Here some informations about the links between ecological and economical sustainability (with some side notes on vegetarianism and organic food):
Most indicators of the state of biodiversity show declines, indicators of pressures on biodiversity show increases, and despite some local successes and responses, the rate of biodiversity loss does not appear to be slowing. Other assessments of ecological decline are equally disturbing. The direct drivers of biodiversity loss include habitat loss and degradation, climate change, pollution, over-exploitation and the spread of invasive species.
This comes directly from a new United Nations study on the links between economy, ecosystem and biodiversity. The report can be downloaded on this page. The UK Guardian also has a nice article on it.
That sounds really bad – and actually in many ways it is – we are crawling out from a dark cave where we locked our communal minds into thinking that exploitation without limits is the way to go. Thankfully, many like us (I hope so ) are slowly waking up from that nightmare that would not hold a future for us or most creatures on this planet. The report finds some positive signs as well:
Global sales of organic food and drink amounted to US$ 46 billion in 2007, a threefold increase since 1999. (page 2) (source: http://www.teebweb.org/)
Remember what I told you when we went shopping during the seminar? Try to buy as much organic food as possible (and try to eat only as much meat as needed – you may be surprised how little that is). More on this at http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/70/3/516S and on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetarian_nutrition.
The business case for biodiversity and ecosystems is getting stronger. This report argues that companies that understand and manage the risks presented by biodiversity loss and ecosystem decline, that establish operational models that are flexible and resilient to these pressures, and that move quickly to seize business opportunities, are more likely to thrive. Just as climate change has stimulated carbon markets and new business models, biodiversity and ecosystem services also offer opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs. However, there is a need to agree priorities and adopt an agenda for action – by business leaders, accountancy bodies, governments and other stakeholders – otherwise significant change is unlikely. (page 13) (source: http://www.teebweb.org/)
Thankfully, Service Civil International already is very active when it comes to sustainability! We have a Gaia group that published a 5 page list of ressources to use for informations and talking about environmental issues with others: gaia_sustainability_tool_box
You can find nice tips on how to be more environmental friendly on the following page http://www.myfootprint.org/en/take_action/reduce_your_footprint/
So, this was it for now – enjoy the hot weather brought by human induced global warming…