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Interactive Dialogue of the General Assembly on Harmony With Nature

27 Apr 2015
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Trusteeship Council, UN Secretariat Building, New York

Towards achieving sustainable development goals including addressing climate change in the post-2015 Development Agenda.

This Dialogue further offers an alternative to current anthropocentric thinking and practice which assumes the relationship among the economic, social and environmental well-being is a trade-off relationship – that one can have more of one only by sacrificing some of the others. The prevalent anthropocentric global economic and social system has led to the degradation of many ecosystems due to soil erosion, desertification, climate change, loss of biodiversity, and ocean acidification, among others. The global system is further characterized by serious distributive injustices, with many of the impacts hitting the most vulnerable populations the hardest.

The time has come to realize that the damaged inflicted by unsustainable economic activity as well as by violence and conflict on our fellow humans including poverty and other deep social inequalities, and to the Earth are inextricably linked and cannot be overcome independently of each other.

It is therefore essential to go beyond the anthropocentric vision that has led us to live in a state of crisis in all the three dimensions of sustainable development environmental, social and economic. It is necessary to start thinking and designing a world where human and natural interests are balanced by greater respect for the Earth. In this regard, one of the initial tasks must lie in the decommodification of Nature. Economic objectives must take into account ecosystems needs without overlooking the respect for human dignity through actions that sustainably ensure well-being in people’s lives.

As Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”. In the post-2015 era, a worldview rooted in ethical behavior towards Mother Earth and our fellow humans must become an integral and indispensable element of our quest to achieve sustainable development.