CORAL GABLES, FL (May 24, 2010) The degradation of ecosystems and the decline of biodiversity around the globe have been hastened by society's use of natural resources. However, strategic partnerships that bridge science and policy can reposition the world community toward sustainable growth, according to a multidisciplinary international group of scientists that gathered at the Oxford Round Table on The Copenhagen Protocol: Problems and Possibilities, earlier this year.
The scientists called for global political leadership to commit to a redefinition of economic growth in light of market imperfections, social inequities, quality of life and sustainability of resources. At the basis of this call is the concept of ecological justice and rights of dignity for all people of the earth without regard to culture, gender, ethnicity or region. The participants composed the following statement encompassing their philosophy:
The earth processes are changing in numerous ways; many of these are detrimental to humanity and other species. Worldwide, human society has accelerated the use of natural resources, bringing about massive changes in the productive base of land, air and water resources. A consequence of this has been reduced biological diversity because of habitat loss, land use change and the spread of invasive species. Degradation of ecosystems has been accentuated by introduction into the environment of massive quantities of inorganic and organic materials that degrade the integrity of ecosystems. The climate change will exacerbate the degradation of ecosystems that are necessary to support a still-expanding human population.
The event, which took place in Lincoln College at the University of Oxford, Oxford, U.K., on March 22 through March 26, included multiple perspectives from a diversity of biological, chemical, physical, ecological, educational, legal, engineering, social science, public health, forestry, geology, architecture and economic perspective from eight countries, according to Dr. James D. Englehardt, professor in the University of Miami College of Engineering and a participant at the Round Table.
"This opportunity to meet and learn from colleagues from diverse fields and cultural perspectives always triggers new ideas, generates new questions and creates the possibility for future collaborations among cross disciplines," Englehardt says.
The participants put together specific recommendations on a number of strategies including the following:
The Round Table Panel convened to discuss the Copenhagen Protocol included experts from Australia, Canada, Japan, South Africa, Sweden, U.K., U.S.A. and Zimbabwe. The Oxford Round Table organization went on to affirm that the discovery of new concepts and invention of new technologies should be directed toward a richer quality of life for all by minimizing environmental impacts and moving society toward long-term sustainability with a reorientation of societal priorities.
|Contact: Marie Guma-Diaz|
University of Miami