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item">Dahl, Arthur Lyon</div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-year field--type-integer field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Year</div> <div class="field__item">2020</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-event field--type-string-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Event</div> <div class="field__item">ebbf/IEF International Conference, Rethinking Success: a Way to Save the Planet and Ourselves, Lisbon, Portugal, 14-17 May 2020</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Arthur Dahl</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">9. March 2020 - 14:38</span> Mon, 09 Mar 2020 12:38:37 +0000 Arthur Dahl 1044 at https://iefworld.org First Earth Day 1970 https://iefworld.org/node/1042 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">First Earth Day 1970</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Arthur Dahl</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">25. February 2020 - 0:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);"> First Earth Day 1970</h2> <p>Arthur Lyon Dahl<br> President, International Environment Forum</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;"> <p>22 April 2020 will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the first Earth Day, which was organized in the United States on 22 April 1970, helping to launch the environmental movement. It was initiated by Senator Gaylord Nelson after seeing the environmental damage from the Santa Barbara oil spill on the California coast the year before. and was organized by a group of young activists in Washington, DC. Twenty million Americans took part. I participated in the Earth Day events in Washington, D.C., the nation's capital, where I was a Visiting Post-doctoral Research Associate in the Department of Botany at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. I volunteered to be a speaker, and was assigned to the Walt Whitman High School in Arlington, Virginia, across the river from Washington. There was a student Earth Day assembly with a large audience, where I spoke on environmental problems such as air and water pollution and their world solutions. In particular, I described my first-hand experience with the Santa Barbara oil spill, after a leak from the sea bottom during offshore drilling sent large volumes of oil and tar onto the beaches for weeks in 1969. I was finishing my doctorate in marine biology at the University of California at Santa Barbara at the time, and participated in the initial studies there of the impact of oil pollution on coastal ecosystems.</p> <p><img src="../gr/OilSpill1969_1.jpg" alt="Santa Barbara oil spill 1969"> . <img src="../gr/OilSpill1969_5.jpg" alt="Santa Barbara oil spill 1969"><br> <small>Santa Barbara oil spill 1969</small></p> <img src="../gr/OilSpill1969_8.jpg" alt="Santa Barbara oil spill 1969"> . <img src="../gr/OilSpill1969_7.jpg" alt="Santa Barbara oil spill 1969"><br> <p>This was the beginning of my own 50 years of environmental action, including research on long-term changes on coral reef ecosystems in the Caribbean and Pacific Islands, representing the Bahá'í International Community at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1972, spending a decade as Regional Ecological Adviser to all the Pacific Island governments, and then a long career in the UN Environment Programme.</p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;"> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" height="66" width="142"></p> <p><small>Last updated 13 March 2020</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-blog-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Mon, 24 Feb 2020 22:00:30 +0000 Arthur Dahl 1042 at https://iefworld.org