Mairon G. Bastos Lima, on behalf of the Campaign Coordination Team:
From the Greek words oikos (house) and logos (reason), ecology is the study of our home. Our home, in this case the Earth, is composed of ecosystems that amount to the biosphere and which perform a number of functions that sustain life as we know it. Those functions include (1) the provision of goods that we can view as resources (foods, water, sources of energy); (2) the regulation of the environment where we live, such as the climate through rain patterns; (3) supporting functions such as crop pollination by bee species; and finally (4) cultural, aesthetic and spiritual functions related to our appreciation for natural environments and landscapes. These all can be seen as ecosystem services that humans and other species enjoy.
However, there is great unfairness in how access to those resources and services is distributed. One billion people remain undernourished while another billion suffer from obesity, largely related to food (over)consumption. Two billion people remain without access to safe drinking water while water wasting is a problem in many industrialized countries. And approximately two and a half billion people do not have access to modern energy while a relatively small fraction of the global population disrupts the Earth’s climate due to overutilization of fossil energies like petroleum and coal. The impacts, as could be expected, are being felt primarily by those who contributed the least to the problems and who have little capacity to adapt to environmental change.
It is therefore possible to speak of ecological justice, i.e. the need to think and act upon the (un)fairness of how we as human societies relate to nature, to its various environments and to resources that we use. Our effort realizes that there is a significant human dimension to the current environmental crisis, and our position is that ecology and society should not be seen as apart, but as one. We believe this approach can bring greater clarity over the causes and consequences of ecological issues, not only at present across the globe but also for future generations.
“We did not weave the web of life; we are merely a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves”
Chief Seattle Chief of the Duwamish, Suquamish and allied Indian tribes (~1786 – 1866)