Harmony with Nature – living a better quality of life while minimizing the use of toxic materials and preserving natural resources – was the focus of the International Mother Earth Day celebration Monday at the United Nations.
“Mother Earth is suffering – and it is our doing,” Miroslav Lajčák, President of the General Assembly, told the Eighth Interactive Dialogue on Harmony with Nature. Climate change, pollution and a loss of biodiversity “take a toll on human life and health,” he said. “But they affect, first and foremost, the Earth.”
The sustainable development that is sought by the world community relies upon the three overarching objectives of devising supportable patterns of consumption and production, protecting and managing natural resources and eradicating poverty.
Mr. Lajčák said that the 2018 theme of the annual Mother Earth Day, “Earth Jurisprudence in the implementation of sustainable production and consumption patterns in Harmony with Nature” was timely, since progress toward Sustainable Development Goal 12 – which calls for responsible production and consumption patterns globally – will be reviewed during a High-Level Political Forum in July.
Earth Jurisprudence is an emerging field of law that seeks to give greater consideration to nature, promoting sustainable production and consumption patterns.
Pointing to droughts and floods, poverty and excess, rising sea levels and dwindling fresh water, the General Assembly President, who is from Slovakia, stressed that humanity has not yet struck a harmonious balance.
“Our Earth is home to these extremes,” he said. “It will only get worse if we do not change the way we produce and consume goods – especially as our population grows.”
“And if our population grows as predicted, by 2050 we will need about three planets to sustain our current lifestyles. But we only have one,” stressed Mr. Lajčák. “And this is why we really need to take care of it. We have neither a Plan B nor a Planet B.”
“To achieve our Sustainable Development Goals, we have to change our bad habits,” he maintained, urging everyone to take action and redouble their efforts for Mother Earth.
“Living in harmony with nature is not just beneficial. It is necessary,” Mr. Lajčák concluded.