The Space Between Global and Local:
How Would One Go About Saving The Planet? Well To Start With, You Wouldn’t…
Our energy becomes far more productive when focused on the Local; instead of strained and poorly exacerbated in the Global
Is it truly possible to “Save The Planet”?
Some International Non Governmental Organizations have been working with that sound bite for years, whilst environmental activists all over the world often insert it as a job occupation. It was the phrase on every politician, activist and media correspondent’s lips during the Copenhagen Climate summit in December, but can anyone justify the use of such a phrase?
For local biodynamic farmers, forest preservationists and township charity workers who help to stem the growth of youth involvement in gangs, such a phrase never even enters their mindsets. Does that make their work less relevant or of less international importance? They are still working to combat issues that exist globally, but on a purely localized level.
Lou Gold, a 74-year-old American who has dedicated his life to harnessing a more comprehensive relationship with nature, argues, “To claim that people save the planet is preposterous. People save places and the places are saved by the people in them”.
What has become clear from my time here, in such a fundamentally important and intriguingly complex area of the world is how everything is so interlinked- by trying to amend or remove one local system, the implications and repercussions on others can have an overwhelmingly huge and often significantly negative effect.
Just over the border of where I am now, many Peruvian gold mines’ contracts were terminated, as the Peruvian government looks to brighten their currently disastrous environmental image and global reputation.
What this means for the 30,000 unemployed miners is painfully uncertain. Their livelihoods and that of their families and children’s futures have been thrown into the complete unknown and tomorrow the miners will organize, they will riot. Already the repercussions could prove more detrimental to an area already suffering from severe social, environmental and political crisis.
And whilst these miners are going home to their families with news that will threaten the livelihoods of a huge working population, Environmental NGO’s are celebrating; after successfully closing a mine that’s roads and pollution were contributing to severe environmental degradation. Globally an environment may now be a little better off, but locally a community is now left in limbo. Where is the justice, where is the compassion, where do some real solutions exist?
Global ‘crisis to solution’ theories, international campaigns and attempted global climate treaties, will not supply effective or realistic answers our twenty-first century is in dire need of.
The possibilities and solutions that exist for Peru are exactly that: only existent in Peru! It is naïve, irresponsible and ludicrous to think otherwise and so when tackling these crises we see as global, we need to act from the local.
Here in Brazil an NGO we have been meeting with called CPI Acre, deals directly with indigenous rights, protection and support on a very interactive level. What’s more they are entirely committed and based in the region of Acre.
As Malu, the organizations main coordinator emphasizes, “That’s why I feel our work can be so effective. We have no external interest. We have a huge understanding for indigenous efforts globally and are in constant dialogue with other protection groups, but we can commit to complete involvement locally and thus function far more efficiently in the best needs of the local indigenous groups here”.
It would appear that CPI are incorporating both the Local and the Global in maybe the most fantastic sense of it.
It is a methodology many institutions, groups and communities are already working with- an idea that is growing, but an idea that needs to be spread and fast; if we truly do hold any confidence for a global future implemented by local solutions.
The space between Local action and Global attempt is living, acting and being Local- whilst holding a truly Global conscience, global responsibility and perceived global understanding.