To my extended family
The Action Plan of the Environment Initiative of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD, June 2003) reflects a universal uncertainty, “Throughout Africa, poverty remains the main cause and consequence of environmental degradation and resource depletion...”
Which is it? Cause or consequence? I join others, confident that poverty is ultimately a consequence of environmental degradation and resource depletion caused by our own poor stewardship of the planet.
That there is a massive imbalance in the exploitation and consumption of resources, permitting some societies to enjoy unprecedented wealth at the expense of the majority, does not affect the survival challenge of our times - we have to learn to live within our planet’s means or face bloody conflicts to the end.
This probably means abandoning key modern virtues like “greed is good, it’s all about me and I want it now” and adopting better communal rules that place our needs within the environment's capacity to supply them. Are the people with the longest history of sustainable management of the environment ready to help the world find a better way, or will Africans simply follow the standard development path to depletion blazed by rich nations.
We appear to be losing 4 tonnes of soil/ human/ year so my long-term vision begins with Allan Savory's call for a BROWN REVOLUTION to prepare the ground for a GREEN REVOLUTION necessary to feed 9 billion of us by 2050!
Happy 2011 to you all, we’re virtually with you every day!