Charter of European Cities & Towns Towards Sustainability (pdf 38.9 k)
Humanity is witnessing the most accelerated devastation of its human and natural environments, with major negative consequences regarding health, happiness, and human betterment.
It is clear that natural and human systems are One, and that separating them, in the name of economic development and progress, has been the principal cause of much suffering and instability. Human interdependence and linking the roots of human wellness to the laws of nature have been disregarded, and something structural and fundamental must be done about this. The destruction of one environment (e.g., Amazon) will affect every person in this Planet. The same applies for diseases and challenges faced by communities everywhere (e.g., the HIV/AIDs pandemics).
With more than six billion people in the Planet, and the possibility to nearly doubling that number in a few decades, environmental conservation and management have become central to public policy making, nationally and internationally. Many instruments and policies have been applied with little success, and many people are demanding a major shift in the widely accepted socioeconomic paradigm to human betterment and progress. A paradigm that is destructive, excluding, individualistic, and materialistic in nature. Based on a new vision of a happy, healthy and holy human race, we, together, must find new and innovative ways of doing business in the next few years.
The future of our own human collective is in question, as major changes in the quality of life are being experienced in the dawn of this Third Millennium. The destruction of the environment is not only the main cause of new and more intractable diseases, but it is also the main reason for slower spiritual growth and human transformation. Every time we destroy the natural environment we are eliminating also the wisdom behind the genetic code of nature. A wisdom that is very difficult to be embodied by the average person today.
Thus, we are at a cross roads. We must choose, and we must choose now what style of development we want, and insert in it the principles and practices of an environmentally, economically and socially (humanly) sustainable society. A society that cares about future generations, human beings, sentient beings, and all forms of life in this Planet.
A radical departure from the past is needed. This would include new forms of cooperation, ways to make useful use of existing technology and progress, participation and empowerment of those in need, a new value system –humanistic and spiritual in nature-- new and effective institutions, and much more.
At the roots of this World Congress is a gathering of minds and souls to create an new global architecture for a sustainable society at the global level. The attention will be on both: our Global Collective and on the Global Being.
There is an urgency to act now. The human imperatives we experience at this moment in human history –poverty, inequities, social injustices, marginalization and exclusion, political and civil instability, violation of human rights, and so much more—are all the result of a path that is clearly unsustainable from a large number of perspectives.
This World Congress is about our ‘human will’. It is about our commitment to create a new way of living in this Planet and having the guts of achieving it.
Interdependence between the inner and outer environment: Create a new environmental consciousness by transforming existing paradigms which influence the quality of our lives, by developing the conscious self-responsibility that just as the microcosm reflects the macrocosm, our inner elements are the mirror of the outer and vice versa, towards more inner and outer harmony.
The World Congress will address three major objectives.
First, to create the necessary space a) for a frank and open discussion of the relationship between environment and human betterment and b) for a debate and the sharing of ideas on alternative ways to live in this Planet respecting the basic principles of a sustainable society. The scope of this objective goes beyond material betterment. Human and spiritual dimensions will be central to the fulfillment of such objective. In the end, a new environment will only come from a new (higher) level of human consciousness. Environmental awareness as central to that process of fulfillment.
Second, to highlight and focus specifically on the quality and qualitatively aspects of our lives. Material progress has suppress the human attention to issues of quality and to aspects that are directly connected to the more subtle and sacred aspects of our existence. Thus, to understand the role that nature and its laws play in human transformation, and through human transformation to the quality of life, which goes beyond just material welfare and into issues of happiness, joy and self-realization.
Third, to experience the interconnectedness between the outer environment and our own inner environment. The state of nature’s basic elements are also essential to our human existence both materially and spiritually. Thus, there will be plenty of opportunities to experience that state where we make peace with the environment and self-healing are essential for nature and human beings. Inner harmony implies outer harmony, both go hand in hand.
It is expected that this World Congress will be central to the attainment of two fundamental outcomes and some subsidiary ones too.
The first outcome will be to have a personal and a group experience of the true meaning and experience of the subtle dynamics of nature and human progress. How the conservation of nature becomes central to our happiness and joy and to have the human spaces for the practice of love and compassion. A collective experience of great proportions.
The second outcome will be to draft a declaration that will be essentially transformative in nature, outlining some essential steps that need to be followed. This declaration will contain many important issues and challenges facing humanity. A declaration intended to reach policy makers of developing and developed countries.
In addition to those fundamental outcomes, this World Congress will give everyone an opportunity to meet other scientists, professionals, decision makers and advocates as well as like minded practitioners who share the same vision of a sustainable global human society. There will be an important exchange of information and a process to establish a common road map for future actions.