OTTAWA, ON and WASHINGTON, Oct. 21, 2021 /CNW/ – TODAY as the world begins to gather in its continuing efforts to tackle the climate and nature crises, the global geography community has come together to call on world leaders to redouble their efforts and place the protection of nature and a liveable climate at the centre of the world’s economics and politics.
The global community will be coming together in the coming weeks and months to discuss the global biodiversity crisis and the global climate crisis. Beginning virtually, the 15th conference of the 196 national parties to United Nation Convention on Biological Diversity will meet October 11-15, 2021, and April 25-May 8, 2022, in Kunming, China, to confront the world’s biodiversity crisis. The 26th conference of the 197 national parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change come together in Glasgow, Scotland, to confront the climate crisis.
«Geography is the study of our planet and humankind’s relationship to it,» said Michael L. Ulica, President and Chief Operating Officer, National Geographic Society, «and as such, geographers have a front row view of the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss on our world. We need to treat the climate and ecological emergencies as one planetary emergency. Global leaders can no longer address these crises separately if we are going to succeed on both. Our future depends on preventing the collapse of the natural systems that provide our food, clean water, clean air and stable climate.»
«Climate change is an urgent challenge but the solutions are all around us,» said Bruce Lourie, President of the Ivey Foundation and Chair of the Transition Accelerator. «We have remarkable opportunities to tackle this crisis, contribute to nature conservation and advance human well-being. Now is the time for the world to come together and seize these opportunities to forge a better future for the planet.»
«We have a crisis in our relationship with the Earth. Transforming our society to become nature-positive is the most pressing problem of the 21st century,» said Dr. Harvey Locke, noted conservationist and leader of the IUCN task force proposing new targets for global conservation. «We must protect and restore at least half the world for our own health and well-being, to stabilize the climate, and because it is the right thing to do for the rest of life. It is very timely that the world’s geographical societies are coming together to help humanity understand the challenge before us.»
«Geographers, explorers, educators, researchers, and travellers worldwide recognize the dire impacts of the climate and biodiversity crises,» said John Geiger, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Canadian Geographical Society. «I am very proud to stand together today with my global colleagues to call for concerted and collaborative efforts to making the coming decade one of positive action in pursuit of a better future for humankind and our home.»
«The twin crisis’ of climate change and nature loss is impacting our environments, our health, and our livelihoods – and it’s all of our responsibility to tackle these challenges,» said Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada. «At home and around the world, Canada is stepping up to find real solutions to fight climate change and prevent the loss of nature. We’re protecting 30 per cent of our lands and oceans by 2030, putting a price on pollution, phasing out coal fired electricity, and planting 2 billion tress. But we need to be bolder and act faster to build a cleaner world for our kids and grandkids. And only together will we achieve this necessary goal.»
The full declaration and list of signatories can be found here:
DECLARATION OF THE GLOBAL GEOGRAPHY COMMUNITY ON THE BIODIVERSITY AND CLIMATE CRISES
Geographers have unique opportunities and responsibilities in the face of the global biodiversity and climate crises. Geography is a discipline that is uniquely located at the intersection of the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities. This equips geographers to be adept systems-thinkers and interdisciplinarians. It is furthermore an applied knowledge, focused above all on the state of our planet and our relationships with it. All of this makes the learning, teaching, and practice of geography centrally relevant to the closely-linked challenges of the global climate and biodiversity crises. Geographers can do much more than present an analysis of these challenges. They also have a vantage point from which they can point to the kinds of thought and action that can deliver a better tomorrow for every person on Earth. This coming October and November will see some of the most consequential weeks in terms of humanity’s collective relationship with planet Earth. In October the world’s governments will come together to confront the continuing dramatic loss of species and their habitats—the biodiversity crisis—compounded as it is by the accumulating impacts of climate change. It is hoped that the meeting will set the stage for ambitious new targets for the global conservation of nature out to 2030. Around the same time, in Milan, Italy and then, for two weeks in November, in Glasgow, Scotland, governments will reconvene to confront the existential challenge of climate change. It is widely hoped and expected that the meeting will set enhanced and more urgent reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions out to 2030, as well as mandating a critical role for nature in climate change mitigation and adaption.
