Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Creation Corner Column 11/13 World Charter for Nature

World Charter for Nature
Adopted over thirty years ago, the World Charter for Nature was agreed to by 111 member nation-states of the United Nations. It followed an earlier declaration of over forty years ago. You may want to compare it with the ethics you try to abide by in ecological matters, and that of your national church body, political body, and any environmental advocacy group you belong to.
It first re-affirms the fundamental purposes of the U.N., then proceeds to note what it is aware of, convinced of, and persuaded by. Some general principles follow, and then functions and implementation measures are noted.
It proclaims five "principles of conservation by which all human conduct affecting nature is to be guided and judged."
1. Nature shall be respected and its essential processes shall not be impaired.
2. The genetic viability on the earth shall not be compromised; the population levels of all life forms, wild and domesticated, must be at least sufficient for their survival, and to this end necessary habitats shall be safeguarded.
3. All areas of the earth, both land and sea, shall be subject to these principles of conservation; special protection shall be given to unique areas, to representative samples of all the different types of ecosystems and to the habitats of rare or endangered species.
4. Ecosystems and organisms, as well as the land, marine and atmospheric resources that are utilized by man, shall be managed to achieve and maintain optimum sustainable productivity, but not in such a way as to endanger the integrity of those other ecosystems or species with which they coexist.
5. Nature shall be secured against degradation caused by warfare or other hostile activities.
You may also ask yourself what you think might be missing here, and why the United States was the only nation-state to vote against it.