“Natural and man-made disasters give people of all nations the opportunity to act collectively.” Page 208 Betrayal, Trust and Forgiveness, Dr. Beth Hedva

Did you know that climate change is impacting developing nations more than all others in our emerging global community?

With disasters repeating themselves every few years along the ring of fire, combined with the time it takes to recover from disaster (usually three years), those in economically developing nations are caught in a vicious cycle of constant loss and destruction.  According to 21st Century Challenges, “The vast majority of lives both lost and affected by natural disasters come from developing countries, underlining the link between poverty and vulnerability to disaster…  At the root of this disparity is poverty.  Simply put, people in wealthier countries have better access to the kinds of resources that help both prevent natural disasters becoming crisies and to cope with them when they do occur.”

Coupled with this natural cycle of volcanic activity, earthquakes and hurricanes, many developed nations exploit resources in less developed nations by using them as their dumping grounds.  For example, it costs only $2.50 per ton to leave hazardous waste in Africa as compared to $250. per ton in Europe.  In 2004 the tsunamis wave that swept across the Indian Ocean uncovered barrels of toxic waste that had been dumped along the Somali coastline; barely 200 km from villages on the Kenyan side of the border.

Let’s ask ourselves, what is “Environmental Justice”?

Victims of Typhoon Haiyan queue for food and water in Tacloban city, in the Philippines.

Victims of Typhoon Haiyan queue for food and water in Tacloban city, in the Philippines.

Over the years a definition has evolved. . .  Environmental Justice means that, every person (and nation) has the right to:

  • Quality of life (regardless of race, ethnicity, class or country)
  • A safe and healthy place to live, work, and play
  • Sovereignty, to manage their own resources
  • Enough natural resources now and for future generations (earth/food, shelter, air, water etc)

As we explore Embodied Awareness and the layers of understanding that in truth we are all interconnected (to the environment as well as all people and all life on our planet), let’s consider how we (as individuals as well as nations) can establish genuine environmental justice in our lifetime.

Please share your thoughts and visions with each other on the blog about the following:

  • How have you created environmental justice?
  • In what ways can you create your own version of environmental justice?

“…we are dependent upon one another, and every part of nature actually, in order to survive. We are not alone, even in our hour of need.” Page 213 Betrayal, Trust and Forgiveness, Dr. Beth Hedva

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