Sustainable development and conservation must incorporate from the outset the voices and proposals of the communities that have historically inhabited the territories in question. Through the a concept called “Kawsak Sacha,” or “living jungle,” the Sarayaku indigenous community in the Ecuadorian Amazon demonstrate how this can be done.
We argue that deforestation in the Colombian Amazon is violating our constitutional right to a healthy environment, which in turn threatens our right to life, water, food, and health. We, the future generations, are 25 youth who will have to face the impacts of climate change and deforestation the rest of our lives.
As climate-induced displacement forces more and more people to move, the international community grapples with the challenge of how to define, categorize, and respond to the phenomenon. While the loss of place is irreplaceable, we can certainly implement a human rights approach to move forward in a way that does justice to the needs of those directly affected.
One of the major contributions made by Richard H. Thaler, who received the Nobel Prize in economics on October 9th, is the “nudge” theory. It shows how small nudges can result in people making different decisions than the ones they normally would. This type of nudges are very useful for public policy because they allow citizens to make better use of resources.
The Minamata Convention, aimed at protecting our health and the environment from the ravages of mercury pollution just entered into force, but if it is to make a difference at all, we must demand that its implementation be measured in terms of the quality of life and health conditions of those at risk of exposure.