mercredi 8 juin 2005

Et Jacques Chirac l'écologiste chroniqua dans NewScientist

Si vous voulez connaître la dernière pensée écologiste de Chirac, il faut la lire, en anglais, dans NewScientist. Sa conclusion: "We can do this if we all act together."...

The great ecology challenge
21 May 2005  - Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition
Jacques Chirac

SINCE the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, the environment has become a major concern for people across the world. Climate warming, the pollution of freshwater reserves, the destruction of habitats and the disappearance of many living species have made us realise that far from freeing humankind from nature, our extraordinary economic growth has given us an unprecedented responsibility towards it.

We can no longer ignore the evidence of environmental erosion: the destruction of primary tropical forests, home to over half of the planet's species; the shrinking of natural habitats due to demographic and urban growth; the slow demise of coral reefs, nearly one-third of which have already disappeared or suffered serious damage; the sharp decline in the numbers of large wild mammals.

The staggering pace of scientific and industrial progress over the past
two centuries has placed us on a direct collision course with
biodiversity, the product of millions of years of evolution. Species
have always disappeared as a result of the natural renewal of
ecosystems. Yet the current rate of extinction is estimated to be up to
a thousand times higher than normal. Today, we know that nearly 16,000
known species are directly endangered, and some scientists fear that
modern societies may be triggering the sixth great wave of extinction
since life first appeared.

Our generation is probably the last with the power to stop this
destruction before we reach a point of no return. The international
community has done a great deal of work since the Convention on
Biological Diversity came into force in 1993. Yet it is fair to
question how effective it has been, since biodiversity continues to
recede. The goal set by the international conference in The Hague in
2002 of stopping the decline of global biodiversity by 2010 looks
unattainable unless we act now.

We know enough to start taking action. Yet we do not yet have a gauge
of all the potential consequences of the degradation of biodiversity.
That is why I suggested at the international conference Biodiversity:
Science and Governance, organised by France at UNESCO headquarters in
January, that a global network of biodiversity experts be set up. I am
pleased to see that the world's leading scientists have since backed my

The aim of the network would be to increase our knowledge of
biodiversity and establish a scientific basis from which we can help
the international community meet its responsibilities. This means
mobilising all the scientific disciplines concerned, and calls for
broad-based international cooperation, which could be achieved under
the aegis of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. This effort
would focus on the need to reinforce global environmental governance,
something France tirelessly campaigns for, in particular with its
proposal to create a UN Environment Organisation, which will be
discussed by the world's heads of government at the UN summit in New
York this September.

The global network of biodiversity experts should work on a number of
points. The first is to extend the inventory of life on Earth. Barely
1.5 million species have been identified out of an estimated total of 5
to 30 million. This shows just how little knowledge we have. The second
task is to understand the dynamics of ecosystems. Scientists are only
just beginning to fathom the extreme complexity of relations between
the different species and between species and their environment. This
interdependence is the key to the fragile balance of each ecosystem and
the entire biosphere. Humans cannot isolate themselves from it. This
complexity, knowledge of which has been popularised by E. O. Wilson's
remarkable work at Harvard University, is one reason why we have taken
so long to become aware of the problem. The final task is to study the
impact of climate change on biodiversity.

There is a precedent: the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
This group's work since 1988 has brought about a scientific consensus
on climate warming, which many initially refused to accept. An expert
consensus such as this is just what political leaders need to justify
action on biodiversity.

Protecting biodiversity, like combating climate change, calls for
radical changes in attitudes and lifestyles. France is resolutely
pursuing this objective with the inclusion of an environment charter in
its constitution this year. This charter establishes biodiversity as a
right and a collective heritage. It embraces the precautionary
principle, which is vital when dealing with the deterioration of the
living environment. To respond to the urgency of the situation, we have
to step up the pace of action.

With our growing awareness that we are part of the biosphere and
dependent on it as a whole, our civilisation has come to appreciate its
fragility. Now is the time to embark on the path of responsible
ecology, and to include in our quest for economic and human progress an
awareness of our duties to nature and our responsibilities to future
generations. We can do this if we all act together.

1 commentaire:

  1. Propos utiles?
    Bof, on sait jamais... How do you say in english?
    la bouse de taureau mélangée à de la paille donne un excellent engrais.