about this blog



I started this blog in 2008. It started mainly as a way of tracking the evolution of my dry garden, and that led to an interest in photography and in the creatures that live in the garden. It's still about the garden and wildlife, but now my passion is thinking about how we humans can learn to co-exist with wild animals and plants, especially in urban areas.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

some big ideas for helping the environment


Tomorrow is the start of the Rio Earth Summit 2012.  Here are some ideas to help us imagine what an environmentally caring world might look like ...

1. The Rights of Nature


We are all part of Mother Earth, an indivisible, living community of interrelated and interdependent beings with a common destiny ...
                                                - Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth


We know about human rights, childrens rights, animal rights. The idea of Rights of Nature extends the idea further. The initial idea came from indigenous groups, who have probably suffered the most from degradation of land and loss of biodiversity. So far only Bolivia and Ecuador have formally enshrined nature rights in their constitutions.

A Better Use,  Gianfranco Uber,  Italy, March 2012

2. An Ombudsperson for Future Generations

The trouble with democratically elected politicians is short-term thinking and planning, based on their desire to win the next election. A new independent office in the UN has been proposed, to consider the long term impact of decisions on future generations. A similar office already exists in Hungary.

Thinking of Alternatives,  Vladimir Kazanevsky,  Ukraine, September 2011

3. Food Sovereignty

Food security is about the amount of food produced. Food sovereignty is about  how it's produced and who controls it.  Food sovereignty is about the rights of people to control their own food, agriculture, livestock and fisheries systems, instead of being dependent on market forces that they can't control. It therefore stands in opposition to the powerful interests of agribusiness - which means a tough struggle ahead!

Food Prices,  Alfredo Martirena, Cuba, March 2012

4. Eradicating Ecocide

'Ecocide is the extensive damage to, destruction of, or loss of ecosystems of a given territory, whether by human agency or other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished.' Examples of ecocide are Tar Sands extraction and Amazonian deforestation.

A current initiative is calling for Ecocide to be added as a fifth Crime Against Peace, alongside Crimes Against Humanity, War Crimes, Crimes of Aggression and Genocide. The hope is that the legislation would deter people from engaging in such environmentally destructive activities because of the undesirable personal consequences to them.

Unsustainable,  Arcadio Esquivel, Costa Rica, January 2012

Source of information: New Internationalist, June 2012.

22 comments:

  1. Food sovereignty is the bit that hits home for me. Raj Patel writes about peasant farmers, driven off their land, to the cities, where they battle to survive.

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    1. Hi Diana, monoculture, big agribusiness have led to the demise of the traditional environmentally healthy small mixed farms. I haven't read Raj Patel - I'll check him out. Have you read Vandana Shiva? She's inspirational.

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  2. This is marvelous, Catmint. It's long overdue, the concept of 'The Rights of Nature', for really, you are speaking of a worldwide, holistic view here, not just an isolated or individual concern. It is absolutely undeniable, to me, that everything in this world is interconnected.

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    1. thanks for the comment Faisal - this model makes sense spiritually as well as ecologically. The problem is political, it's undeniable to me too, so why can't everyone else see it?????????

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  3. I SO agree. I've borrowed the quote from point one and added your blog to my roll.

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    1. the quote looks great on your blog Susan - thanks for including my blog on your roll. I'm chuffed.

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  4. I do like the idea of Ecocide, pity we dont have that, I can think of several occassions when it could have been applied. Oil spills, whale killing, more oil spills etc.
    An interesting post! BTW hope you are feeling well now.

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    1. it's a great idea, isn't it, I think it will happen eventually - but the situation is urgent ... thanks for asking about my health Serena, I'm getting better, more energy, thank goodness.

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  5. You have certainly opened a can of worms Catmint !! The first example that came to mind is that people in Kenya are growing flowers for our cut flower trade instead of growing healthy food for themselves. Others are growing strawberries so that our supermarkets can sell them all year round, how essential is that! I think the point is that everyone should be shown how to grow healthy life giving food for themselves and not have to grow luxuries for the rest of us.

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    1. Hi Pauline, I laughed at the opening sentence of this comment. I wish I had opened a can or worms - to improve the soil of the whole world! You give a good example, I also think of farmers who can't afford to grow food and grow opium instead.

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  6. Great post, i wish the people really rally for these causes. Every rainy season our country is not spared of so many disasters. This generation is already reaping the malpractices and irresponsibilities of the past, we have landslides, floods, and floods in the cities brought consequences like dengue, leptospirosis, typhoid, etc. OMG, our world is changing drastically now. Personally, i've planted already some trees in our property, and we stopped cultivation since father died, i hope that helps, in my own very little corner!

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    1. Hi Andrea, I look forward to visiting your new blog. Good on you for planting trees on your property, that's one concrete thing we can do to make a difference, even if it is a tiny difference in relation to the whole world. So many countries are suffering terrible consequences of climate change, yet still lots of people including politicians insist that it's got nothing to do with human actions, ignoring science. cheers, catmint

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  7. Thanks for such good reminders..., about how to fit in within sustainability. The very least is to grow a few plants around the house.

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    1. Hi B and K, I read recently that having plants in and around the house cleans the air inside the house. We all do what we can.

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  8. Very thought provoking catmint. I have just taken a little time having a look around your other pages. Very well done and makes it all more of a website other than just being a blog.

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    1. thank you so much Alastair, I take that as a compliment. I never planned what the blog would become, it just evolves into whatever I am currently thinking about.

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  9. One thing leads to another. I think it is difficult to resolve environmental issues as the instinct to survive comes first...

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    1. Hi Steph, interesting, wise comment. For people who have lost their jobs and very insecure, I guess they can't deal with big issues like this.

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  10. Excellent post. Highly motivational post I can say that. Now a days global warming is too dangerous for Human. So this is the right time we all have to wake up for our environment to protect our environment. To protect our Environment Planting of trees are best Option. Try to Grow as many tree as you can.

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    1. Hi Mark, thank you for your visit and thoughtful comment. cheers, catmint

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  11. Really nice post here. Very different and a good look on the things going on around the world. I didn't know much of this so I learned quite a few things especially the idea of Ecocide. I have always wondered if people acknowledged that these kinds of things were going on and that it would have a negative impact on the environent. AKA harvesting Mahogany wood from the Amazon purchased by my own government. A lot of this stuff is pretty sad. It's nice to know that people are forming ways to prevent this kind of abuse from going on...

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  12. thanks for your comment Chris. I could have been all cynical and despairing (which is all too easy to be) but I tried to put down some positive ideas in the post. cheers, catmint

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