Reblogged from INNGE's blog, originally posted on Wed, 10/30/2013 - 00:03
At INTECOL 2013, we learned about a set of 10 eco-commandments through Professor Bernd Markert, who is looking for broad feedback on them. We post them here with the purpose of getting your input and perhaps starting a discussion around these commandments. The eco-commandments were written back in the 1960s by the former head of the Science Resources Division of the OECD, Peter Menke-Glückert. Do they still have value or how would they need to be updated to be relevant for the 21st century? Give us your feedback in the comments field at the end of the post (if you do not see a comments field click through to the full post). The text has been converted to HTML; otherwise the text we received from Prof. Markert is posted verbatim below.
THE TEN ECO-COMMANDMENTS FOR EARTH CITIZENS
Former Head of the Science Resources Division (OECD) Paris, France
Augustastraße 51, 53173 Bonn, Germany, email@example.com
annotated by Bernd Markert (1), assisted by Stefan Fraenzle (2) and Maik Hosang (3)
(1) Environmental Institute of Scientific Networks, Fliederweg 17, 49733 Haren-Erika, Germany,markert@EISN.Institute.de
(2) International Graduate School at Technical University of Dresden, Markt 23, 02763 Zittau, Germany
(3) Institut für Integrierte Sozialökologie (IFIS), 02627 Pommritz, Germany
The WORKING PAPER "Eco-Commandments for Earth Citizens": First presented by Peter Menke-Glückert at UNESCO conference "Man and Biosphere" March 9, 1968, Paris
TEN ECOLOGICAL COMMANDMENTS REPRESENT A SUSTAINABLE DECALOGUE FOR EARTH CITIZENS BEARING BY BIRTH RESPONSIBILITY FOR SUSTAINING PLANET EARTH AND ITS EXUBERANT NATURE CREATIVE WISDOM
"Laudatu FRATE SOLE. E radiante cum Grande Splendore…" In MEMORY of Francis of Assissi's "Canticle of the SUN" considering "NATURE as THE MIRROR OF GOD" - understood as ultimate worldly WISDOM and all Earth Citizens' permanent lifelong guide and personal teacher… in world's creation responsibility...
The persons in charge of communicating the Commandments welcome practical ideas for the survival problems of mankind and nature. Thus making a contribution to additional annotations of the Ten Commandments and the goals as stated in the Preface.
The Ten Ecological Commandments for Earth Citizens were already formulated by Peter Menke-Glückert at OECD in Paris during 1966 to 1970. He first presented them at UNESCO conference "Man and Biosphere" in Paris on March 9, 1968.
The Ten Ecological Commandments represent a sustainable decalogue for Earth Citizens bearing responsibility by birth for sustaining planet earth and its exuberant nature creative wisdom.
They have been one of many inputs to the constitution of the Earth Charta related to Earth Citizens in 2000.
They have been translated into different languages such as Spanish, Portugese and French and are quoted in school books. In 2001, Kai F. Hünemörder quoted the Ten Ecological Commandments in his dissertation, Die Frühgeschichte der globalen Umweltkrise und die Formierung der deutschen Umweltpolitik (1950-1973), p. 413-415.
The third annotated version of the Ten Eco-Commandments has been presented during the 11th Congress of the International Association for Ecology (INTECOL) and the British Ecological Society (BES) following the thematic umbrella "Into the next 100 years…" at the ExCel Centre, London, August 2013.
The Ecological Commandments are an important catalyst for permanent activities to solving global ecological problems. To reach the goals of the Ten Commandments world wide distribution and endorsement are necessary.
In the future:
The international and global information transfer of the Ten Ecological Commandments must be spread by using all media: by newspapers, journals, (text) books, radio, TV, and especially by electronic media, available today.
For understanding and accepting the Ten Ecological Commandments by all Earth Citizens of different cultures more translations into different languages of the world are compelling.
