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Roger Doudna has sent us this email message concerning a conference on the restoration of the planet.
The Earth Community Organization is always interested in helping such initiatives.
For more information write to:
Restore the Earth
The Priority Item on the Agenda of World Affairs
A Century of Restoring the Earth
The Global Environment Outlook 2000 (GEO 2000) report published by UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) in September 1999 and its more recent PAGE (Pilot Analysis of Global Ecosystems) report state starkly that unless we reverse current trends of conspicuous over-consumption of natural resources, we are in imminent danger of irreversibly destroying the life support systems upon which the human race crucially depends for its economic well-being, and ultimately its survival.
It is no longer enough to stop the current destruction of the world's ecosystems - we need to embark on a major programme of ecological restoration, to help heal the wounds which we have already inflicted on the planet. To achieve the shift required of us all so that the continued health and well-being of humanity and all other species may be assured, we propose that the United Nations declare this to be the Century of Restoring the Earth, that the next 100 years be dedicated to helping our planetary ecosystems heal. The scope and magnitude of work required to achieve this necessitates long-term thinking, on the scale of a century, and a whole series of projects, both small scale local ones and larger, internationally coordinated initiatives.
A Positive Vision for the Future
The new century provides an ideal moment and opportunity to implement a positive vision for the future - one which draws together the peoples and nations of the world behind a common goal. At the same time, the need for Earth Restoration presents exactly the compelling and unavoidable need for such a global effort, which will draw forth the collective creativity, resources, concern and participation of all humanity united in common purpose.
What We Are Doing
We hope to achieve the UN declaration by the Earth Summit +10 in 2002. Although the project's scope is global, its primary focus is on the United Nations and its various specialised agencies, especially UNEP. It involves forging partnerships with like-minded organisations around the world, but to date our main focus has been on securing note-worthy endorsements and establishing UN contacts.
We have written to all current heads of state to request their urgent consideration and support of this initiative in the lead-up to the Earth Summit +10 meetings in South Africa in 2002. It is our view that they offer an excellent opportunity to respond constructively to the impending global crisis and that the 'Restore the Earth' initiative represents a significant and substantive step in the right direction. We firmly believe that 'Restore The Earth' deserves to be the priority item on the agenda of world affairs and is the right theme to guide humanity's concerted efforts into the new century.
What We Seek:
* That the United Nations declare this the Century of Restoring the Earth at or before the Earth Summit+10 (World Summit on Sustainable Development) in 2002.
* That restoration of the world’s degraded ecosystems becomes a central focus of human endeavour.
* That each nation commit significant resources, either in cash or in kind, to ecological restoration work (e.g. by engaging its military forces to this end).
* That an international Earth Restoration Service be established, which will engage volunteers, and especially young people, from all over the world in essential restoration programmes.
* That a Global Restoration Network be established, which will co-ordinate and network restoration projects and programmes.
"The wounds we have inflicted on the Earth can be healed ... But if it is to be done, it must be done now. Otherwise, it may never be done at all."
Jonathon Porritt , Save The Earth
Restore the Earth is an International Project of Trees for Life, an award-winning conservation charity working to restore the Caledonian Forest in Scotland. For details, contact: Restore The Earth, c/o Trees For Life, The Park, Findhorn Bay, Forres IV36 3TZ, Scotland.
Fax: + 44 (0)1309-691155, Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note: If you have not yet endorsed the Restore the Earth initiative and would like to do so, please send us your name, address and position (or self-description) by return email.
RESTORE THE EARTH CONFERENCE FLYER COPY
“Our greatest challenge is to begin the awesome task of healing the earth and transforming human consciousness while there is still time”
—Dr Michael Fox
OUR PLANET is in crisis and cries for our attention. This week-long conference Restore the Earth! offers you an opportunity to respond.
Earth’s ability to sustain life, both human and that of more than five million other species, is being seriously reduced. The rate of species extinctions is now estimated at 150 per day; ecosystems everywhere are being fragmented, depleted and destroyed; pollution of the soil, water and air is increasing exponentially; and human-induced climate change is a reality. Despite the efforts of many organisations, institutions and individuals, large parts of the planetary ecosystem are dying, and human participation in this death of life has never been more evident.
It is almost ten years since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, where world leaders agreed that our planet was in trouble and that we needed to respond urgently. However, since then, little more than lip service has been paid to ‘the spirit of Rio’: national governments continue to make unlimited economic growth their priority. Our future, and that of many of the world’s species, depends on ecological restoration becoming a central focus of human endeavours — together, we must create a culture that revitalises the planet’s ecosystems.
