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Interactive Dialogue of the General Assembly on Harmony With Nature

18 Apr 2012
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Conference Room 2, North Lawn Building, New York

Scientific findings on the impacts of human activities on the functioning of the Earth System

To commemorate International Mother Earth Day, the UN General Assembly hosted an interactive dialogue on harmony with nature.

The dialogue aimed to examine how human activity has damaged the Earth System, especially by focusing on those areas where such damage has already affected the regenerative capacity of the planet.

The intention of the dialogue was to promote an exchange of ideas and experiences from multiple perspectives, with particular attention to the contribution of science and economics. The dialogue yielded the following outcomes:

-A precise and accurate diagnosis of the negative impacts of human activity on the Earth System, in particular its regenerative capacity; and,

-Institutional responses to catalyze science for sustainable development.

The dialogue consisted of one moderated panel discussion with experts in science and economics. The panel addressed a wide array of perspectives on scientific findings on the impacts of human activities on the functioning of the Earth System.

Science and Economics have already indicated that our current path is unsustainable. If we are to enhance humankind and nature well-being, further global justice, strengthen gender equality and preserve the Earth System, we must keep the Earth in full view when making decisions and taking actions. We need to adopt a new paradigm. We need a major shift from a Self-centered to an Earth-centered approach. The interactive dialogue can contribute to a better understanding of the holistic construct that must lie at the core of sustainable development.

The interactive dialogue was held to inform the preparations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, that took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 20-22 June 2012 (Rio+20).