All Earth Citizens are striving for survival in a livable planet. All partners are invited to accept the responsibility in accordance with the goals of the Ten Ecological Commandments. The human dignity of all Earth Citizens has been already protected by the United Nations since 2006 in the UNResolution 1674 R2P:Responsibility to Protect World Peace and nature as survival insurance for mankind (as R2P-summary of UN-World Summit 2005).
Prof. Dr. Bernd Markert, PD Dr. Stefan Fraenzle and PD Dr. Maik Hosang endorse Peter Menke-Glückert´s Ten Eco-Commandments and are looking forward to receiving practical ideas for further annotations to make our planet a more livable and with enough resources for all mankind.
RESPECT THE LAWS OF NATURE! REALIZE: THERE ARE CLEAR LIMITS FOR THE CITIZENS OF SPACESHIP EARTH SET BY NATURE AND ENFORCED BY NATURE! YOU NEED NATURE AND NATURE NEEDS YOU! LAWS OF NATURE SHOULD BE FIRM INDISPUTABLE GOALS IN POLICY MANAGEMENT, GIVING LONG TERM ENVIRONMENTAL KEY DATA FOR WORLD POLITICS!
Have respect and respond in humility to the 4.3 billion years old cycles of the universe which up to now guarantees the survival of the biological species HOMO SAPIENS alone by interdependence highest (bio)diversity of billions of eco and cultural different integrated systems. All these fragile systems are threatened to-day by massive over-exploitation of resources and energy in an over-consumption pattern of carelessness, thoughtlessness, ruthlessness. Therefore, adapt yourself to nature's cycles. Without you nature works with great efficiency day by day for you! Without charging you a bill. But with tremendous economic and survivability surplus.
LEARN AS RESPONSIBLE EARTH CITIZEN FROM THE WISDOM OF NATURE! REMEMBER: THE WHOLE IS MORE THAN ITS PARTS! SCIENCE MUST AIM AT THE WHOLE – REGARDING DETAILS AS INTEGRAL INGREDIENTS OF SYSTEM EARTH… NATURE WHOLENESS IS GLOBAL SYSTEM-RETINITY!
It is your duty to inform yourself about the rules of ecosystems on earth so that you can act with wisdom, foresight and circum-spection. Do not curtail ecosystems in their parts without considering what happens to the whole. The whole must be background of all nature learning activities - establishing day-to-day EARTH-CITIZENSHIP with all its obligations!
DO NOT REDUCE PLURALITY, RICHNESS, AND ABUNDANCE OF LIVING SPECIES! DO NOT INDUSTRIALIZE NATURE! DO NOT STREAMLINE NATURE! DIVERSITY OF SPECIES IS THE MOST PRECIOUS NATURAL HERITAGE OF MANKIND
Every year ten thousands of species disappear because of industrialization, over fertilization, toxic pollution, careless handling of nature's resources such as the cutting of tropical forests and the sealing-off of larger and larger parts of nature by building roads, industries, cities. Thus the information content of the biosphere, its survivability diminishes. Every blade of grass, every butterfly, every wild creek or hedge is an important part of the global ecosystem and therefore condition for its survival and our survival as human species. The abundance of natural species is a cultural treasure of mankind which by all means must be protected and preserved. International law must be supplemented accordingly. International agreements related to the Third Commandment have been already fixed nowadays, but their implementation or continuing existence will be in parts dramatically blocked by strong forces of the international political scene.
DO NOT POLLUTE!
Avoid pollution of water, air, soil by not overusing your car, by not asking for unnecessary packaging material, by not wasting water or energy. Because of the enormous pollution-load there must be personal zero-level-pollution saving resources and energy - wherever zero-alternatives such as walking, bicycling, using renewable resources and renewable energies are possible alternatives. The late Danish ambassador Isaak Seidenfaden to OECD phrased already this commandment as Number ONE for all economic activities in 1967. Do not ask for state action - you are responsible for the state of nature as an earth citizen! In OECD language it is coined as PPP - POLLUTER-PAYS-PRINCIPLE.
