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Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Putting sustainability on the table

A contribution by courtesy of Mr. Luis Salerno, Forestry Engineer

Citizenship is not only about countries' boundaries and people inside them sharing some cultural patterns and not always positive prejudices and mindsets that slow thinking deeply. Sustainability, more than an abstract concept, brings a revolutionary approach on how we understand the mentioned citizenship. Simply Earth is our home and boundaries are not more those of the countries but those in the space.

What is underlying this approach are intricate interrelated thoughts and concepts interacting each other, from reasons referred to what our existence as a specie is or why extreme social differences are allowed - or even worse, potentiated - until analyzing if economical dependence some countries have from others or standards of living in developed countries can make possible a fair development.

Development as it has been understood in the previous decades has brought us just a fake idea of wellness, quality of life and what success means for human beings. Nothing built through creating inequalities, justifying conflicts occurrence due to unreasonable profitable businesses and breaking down nature equilibrium can be considered “real development”. Nevertheless, some people have learnt intelligently about what has happened and continuous happening, creating a sort of new wave about how we, as a planet, can grow up sustainably. This new wave is struggling with the previous one and, although some human behaviors and attitudes and intentions in both social and political scenarios apparently have changed there are still a lot of things to do.

Sustainability entails a deep transformation in the way we live. I am just wondering if there is someone able to recognize itself as “sustainable”. It is difficult. More than one decade ago my interest was mainly focus on forest and natural parks and I actually worked on that during five years, managing projects aimed to preserve biodiversity within those areas. But different experiences in life led me to figure out the ineffectiveness of not linking environmental variables with social and political aspects. And, social aspects, invariably, always bring the economical part on the table.

Environmental, economical and social variables, all together, represent the base to understand what sustainable development is. Nevertheless, a concept is useless if adequate legislation, consistent politicians, stable institutions, educated population and tangible practices are not implemented and spread. Indeed, there is a lot of work to do, probably a lot of little steps to accomplish in order to make this “dreamt model” feasible, adoptable and credible.

As I have mentioned, an educated population is crucial to achieve the sustainability challenges. Just people together, taking conscience and acting responsibly in the present for the future, are able to make things happen. The never-ending attitude some people have assuming that governments have the whole responsibility is big-headed, shows a lack of real compromise and socio - political immature. Initiatives are crucial so as to create multidisciplinary approaches about how to really implement sustainable processes and set up diverse networks interested on the topic.

I decided to be part of this responsible - greening movement several years ago, sometimes participating actively in events, courses or projects, but especially paying attention on my day by- day behaviors, which really represent the scenario where we have to implement “innovative” attitudes. With this contribution I would like to share my thoughts and experiences with people having diverse ideas, scopes and interests about how working on this “world task”, beginning from ourselves.

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