We have an appointment with the future!

Keen eyes looking to the future © Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park (BO)

Published on:

Article issued by Ignace  Schops, EUROPARC President

“Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark”.

Flattened Earth, by Frits Ahlefeldt, https://hikingartist.com/

This quote of Rabindranath Tagore expresses so beautifully and deeply what the Club of Rome stated in the book “Limits to growth”, back in 1972. The Club of Rome knew we were trespassing the limits. And we still are!

Report after report we witness the collapse of our planet. And although the world is achieving good results in certain domains like poverty and education, we are destroying what keeps us alive. Strangely, there is a kind of inaction to prevent mass species extinction and climate breakdown.

Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970.

The new Living Planet Report 2018 of WWF is very clear. All indicators show a colossal loss, leading the world’s foremost experts to warn that the destruction of wildlife is now an emergency that threatens civilization. Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International, says: ”we can no longer ignore the impact of current unsustainable production models and wasteful lifestyles.

Rightly so! We urgently need to shift from a linear economy towards a circular economy! It is like Thomas Rau points out.

  • Products are designed to fail (new = almost broken);
  • designed for the bin (new = waste);
  • designed to be outdated (new today, history tomorrow)
  • and designed to be out-fashioned (new = no need, but a desire).

We urgently need a radical shift towards circularity where:

  • our products are designed to perform (new = almost never broken);
  • designed to be circular (waste = food);
  • designed to be outstanding (new today = stable tomorrow)
  • and designed to sustain (new = a desirable need).

The (fundamental) keyword

In times of mass species decline, we have to stay focused and try to see the bird behind the elephant. The good news is that nature conservation and rewilding efforts can work! Wolves and lynxes in protected areas in Europe, Pandas in protected areas in China, and tigers in protected areas in India. The keyword is “protected area”.

In protected areas, species and habitats survive or suffer less. Aware of these facts, the EUROPARC Federation has developed tools where people can live in harmony wildlife. The world needs to know what the environmental movement is capable of! Evidence-based!

There is nothing as practical than good theory. In 2020 the UN Convention on Biological Diversity will have an appointment with the future! New objectives and enforceable commitments for protection of nature will be designed. Give the floor to the great Edward O. Wilson with his important message to protect half earth for wildlife to protect ourselves!

… and hopefully, our song will be heard this time!

Click on the image to download the full report

The Living Planet Report documents the state of the planet—including biodiversity, ecosystems, and demand on natural resources—and what it means for humans and wildlife. Published by WWF every two years, the report brings together a variety of research to provide a comprehensive view of the health of the Earth.