FACE EARTH-RESPONSIBILITY EVERY DAY FOR OUR CHILDREN AND OUR CHILDREN'S' CHILDREN SO THAT THEY MAY LIVE ON AN UNSPOILT LIVABLE PEACEFUL EARTH AS EARTH CITIZEN WITH FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND ETHICAL EARTH SURVIVABILITY RESPONSIBILITIES!
Try to leave this small planet earth as a more beautiful place, more livable in, more enjoyable, with enough resources for all mankind. Responsibility for planet earth infers global responsibility taking into consideration causes of nature destruction and economic and social underdevelopment of two thirds of mankind. Find ways and means of achieving global responsibility to fight world poverty by local and United Nations actions. Earth policy/responsibility for Earth Citizenship and local policy depend upon each other. Think globally as an Earth Citizen and act regionally as a national citizen to follow this Fifth Commandment as proud democratic citizen in your local community and as an Earth Citizen by birth belonging to the huge realm of billions of biological species. Legally everyone is entitled to national citizenship, but by world-ethical standards entitled to Earth Citizenship with rights and obligations according to the Ten Eco-Commandments – being in dual duty as national and as Earth Citizen!
FOLLOW THE PRINCIPLE OF NATURE PRECAUTION / SUSTAINABILITY IN ALL ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES!
Do not take more resources out of nature's richness and ecosystems as can be restored and renewed by careful long-term resources planning! Give everything back to nature in substance so that resource losses or damage can be reconstructed to soil, plants, functioning ecosystems. Start with re-thinking all your activities, for instance by composting all green waste in your garden or your neighborhood. Burning of waste means destruction of matter and off-heat-pollution. Do not allow that our earth looses its soil and green renewability! Save natural resources and energy! Take precaution!
ACT AS YOU SPEAK! EVERY DAY IT IS YOUR VERY OWN PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AS EARTH CITZEN TO EASE ENVIRONMENTAL BURDENS AND NATURE-HARDSHIPS!
Do not lie to yourself by making a distinction between the principal acknowledgement of the environmental cause and your own little sins, which are unimportant in comparison with the big sins of others, such as those in the case of industry. Many, many little steps have tremendous end effects. Start in your own household and community neighborhood!
PREFER INTELLIGENT BIO-ECONOMIC SOLUTIONS, SMART GRIDS LEARNING FROM NATURE WISDOM COLLECTED BY BIONIC RESEARCH. PREFER NATURE-INTELLIGENT SOLUTIONS WITH SMART GRIDS SAVING NATURE RESOURCES TO TRADITIONAL THOUGHTLESS WASTE TECHNOLOGIES AND INDUSTRIALIZED SOLUTIONS STIMULATING OVERCONSUMPTION. LIFE STYLE PATTERNS NEGLECTING IMPACT ON WORLD CLIMATE. ECONOMIC GROWTH IN THE 7th KONDRATEFFCLE MEANS QUALITATIVE ECONOMIC GROWTH IN COEVOLUTION WITH NATURE.
Avoidance of Survivability / Sustainability crises of political systems in the future depends on the respect for other cultural and social traditions and identities than your own. Survivability of future political systems and the success of environmental politics depend on many, many steps, problems solutions which are integrated in existing regional cultures, traditions, life styles. Remember: CLEVER/INTELLIGENT HANDLING IS BEAUTIFUL, comprehensible, enjoyable, motivating. Stay down to earth with all your senses!
INFORMATION ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE BELONGS TO MANKIND – NOT TO PRIVILEGED BIG BUSINESS! NOT TO ANYONE ALONE! AVOID INFORMATION POLLUTION! GENERATE SURVIVABILITY INFOR-MATION TO LASTING KNOWLEDGE AND DAILY ROUTINE! DO NOT MANIPULATE INFORMATION BECAUSE OF COMMON PRACTICE AND BECAUSE OF POSSIBLE LOSS OF PRESTIGE OR CAREER POSITION OR ECONOMIC LOSSES!
