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Neandi's investment of his gains from foresty in green trees and clean water
Reinvestment in green trees and clean water...This cartoon was published in WWF's Swiss Panda magazine in 1983.
We found it back in some old stuff - after we asked a similar question to Mr Djoghlav, General Secretary of the UN Biodoversity convention, at the end of his presention of the Nagoya Biodiversity conference 2010.
Compare: our letter to ... Djoghlav

Neandi: Teil 1: "Zurück in die Steinzeit, ab auf die Bäume" wird Umweltschützern ständig nachgerufen. Dabei sind andere längst schon da. Neandi: Part 1: "Back to the Stone Age!" or "Up into the trees!" is often said to environmentalists.

Neandi: Teil 1... Tag, Herr Neandi. Irre ich mich, oder leben Sie tatsächlich noch in der Steinzeit? Da wird's aber höchste Zeit, dass wir etwas für Ihre Zukunft tun. Wir wollen doch nicht zurückbleiben, nicht wahr!? Hello Mr Neandi, are you really still living in the stone age? Then it's getting urgent to start doing something for your future. We don't want to be left behind, do we?

Aber, aber - so geht's natürlich nicht. Vor lauter Bäumen sehen sie ja den Horizont nicht mehr. Also los, weniger Bäume, mehr Zukunft. My, my! - like that it won't work of course! For all those trees we can't see the horizon! So let's start, fewer trees, more future.

Hier hab' ich etwas für sie. Damit wird das Bäumefällen zum Kinderspiel, das Feuerchen wird zum Feuer und Ihr Rückstand wird zum Fortschritt. Here I've got something for you. That will make tree felling a child's play, the small fire will get big, and your backlog will turn into progress.

Und sollte Ihnen die Bäume ausgehen. Macht nichts. Sägen haben wir genug. And in case you're getting short of trees, never mind, chain saws we've got enough.

Neandi: Teil 1... Neandi: Ende Ein Neandertaler sei, wer zurück zur Natur möchte, heisst es. Fragt sich bloss, ob noch genug Natur da ist. Neandi: The End: Someone who wants to go back to nature is called a Neandertaler. The only question is whether there's still enough nature left.

Na, was sagen Sie jetzt? Ihr Tip war goldrichtig. Ohne sie würden wir jetzt immer noch auf den Bäumen hocken.
Well, what are you saying now? Your tip was worth gold. Without you we would still be squatting in the trees.

Bin nur froh, dass wir endlich zur Höhle herausgekommen sind.
I'm only happy that we've finally got out of the caves.

Nun wollen wir aber doch einmal schauen, ob es uns gelingt, das sauer verdiente Geld...
... in frischen Bäumen und sauberen Bächen anzulegen.
But now we want to see whether we'll manage to invest our hard-earned money in...
... fresh trees and clean rivers.

Letter to Mr Djoghlav: []
ecology discovery foundation - ecoglobe
Helmut E. Lubbers
BE MsocSc DipEcol
14 Boulevard Carl-Vogt
CH-1205 Genève / Genf


Genève/Genf, 11 July 2011

ecoglobe, 14 bd. Carl-Vogt, CH-1205 Genève
Ahmed Djoghlaf
Executive Secretary Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity 413 Saint-Jacques Street, Suite 800
Montreal QC H2Y 1N9

Protecting Biodiversity vs. Growth
Dear Mr Djoghlav,

In the Question and Answer time after your presentation of the Nagoya Biodiversity Conference, in November last year at the International Environment House in Geneva I asked two questions:

  1. At Nagoya 3.6 billion dollars were pledged for the protection of biodiversity. Isn't it a contradiction if we want to protect biodiversity by money that has been earned by activities that distroy biodiversity?
  2. Furthermore, what chance do we have to save biodiversity if we continue to grow our economy and population, thereby increasing the resource depletion and destruction rates?
You replied that growth is necessary and must continue and that we cannot go back to live in the middle ages.

Then you blocked a trial to explain. Discussion not allowed. End of story - on the surface at least.

The reality, dear Mr Djoghlav, is that the world is really finite and that we have horrendously overshot the earth's carrying capacity in human numbers and consumption per capita.

Of course large numbers of people are living under dire conditions. But this problem must be solved by redistribution and not by further growth. This means that people in rich areas must reduce their consumption. Please note that I write "areas" and not "countries". General economic growth has demonstrably had a rather mixed bag of results for the poor. Often the gap between poor and rich has increased and many of these people continue being pushed off their lands by modern development and growth.

The paradigm of growth is verily suicidal for a world that is finite. Growth is expressed in money, GDP increase from one year to another. In practice, in the real economy, money always represents material resources, also in so-called services, whatever economists may claim otherwise. So growth does indeed increase the depletion of resources and the destruction of biodiversity.

It is a mistery to me why you were unwilling to allow a discussion on this issue of basic importance.

The story of Neandi that I found back some weeks ago in my files, dates from 1983, some 30 years ago. It may prove that the idea is not at all new, nor absurd, that there is a basic conflict between economic development and the protection of the environment.

Unfortunately most functionaries seem to follow the new wave of a so-called "Green Economy", promoted by UNEP and others in the UN system and business. UNEP has the audacity to write that they have demonstrated that the conflict between economic growth and environmental protection is a myth. This notion is simply wrong. The economy does always use non-renewable resources. Nothing we do is really sustainable.

The only hope for biodiversity is stopping growth, followed by a reduction of human activities.

This reduction will start on the downslope after peak-oil, within a couple of years. It will not be pleasant for people, who will have to live again by what they manage to produce locally.

The end of abundant oil will force humanity to reduce. This may reduce the pressure on nature. But it may also lead to an increased exploitation of wilderness by people who are desperate for food and livelihoods. Compare IEA World Energy Outlook 2010.

We should prepare for the Post-Peak-Oil time by a planned restructuring of our economies.

Thank you for reading these few lines. I hope to receive a reaction.

    Yours faithfully,

[signature H E Lubbers]


Convention on Biological Diversity, CoP-10 Debriefing - 24 November 2010

A first overview of the outcomes of the Nagoya Biodiversity Summit by high-level representatives of UNEP, MEAs, Governments and NGOs, was organized by the Geneva Environment Network early November.
On 24 November, we had the pleasure to welcome in Geneva Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity. We took the opportunity of having one of the main actors of the biodiversity negotiations with us to have a closer look at the historic decisions and the package of measures agreed in Japan last month, to ensure that the ecosystems of the planet will continue to sustain human well-being into the future. The next steps and the implementation of the new strategy for biodiversity were also be discussed. This was the last of a long series of events organized by the Geneva Environment Network in 2010 to celebrate the International Year for Biodiversity.

Previous presentation on the same subject: Nagoya Biodiversity Summit De-Briefing - 10 November 2010 The tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP-10) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) took place in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, from 18 to 29 October 2010, where governments agreed to a new treaty to manage the world's economically-central genetic resources in a far fairer and more systematic way, an International Regime on Access and Benefit Sharing of Genetic Resources (ABS). Invitation. Presentations: WWF; IUCN; Japan Presentation. Source: UNEP-GEN Geneva.
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