One of the highest priorities of VIVAT International is advocating for the integrity of the environment. We maintain that countries have a responsibility to uphold the environmental treaties and conventions (such as the Kyoto Protocol) that they have signed.
VIVAT recognizes that environmental issues are developmental issues. Without a healthy environment, the earth will not be able to sustain future societies and economies. ¬† The uncontrolled use of natural resources such as forests, land, water and fisheries have caused distressing changes and unnecessary pressure on the global ecosystem. ¬† Unfortunately, this profound impact on natural resources is primarily due to the over-consumption and over-production of a powerful minority.
Dwindling supplies of fresh water, pollution, ozone depletion, deforestation, global warming, and degradation of agricultural land and the impact of militarization on the environment are all the result of unsustainable overuse or abuse of resources. ¬† Moreover, though these environmental changes are a result of overuse by rich countries, they often have a stronger and more severe effect on poorer developing countries, as depletion of the earth’s resources increases inequality, poverty and conflict.
We view our relationship with the environment as inexplicably connected to economic and development issues. Current economic trends and social exclusion continue to perpetuate economic disparities between and within nations.¬† Thus, sustainable development and social inclusion are two of VIVAT‚Äôs core principles for the bettering of the world.
Sustainable development would ensure that resources are used in a manner that addresses the needs of the present without compromising the livelihood of future generations. Striving for the ability of future generations to meet their own needs reinforces the indivisibility of human dignity and the collective responsibility to one another and to the greater community of life.
Economic development, social development and environmental protection are interdependent and mutually reinforcing components of sustainable development. ¬†Wisely managing the natural resource base for economic and social development in order to achieve poverty eradication is an overarching objective of and an essential requirement for sustainable development.
Increasing the productive capacity of poor people increases both their well-being and that of their communities and societies.¬† This empowers people by facilitating their participation in resource conservation and environmental protection, and facilitates a partnership of all humanity.
This would include improving access to sustainable livelihoods, entrepreneurial opportunities ¬†and productive resources, including land, water, credit, technical and administrative training as well as appropriate technology. Essential is the strengthening of efforts to broaden the human capital of societies through universal access to basic social services including education, health care, nutrition, clean water and sanitation.
Achieving sustainable development depends on the full integration of impoverished people into economic, social and political life, with particular emphasis on the empowerment of women. ¬† The integration of environmental and developmental concerns is essential to achieve universal fulfillment of basic human needs. ¬†¬† It is only through such a holistic approach that we can begin to see improved standards of living, better protected and managed ecosystems and a safer, more prosperous future for all.
The World Environment Day (WED) is annually celebrated on June 5th. The day was established in 1972 by the UN General Assembly to mark the commencement of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. The day is not only intended to spread awareness about environmental issues, but also to provide individuals with the necessary tools to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development. In addition, WED attempts to promote international partnership and cooperation so that, all nations and peoples enjoy a safer and more prosperous future.