To help facilitate this, the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland is convening an international conference called Restore the Earth! during Easter Week, March 30th —April 5th, 2002. The conference will highlight the inspiring and innovative Restore the Earth project, which aims to catalyse substantial restoration action around the world, and to gain UN support for the declaration of this century as the Century of Restoring the Earth. Keynote speakers will outline inspiring, coherent and achievable visions for a new human culture based on the revitalisation of the Earth, and the conference will feature existing restoration projects which are already achieving significant results. Several important international restoration initiatives are planned to be launched at the conference, and envoys and initiatives will be sent to the Earth Summit +10 event in South Africa later in 2002. There will also be a special Circle of Commitment event in which participants will be invited to make a commitment of their own choosing to action to help with the healing of the Earth. With over 25 years experience of hosting major events with world-renowned speakers, and an international reputation for its conferences on ecological issues, the Findhorn Foundation is an ideal venue for a conference on this theme. For almost 40 years, against the body-rumbling roars of planes at the adjacent Royal Air Force base, its gardens have been living, vibrant evidence of the healing and restorative powers of nature. More recently, its budding ecological village has been modelling a sustainable lifestyle that is being emulated the world over.
The time is now! We invite you to come together for this important event to share our passions, our love for planet Earth, and our commitments and actions to make a positive difference in the world.
“The wounds that we have inflicted on the Earth can be healed...but if it is to be done, it must be done now. Otherwise, it may never be done at all.”
— Jonathon Porritt, Save the Earth
The Restore the Earth! conference will include:
* An up-to-date profile of the ‘state of the planet’, the relative health of all the species that live upon it, the global ecosystems which support them, and what inspired (and inspiring) people are doing in response to prevailing imbalances.
* A declaration of the 21st century as being the Century of Restoring the Earth
* The official launch of the Global Restoration Network, a web-based information resource and network to link up existing restoration projects around the world, and make their experience, skills and expertise available to new initiatives. This network is being developed by the Forest and Drylands Programme of UNEP- World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge, England, along with the Restore the Earth project.
* A gathering of NGOs (Non-Government Organisations), including those at the Earth Summit in Rio and those who have come on board since, where they will have an opportunity to update one another of their activities since Rio, in preparation for the impending Earth Summit +10.
* A showcase of restoration projects which have taken the threat of environmental destruction to heart and hand. These projects contribute not only to environmental health and wellbeing, but to local economies, cultures and peoples’ lives. In short, such initiatives are redefining the future of our world: that we might have a future, that we might continue our lives, those of our children—and their children—in viable and sustainable ecosystems.
* Indications of how we can all engage with these issues, empower ourselves and together help to... ...Restore the Earth!
Confirmed Speakers, most of whom have already endorsed the Restore the Earth project, include:
* Vandana Shiva Author and international activist, BBC Reith Lecturer in 2000
* Derek Osborn Chair of United Nations Environment and Development (UNED) UK Forum
* Dorothy Maclean Co-founder of the Findhorn Foundation Community, author, lecturer on cooperation with nature
* John Manoochehri, Senior Adviser to UNEP Europe
* Winona La Duke Native American who, in 2000, ran as Green Party candidate for Vice-President of the USA
* Sulak Sivaraksa, Thai Buddhist author, lawyer, scholar, teacher, social and environmental activist, winner of Right Livelihood Award
* Vo Quy, Professor of Biology in Hanoi and pioneer in the ecological resoration of Vietnam
* Hanne Strong President of Manitou Foundation (USA), initiator of the Earth Restoration Corps project
* Alan Wesiman, Journalist and author of ‘Gaviotas, A Village To Reinvent the World’
* Helena Norberg-Hodge Founder/Director of International Society for Ecology and Culture (UK)
* Alan Watson Featherstone Founder of Trees For Life and the Restore the Earth project at Findhorn
* John Seed Ecologist, lecturer, & founder/director of the Rainforest Information Centre in Australia
* Margot Henderson, Celtic bard and storyteller in environmental art theatre* Herbie Girardet Chairman of Schumacher Society, UK, Editor of ‘Peoples Planet’, a CNN TV series
* ....and others, especially those actively engaged in Earth restoration projects
“The present course is unsustainable, and postponing action is no longer an option.” —Klaus Töpfer, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
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