Ask the UN to ratify a Declaration of Human Responsibility

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Proposal for a “Declaration of Human Responsibility

A new concept has been suggested to highlight the environmentally damaging characteristics of the global socio-economic growth paradigm which currently dominates our world.  For decades scientists from the Global Footprint Network have been measuring the extent to which the global population are increasingly exceeding the biocapacity of the Earth to sustain us.  The resulting degradation in the biodiversity of our environment is now at a critical stage of collapse as the sixth mass extinction escalates. 

It is proposed that the United Nations should consider seeking consensus to ratify a “Declaration of Human Responsibility”.   This concept will go beyond traditional politics and religion and create a moral obligation in everyone who has the mental capacity, to aspire to ensure that their behaviour does not exceed the capacity of the Earth to sustain them.  The proposed wording for the declaration is as follows:

Proposed Declaration of Human Responsibility:

"In recognition that our environmental impact is a product of our population size and the way that we utilise our affluence and technology; everyone should aspire to use their free-choice and their personal affluence and technology to stop exceeding the capacity of our environment as soon as possible.  Every country should aspire to reduce its ecological overshoot to less than 50% of the biocapacity available within its borders, according to the data from the Global Footprint Network. School systems worldwide need to prioritise the understanding of ecological footprint, ecological balance and the need for conservation of at least 50% of the planet for non-livestock vertebrates to be free to evolve in the natural fashion. Human intervention in wildlife populations is to be discouraged unless an invasive species is deemed to be a serious threat to either local or global eco-systems."

The  'Overshoot Index' data compiled by the Global Footprint Network which shows overshoot by country, can be downloaded from the lower section of this webpage.

This proposed declaration will raise awareness throughout the globe about the concept of ecological overshoot.  This in turn will raise awareness that the economic growth paradigm is unsustainable and consequently some of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) need to be challenged.  In particular the SDG8 concerns ‘Decent Work and Economic Growth’, the latter is clearly unsustainable with the current advanced state of global overshoot.  Therefore we are suggesting that this goal be replaced by one that aspires to ‘Awareness and Empowerment’.   The draft suggestion for this replacement goal can be accessed here.

A book was published in March 2021, entitled 'Saving Us From Ourselves - can we repair 50 yrs of ecological overshoot? '.  The book is intended as an awareness exercise for the affluent public.  The book includes an ambitious vision of how affluent society might successfully transition to using only the minimum resources that are necessary from our collapsing eco-system.  It envisages emotional resilience and collective courage adequate to face the consequences of the misjudgements that have been made by all affluent societies in recent decades.  The book can be downloaded for free from the homepage of this website:  Poems For Parliament

The book refers to research by Chris Bystroff predicting the collapse of human population in this current decade.  This research has now passed peer-review and should appear in by the end of May 2021.  It is hoped that this research, combined with the concept of 'Human Responsibility' and the 'Awareness and Empowerment' goal suggested to replace SDG8 will inspire a global change in human behaviours and aspirations to relieve the pressures on our environment.  The urgency of our predicament cannot be overstated.