To protect nature, to overcome environmental damage needs courage to tell the truth about effects of certain industrial practices, about consequences of certain political actions and affluent energy-wasting life styles - even if it hurts common beliefs, traditional views and interests. One of the great sins of our Media- and Public-Relations-Culture, is manipulation of information. Therefore resist this distortion of information! Earth Citizens have a fundamental right of access to precise environmental information! Included in the United Nations Charter of Human Rights belongs Freedom of Access to environmental information including environmental assessment of technology innovations and its health results. Industry Advertising in green marketing is not sufficient! The coming knowledge and computer society needs a new Codex of Information-Handling-Ethics, needs a world campaign against “information pollution”, one of the biggest and most dangerous environmental sins, confusing fair, precise, understandable and honest communication.
LISTEN CAREFULLY WHAT YOUR OWN BODY TELLS YOU ABOUT IMPACT OF YOUR VERY PERSONAL SOCIAL AND NATURAL ENVIRONMENT UPON YOUR WELLBEING! DON'T LOOSE DAILY CONTACT WITH YOUR VERY OWN "EARLY BODY WARNING SYSTEM"! ALWAYS REMEMBER YOU CAN NEVER STEP OUT OF NATURE'S CYCLES, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE PART OF NATURE WITH YOUR OWN BODY!
Environmental awareness and sensibility start with many signals from your own body which link you with larger ecosystems of our earth, and it is your body early warning system to assess environmental damage first and foremost. Man and nature are of the same origin: We all living on planet earth must obey the same billion-old laws of nature! Body language is much older and more precious than computer language, technical jargon, media slogans!
Nature teaches you lessons every day! Your own body is your well-minded NATURE INTERPRETER and personal health exercise teacher! Body Pain is an important warning signal to change your life style! HOMO SAPIENS BODY AND SOUL contains survivability programmes of archaic times thousands of years ago, but still functioning in times of hectic stress, breakdowns, health challenges. Learn by training exercises to follow this survivability body language using properly natural muscle motion and breathing techniques! An example how to do it gives Chinese medicine and body culture.
Annotation to Commandment 9
DISCUSS WITH YOUR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS ABOUT THE ECOLOGICAL SITUATION OF OUR PLANET EARTH AND ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL FEELINGS AND IDEAS, INTENTIONS AND PRACTICES TO LIFE AND WORK IN AN ECOLOGICAL SENSE. TAKE ACTIVE PART OF INFORMATION TRANSFER IN SOCIAL, SCIENTIFIC AND OTHER NETWORKS WHICH ADVANCE THE ECOLOGICAL SITUATION OF OUR PLANET EARTH.
Annotation to Commandment 10
BE PART OF AN ETHICAL CONSENSUS PAVED BY 3 ASSUMPTIONS: 1. TRUST IS BETTER THAN NEGOTIATING TREATIES, 2. DIVERSITY IS A CONDITION FOR STABILITY, AND 3. THE WEAKER DESERVE AND CAN RELY UPON SOLIDARITY. THE END OF ALL IS A SMART METHOD OF CONFLICT MANAGEMENT WHICH PROVIDES INTEGRATIVE SOLUTIONS OF PROBLEMS. AVAILABLE TOOLS INCLUDE REGIONS CONCERNED WITH EDUCATION (TO LEARN HOW TO LEARN), THINK TANKS (TO DEFINE INTEGRATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR PROBLEMS) AND TURBO-DEMOCRACY (TO GET FASTER RESULTS). PERFORMANCEDEFINED AS PERSONAL CAPABILITY OF AN INDIVIDUAL TO UNDERGO AND CAUSE CHANGES DOES REQUIRE EDUCATION TO BE ABLE TO COPE WITH THE GLOBAL CHALLENGES FACING MANKIND.
[FOURTH ANNOTATED EC VERSION OF 1st of September 2013]