Geographers, whether as students, researchers, educators, writers, explorers, practitioners in business or policy, or as engaged and curious travellers, encourage our leaders to make ambitious commitments to place the protection of nature and a liveable climate at the centre of the world’s economics and politics at this critical juncture. Accordingly, we pledge that our institutions will redouble our efforts to apply the unique attributes that are the hallmark of the learning, teaching, and practice of geography to the global environmental challenges that have drawn together the world’s governments to these vital meetings this year. We commit to doing all that we can to apply geography’s potent capabilities to the task of making the coming decade one of hope and of positive action.
Signatories to the Declaration:
National Geographic Society, American Geographical Society, American Association of Geographers, Institute of Australian Geographers, Queensland Royal Geographical Society, National Committee for Geographical Sciences of the Australian Academy of Science, Bangladesh National Geographical Association, Royal Geographical Society of Belgium, Benin Association of Geographers, National Association of Postgraduates and Researchers in Geography (ANPEGE), Association of Brazilian Geographers, Canadian Association of Geographers, Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Geographical Society of China, Hong Kong Geographical Association, Geography and Education Research Association of Macau, The Geographic Society of China located in Taipei, National Committee for Geography (Columbia), Croatian Geographical Society, Cyprus Geographical Association, Czech Geographical Society, European Association of Geographers, Geographical Society of Finland, National Geographical Society of France, Geographical Society of Georgia, German Society of Geography, Association for Geography at German Universities and Research Institutions, Hungarian Geographical Society, Association of Bengal Geographers, The Association for Geographical Studies (Delhi), Indian National Committee for IGU, National Association of Geographers (India), Indonesian Geographical Association, Geographical Society of Ireland, Israeli Geographical Association, Italian Geographical Society, International Geographical Union, Association of Japanese Geographers, Human Geography Society of Japan, Japan Organization of Geographical Sciences, Geographic Society of Kenya, Korean Geographical Society, Luxembourg Geographical Society, Geographical Society of Madagascar, Mexican Society of Geography and Statistics, Geographical Association of Myanmar, Namibian National Committee for IGU, Royal Dutch Geographical Society, New Zealand Geographical Society, Association of Nigerian Geographers, Norwegian Geographical Society, Pakistan Geographical Association, Philippines Geographical Society, Polish Geographical Society, Portuguese Association of Geographers, Romanian Geographical Society, Russian Geographical Society, Russian National Committee for International Program "Future Earth," Russian National Committee for IGU, Royal Scottish Geographical Society, Samoa Association of Geographers, Saudi Geographical Society, Slovenian Geographical Association, Slovak National Committee for the IGU, Society of South African Geographers, Southern African Geography Teachers' Association, Geographical Association of Spain, Centre of Geographical Studies (Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning) University of Lisbon, Sri Lankan Association of Geographers, Swedish National Committee of Geography, Swiss Association of Geography, Swiss National Committee for the IGU, Turkish Geographical Society, Uganda Geographical Association, Ukrainian Association of Geographers, The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), Geographical Association, University of Cambridge, Department of Geography, and the Vietnamese Association of Geographers.
ROYAL CANADIAN GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY
Publisher of Canadian Geographic, the RCGS is dedicated to imparting a broader knowledge and deeper appreciation of Canada — its people and places, its natural and cultural heritage and its environmental, social and economic opportunities. The Society is one of Canada’s largest non-profit educational organizations, comprising more than 25,000 members from across the country. The RCGS is funded primarily by membership fees and donations. The Society’s board of governors and its program committees are composed entirely of volunteers.
National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, the National Geographic Society has driven impact by identifying and investing in an international community of Explorers: leading scientists, educators, storytellers, conservationists, technologists, and many other changemakers who help us define some of the critical challenges of our time, drive new knowledge, advance new solutions, and inspire positive transformative change. Since awarding our first grant in 1890, we have provided more than 14,000 grants for work across all seven continents. This includes the most comprehensive scientific expedition to Mount Everest, working to better understand human-carnivore conflict in Gorongosa, telling stories that help explain the world and all that’s in it, and groundbreaking work that has transformed our understanding of the great apes and what it means to be human. We also engage audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories, and content, including the National Geographic Museum at our headquarters in Washington, D.C.
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SOURCE Royal Canadian Geographical Society