Monday, June 22, 2009

Ecosystem management key to long-term climate change adaptation and risk reduction

Environmental Sustainable management of ecosystems, as an integral part of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction plans, must be at the centre of all development activity, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), WWF-International, IUCN and ISDR.

Speaking at the second Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (GP09) Geneva, Switzerland, UNEP's Director of Division of Environmental Policy Implementation and chair of the session, Ibrahim Thiaw, called for greater integration of ecosystem management in climate change adaptation and disaster preparations and response. 'At the local, national, regional and international, political commitment is urgently needed to raise the profile of ecosystems,' he said.

Richard Munang, a project manager in UNEP's Climate Change Adaptation Unit, described ecosystems management as a moral imperative and social responsibility calling for a new vision and approach to development. 'The world lacks neither the financial resources nor the technological capabilities to act, - what is missing is a sense of urgency, human solidarity and collective interest based on shared values and a shared interest,' he said.

Patterns of disaster risk are changing and the critical ecosystems that support community resilience are being lost at an alarming rate due to human mismanagement of natural resources.

Speaking at the panel, EU Parliamentarian Anders Wijkman, said: 'Although our well-being depends entirely on the services of nature, in the majority these goods have no markets and consequently no prices. We ought to be aware, however, that by destroying these natural resources, life-supporting systems could collapse. It is time that we grasped the consequences of our actions and start acting today. Everyone from all walks of life needs to be a player in addressing this challenge. Closing the gap between science-policy and advocating action is imperative.'…

Breughel's "Fall of Icarus," 1560s. Which reminds me of Auden's "Musee des Beaux Arts":
About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting

For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot

That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

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