Earth a Chance
Environment Day is an occasion to pause and reflect on the state
of the environment. This year’s theme, “ Give Earth a
Chance”, urges us to look at our daily impact on the planet
and its peoples, and to take action to improve our environmental
have been taking huge steps forward to “globalize”.
Globalization has opened up the world, and benefited the world,
or at least one half of the world. The other half still live on
less than two dollars a day, and will probably never enjoy a
glass of clean water. We have to find a way to make
globalization work for everyone, and not just a few. On this planet we call Earth, someone living in an industrialized country probably
consumes twice as much grain, three times as much meat, and
eleven times as much gasoline as a person living in a developing
need to stop and ask ourselves: WHY? Globalization is part of
the answer. For many the “culture” of globalization revolves
around the belief, that economic growth and natural resources
are limitless. It also believes that science and technology, can
fix all problems, including those related to the environment.
Little thought is given as to when the problems will be fixed,
or the cost of fixing them. And what will be the costs of not
fixing the problems?
has been divorced from its human and cultural context. It is
growth without a soul. Such values are unsustainable. The poor
will get poorer, and the earth will get poorer too. Neither will
have a real chance or hope for improvement. A different approach
is required. The
globalization process must also focus on human, cultural, and
spiritual dimensions, and on the interdependence of humankind,
and its diversity. We have to redevelop an ecological, holistic
world view, and connect, once again, with the rest of nature.
often look to the future for solutions. However, I think that
now, there is a need to search our past, and learn from our
Mountains have, since time began, inspired mankind, and nurtured
solid cultural and spiritual values. Values, which should be
fostered for the good of all, and the preservation of
biodiversity. On World Environment Day in 2002, the
International Year of the Mountains, I urge you to take action
to safeguard our mountains.
conservation is often found in ancient cultures around the
world. Many indigenous peoples’ value and belief systems have
evolved to respect nature, and live in harmony with it. Land and
people are one. Earth, as a spiritual mother, provides life and
sustenance, as well as cultural and spiritual identity.
urgently need environmental ethics for the twenty-first century,
based on equity, fairness and respect for nature. These values
can be drawn from ancient cultures, indigenous beliefs and all
world religions. In
2002, the International Year of Eco-tourism, the tourist
industry and all stakeholders will be working to balance the
demands of the tourists, and seek to care for the environment.
For some communities and regions, sustainable tourism can be a
first step towards sustainable development.
On this World Environment Day let us all begin to act for the environment
and work together to give the Earth a chance. An unpolluted pristine environment is vital to our survival, a
precious resource, which will only endure if we Give Earth a Chance.
NOTE: The year 2002 marks the 30th Anniversary of UNEP and is also being celebrated as the International Year of Mountains and the International Year of Ecotourism.
For more information please contact the Georgian Environment & Health Network Team at:
Khvichia Street, Tbilisi, Georgia
(995 32) 37 92 70 or
Georgian World Environment Day Annual Lecture: Press Release