M. Sanjayan, "Saving Earth in the Age of Man: Conservation in a Human Dominated World." 2013 PBK Lecture
M. Sanjayan, "Saving Earth in the Age of Man: Conservation in a Human Dominated World."
2013 PBK Lecture
- March 26, 2013
- 6:00 p.m.
- Bigelow Hall, Miller IT Center (MITC)
- Reception immediately following in the Schneider Galleries, Schneider Hall.
Saving Earth in the Age of Man: Conservation in a Human Dominated World.
The environmental movement has long been dominated by a focus on biological diversity and wilderness and a Western philosophy that sees humans as separate from and detrimental to nature. While great strides have been made in the past few decades most scientists will agree that conservationists have not managed to keep up with the vast scale of planetary change. In other words, despite our best efforts, our movement is failing.
In a planet of 7 billion people with growing economic and demographic shifts towards the South and the East, I argue that we need to reboot the environmental movement if we are to break out of our niche and become globally significant. In particular, we need to include within the environmental movement three constituents whom we have in the past either ignored at best or despised at worst and co-opt them as allies in conservation.
These constituents are:
- The business community with their increasing reliance on sustainable natural resources for growth.
- The rural poor with their non-replacable dependence on nature for basic services and provisioning.
- And finally, the youth, who are impatient for change but are more disconnected from nature than ever before.
By seeking allies in these three constituencies we can build a global environmental movement with the resilience and resources needed to tackle the challenges ahead. And by doing so now, we can take advantage of a unique opportunity in human history to create an impact that will resonate through the ages.