For anyone who recently attended the Fourth International Conference on Degrowth
in Leipzig, Germany, listening in on conference talk, surrounded by the ecologically savvy, one quickly noticed that no one was singing the praises of sustainable development.
“I don’t want them to grow up with the notion that they’re poor,” says Catalina González, referring to her two young sons. The family has been living in an apartment rent-free since December in exchange for fixing it up, in the southern Spanish city of Málaga.
Over 20 years, disaster losses in developing nations have amounted to 862 billion dollars (a considerable under-estimate). During this period the international community has spent just 13.5 billion dollars on disaster risk reduction (DRR), equivalent to 40 cents of every 100 dollars of development aid – this has to change.
Within days of the inauguration of Hassan Rouhani as Iran’s new president, both Tehran and Washington appear to be sending positive signals to each other.
Stories of struggle can be found all over the world, from a law classroom in Oklahoma and the brutal borderlands between the United States and Mexico to a Bedouin village in Jordan and wedding parties in Morocco, as the 24th Human Rights Watch Film Festival is showcasing.
The current growth model is not sustainable. Neither the green economy nor alternative sources of energy can prevent global warming. Solutions will come from concerted actions at the local and national levels, from the adoption of instruments and practices borrowed from other disciplines like peacebuilding, and from the move to a “no-waste economy”, according to experts here.