Who we are
The Platform Our Common Future (PNFC) is a platform acting as an initiative of Humanitas – Institute of Integrated Studies of UFRN, a non-profitable platform, alongside being a non-politically guided group with solely academic and research interests. The website content is the result of the work of a network of academics, teachers and researchers, many volunteers and others who work full time. The Project’s main goal is to dedicate itself to covering guidelines on the environment and sustainable development.
OUR COMMON FUTURE
A STRATEGY FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
Heitor Matallo Junior
The future is a common public good that does not yet exist, but has a tremendous potential value. It cannot be measured and it cannot be evaluated in itself. It can only be measured and evaluated by its past, that is, by what we do now. Like water or air, the future may be better or worse according to how we treat it now. The future as well as the public is a mix of tangible and intangible inputs that are the result of the form on how we use natural capital. The “way” in which societies take ownership of the natural capital comprises social relations, structures and political relations between individuals and states and the cultural heritage in which we are immersed.
Human history has produced, until now, a wide range of knowledge, goods and technologies, which because they have been accumulated, we consider them as results of progress. But culture, with its accumulated tangible and intangible assets, also left its mark in this process. Humanity has developed countless activities that resulted in the modification of landscapes, through deforestation and the burning of natural forests, interference in the hydrological cycle and the extinction of plant and animal species, causing deep scars on the planet.
Since the 19th century, many thinkers have recognized the gravity of the situation and expressed their concern with what has since been called the “limits of the planet”. The first to announce an insurmountable crisis was Thomas Malthus. The arithmetic progression of food production versus geometric progression of population growth was the irreducible mathematical antagonism that would lead us to the collapse. In the 20th century, particularly in the last 50 years of that century, other great works were published announcing the physical limits of nature, the economic growth and the exhaustion of models of social organization, culminating in the publication of the Club of Rome report and the First World Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm Conference), both in 1972.
THE EARTH CHARTER
THE LETTER PROPERLY SAID
We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.
EARTH, OUR HOME
Humanity is part of a vast evolving universe. Earth, our home, is alive with a unique community of life. The forces of nature make existence a demanding and uncertain adventure, but Earth has provided the conditions essential to life’s evolution. The resilience of the community of life and the well-being of humanity depend upon preserving a healthy biosphere with all its ecological systems, a rich variety of plants and animals, fertile soils, pure waters, and clean air. The global environment with its finite resources is a common concern of all peoples. The protection of Earth’s vitality, diversity, and beauty is a sacred trust.
THE GLOBAL SITUATION
The dominant patterns of production and consumption are causing environmental devastation, the depletion of resources, and a massive extinction of species. Communities are being undermined. The benefits of development are not shared equitably and the gap between rich and poor is widening. Injustice, poverty, ignorance, and violent conflict are widespread and the cause of great suffering. An unprecedented rise in human population has overburdened ecological and social systems. The foundations of global security are threatened. These trends are perilous—but not inevitable.
THE CHALLENGES AHEAD
The choice is ours: form a global partnership to care for Earth and one another or risk the destruction of ourselves and the diversity of life. Fundamental changes are needed in our values, institutions, and ways of living. We must realize that when basic needs have been met, human development is primarily about being more, not having more. We have the knowledge and technology to provide for all and to reduce our impacts on the environment. The emergence of a global civil society is creating new opportunities to build a democratic and humane world. Our environmental, economic, political, social, and spiritual challenges are interconnected, and together we can forge inclusive solutions.
LA TRAGEDIA AMBIENTAL DE AMÉRICA LATINA Y EL CARIBE
La situación ambiental de América Latina y el Caribe es cada día más inquietante. Esta es una región rica en recursos naturales y em biodiversidad pero que, pese a los esfuerzos de los Gobiernos nacionales, es testigo de cómo su deterioro avanza inexorablemente. Las políticas ambientales pueden ser políticas explícitas o implícitas; las primeras son aquellas que tienen objetivos ambientales declarados, en tanto que las segundas son las que tienen consecuencias ambientales no declaradas, generalmente negativas. Es evidente la ventaja con que operan las políticas implícitas, y contemplamos como las autoridades ambientales no siempre cuentan con las atribuciones necesarias para influir en los grandes proyectos de infraestructura, en las formas que adopta la modernización de la agricultura o en la orientación de las inversiones nacionales y extranjeras. Todo esfuerzo en favor de la sostenibilidad ambiental entra em conflicto con un estilo de desarrollo en que sigue primando la explotación de los recursos naturales con escasa agregación de valor…
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