More than 500 organizations from over 50 countries around the world have launched an Earth Day call for a new start in the name of environmental sustainability and social justice. The lockdown due to the coronavirus epidemic, the activists ask, must be understood as an opportunity to reflect on the state of degradation in which the Planet is in because of an economic system based on the indiscriminate exploitation of the Earth's resources. The current pandemic must lead us to reflect on the mistakes and risks we are making as we continue the race towards deforestation and the loss of biodiversity. A request signed by international personalities such as Vandana Shiva, president of Navdanya International, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Maude Barlow, president of the Council of Canadians, and Italians such as Maria Grazia Mammuccini, president of Federbio, Patrizia Gentilini of Isde-Medici for the environment, Carlo Triarico, president of Biodynamics.
The petitioners emphasize, in particular, the negative role of industrial agricultural production on the environment, which has triggered a race to hoard new land for plantations and livestock farming, creating the ideal conditions for the spread of new epidemics.
Highly chemical-input monocultures and intensive farming contribute to the health crisis and weaken our immune systems, making us even more vulnerable to new diseases: "By invading forest ecosystems, destroying the habitats of wild species and manipulating plants and animals for profit, we create the conditions for new epidemics. Up to 300 new pathogens have emerged in the last 50 years. It is well documented that about 70 percent of human pathogens, including Hiv, Ebola, Influenza, Mers and Sars, emerged when forest ecosystems were invaded and viruses passed from animals to humans (species jump). When animals are forced to live on industrial farms to maximize profits, new diseases such as swine flu and avian flu are born and spread".
The alternative to this system is not science fiction but is already within the reach of our societies, as demonstrated by the many "bottom up" experiences spread all over the world. Renewable energy sources, agro-ecology, km0 local production, circular economy are some of the elements already tested in the field that are likely to guarantee food sovereignty, resilience to climate change and sustainability in the near future. In order to facilitate this transition phase, the signatories of the appeal conclude, it will be necessary first of all the political will and then to stop flooding unsustainable sectors with rain subsidies and instead favour ecological companies.
"In adhering to this declaration we commit ourselves, as a planetary coalition, to urge and exhort the authorities and government representatives of each of our countries, cities and communities to move from the paradigm of ecocide, which governs our productivity models today, to a paradigm in which ecological responsibility and economic justice are the foundation for the creation of a healthy and prosperous future for humanity.
We ask for the support of those communities, territories and nations that place ecology at the center of a paradigm of care economics. Let us commit ourselves to making peace with the Earth and all its species, co-creating with it on the basis of its laws of life. It is our moral imperative to seize this moment to make that essential leap that will lead us to healing and reconciliation with the Earth - the best legacy we can leave to future generations." (source: lifegate.it)
We all are called to do our part in this ecologic transition: as consumers we have the power to choose our shopping, thus orienting the production and politics. We can choose renewable energy, km0 organic local food, reduce meat and go vegan, walk more, use public transport and bicycles whenever possible, go plastic free using natural reusable products.
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