We need a new Sustainable Development Goal: SDG 18 Life in Space.
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The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace and justice. However, we believe that an extra Goal needs to be included in the framework. Next to the existing SDG 14 Life below water and SDG 15 Life On Land, we are missing the SDG Life in Space. We believe this is important because we are entering in a new era for humanity where our exploration of the space and the landing in other planets will become a reality. We should be concerned about the proliferation of military use of the outer Space and also, the Space waste being created. We also are assisting to the emergent war between private and public ownership of the Space. Therefore, we believe that we have the responsibility as humanity not only to care for our planet but for the bigger system we belong to.
We propose to the UN that a SDG 18 Life In Space is included in the framework.Inspired by the Earth Charter (globally signed in the 90s), we propose that the main principles of this SDG 18 should be based on the same pillars we agree upon for our own planet:
I. Respect and care for the community of life in our galaxy and universe
We should respect the Space and other potential life forms in all its diversity we may one day encounter. We need to care for this wider community with understanding, compassion and love. If we would to settle in other planets, we should always depart from the commitment of building societies that are fair, participatory, sustainable and peaceful. We should secure other planets bounty and beauty for present and future generations.
II. Ecological wisdom and Integrity
In all Space missions we should always protect and restore the integrity of all the ecological systems we encounter, with special concern for biological systems that may sustain life. We should always prevent harm and take measures to protect the environment of other planets, specially avoiding creating waste in the Space. We should use the Space missions to advance the study of ecological sustainability in our own planet and promote always open source knowledge about our learnings during Space missions.
III. Social and Economic Justice
We want to ensure that participants and responsible people, institutions and governments of all Space missions do not hold an anthropo-centrist perspective, but an anthropo-harmonic one, realizing that even if we will always see the world through the eyes of humans, we do not own the universe and we belong to it as another small part of this wider system. We should have the global commitment of governments and institutions that we do not have the right to exploit natural resources from other planets if this means stealing from their future and compromising their own sustainability. We wand to engage in exploration and learning, not exploitation.
IV. Democracy, Nonviolence and Peace
Life in Space principles should be embedded in education in order to create a global consciousness of our position in the Universe. We want to defend a culture of peace, and in case of finding new forms of life, strengthen the global commitment among institutions and governments to treat, respect and conserve other living beings with respect and consideration.
If you support our claim, please sign the manifesto. We will include this in our formal petition to the United Nations.
Zwolle, The Netherlands, 14th May 2019.
The Windesheim Honours College Team
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