Earth Condominium Conference Invitation
Educating for the Common Heritage
Our Earth System as a Global Commons Cared for by All People:
Laws, Metrics, Plan, and Actions
November 1 – 3, 2013
Currently humanity is living well beyond the carrying capacity of the earth and we are beginning to exceed a number of planetary boundaries. Quercus, the Serralves Foundation, and Commons Action for the UN are organizing a conference from November 1 – 3, 2013 in Portugal focusing on how we can enable all people to contribute to and benefit from reversing climate change, end degradation of the natural environment, and restore the natural capital of the earth. We would like to invite you to join us at the conference.
One of the main goals of the Educating for the Common Heritage conference is to develop a strategy for how we can get the United Nations and its Member States to adopt a Protocol to respect planetary boundaries and equitably share the natural resources of the earth.
The UN has repeatedly failed to ensure that all people’s basic human rights and needs can be met and that our shared natural or commons resources can be restored, protected and equitably shared. We have a huge opportunity now though, through the UN’s Post 2015 and Sustainable Development Goals processes, to turn this around and achieve these goals.
Indeed, we are calling on the UN to develop and adopt an agreement focusing on the fair use of and access to natural resources and the natural environment. This can be achieved through recognizing them as a new Global Commons – the Earth system as a Natural Heritage that rightfully belongs to and ought to be protected and equitably shared by all of humanity.
We believe that this can best be achieved through calculating the global footprint (or amount of and impact upon the earth’s resource) that each community and country produces and then determining what the EcoBalance is between our impact and the ability of the earth to sustain and restore itself. Any state or community that uses more than their fair share of the earth’s resources would then be required to compensate those that do not for their overuse.
This will also provide a means by which we can integrate the use of and achieve an equitable balance of consumption of natural resources between and among the local, national and global levels.
During the conference we will explore how such a global protocol could be developed, promoted, supported and implemented. We will also tell you about the five cities in Portugal that are already using these methods to develop a demonstration project measuring their planetary impact. As similar such projects are also developed in other regions around the world the protocol will gradually be developed and put in place.
We will also develop and outline next steps and how they can be implemented so that all are empowered to contribute what they do best. We want and need your ideas for how we can develop an effective advocacy campaign and put a new system for protecting and restoring commons resources in place. Help us discover how the resources you care about can be protected and ensure that those that use more will compensate those that do not have or use as much.
A few of the key conference speakers includes: Kul Gautam, former Assistant Secretary General of the UN and Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF (www.kulgautam.org); Alessandro Galli, Director of Mediterranean Programme, Global Footprint Network; Will Steffen, University of Camberra/ Stockholm Resilience Centre; Catherine Pearce, Director of the Future Justice Program, World Future Council; and Polly Higgins, International Barrister, Author and Founder, the Eradicating Ecocide Global Initiative. The speakers will talk about the Earth Condominium initiative, Environmental Education, and what we need to do to live within the carrying capacity of the earth. The Conference Program is attached.
Our partner organizations will benefit from participating in this project and conference in that the Earth Condominium protocol will give the UN teeth and a realistic proposal for actual means of implementation. In addition you can help us develop a program that overlaps with the goals of your own organization in regards to stewarding the Earth’s ecosystems.
There is a very modest fee of 10 Euros to attend the conference, which will be held at the Serralves Foundation in Porto, Portugal, and accommodations are available at reasonable prices. All are welcome who are concerned with revitalizing Earth’s Systems, regardless of of your level of expertise.
Contact person for thematic questions:
Paulo Magalhães – EC project
phone number: +351 93 9575888
Contact person for logistics and travel arrangements:
Carla Almeida – Serralves Foundation
Educating for a Common Heritage Conference