News and Opinions  –  2019

ReAct Latin America honors Earth Day

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2019-04-25

International Mother Earth Day is a day to reflect on the relation between nature and humans. Human beings' permanence depends on the existence of other species, animals, plants and natural elements such as land, water and air. In this framework ReAct Latin America honors life in commemoration of Earth Day.

The current conditions of production and exploitation of natural resources has led the United Nations to recognize that:

“rapid environmental degradation is the result of unsustainable consumption and production patterns that have led to adverse consequences for the Earth, health and the general welfare of humanity. The scientific community has well-documented evidence that our current way of life, particularly our patterns of consumption and production, has severely affected the carrying capacity of the Earth.”

In this framework ReAct Latin America honors life in commemoration of Mother Earth Day. It is an opportunity to reflect on the search for a new paradigm overcoming the patterns of production and consumption, helping us to recover the balance between human beings and other forms of life, and to help us recover the health of Mother Earth. Production and consumption should be sustained in respect to all beings and with responsibility to other forms of life, free of pesticides and exploitation – promoting the care of our seeds and food sovereignty – free of antibiotics.

Forum for antibiotic smart cities

On 25 April ReAct Latin America celebrates Earth Day by arranging the forum “Smart communities, planetary health, antimicrobial resistance and food sovereignty” in Cuenca, Ecuador.

The day aims to discuss ideas on how to construct intelligent communities –  caring about Mother Earth, the production of food and the appropriate use of antibiotics. The day also facilitates sharing of experiences, knowledge and lessons at a global and local level to enrich the processes that take place in organized communities.

Speakers:

Steven Lanjouw: Dutch citizen, Master in Health Policy and Planning, Independent Researcher and Consultant in the area of ​​Food and Nutrition Security, Health, Livelihoods and Rural and Urban Development. His work has focused on countries such as Myanmar, Cambodia, the Philippines and Tanzania in East Africa.

Choo Phuah: citizen of Malaysia, with a master’s degree in Public Administration from Princeton University. She has worked in Southeast Asia, including Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam in the United Nations Development Program, international non-governmental agencies such as HIV AIDS Alliance and FHI 360. She has worked in sexual and reproductive health and HIV programs and currently participates in the Program to Strengthen Civil Society and the Media in Myanmar.

Some problems derived from our way of life: 90% of the world’s population breathes polluted air every day, constituting the greatest environmental risk for global health.

The drive to increase productivity and lower food prices has caused food production to use pesticides and antibiotics. The need for accelerated meat production has led to the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in farm animals. At the same time, low sanitary conditions in farms increase the use of antibiotics for routine preventive therapeutic purposes. According to the latest estimates, around 73% of antibiotics produced in the world are used in animal health. This causes serious contamination of water and soil, spreading multiresistant bacteria in the environment.

Mother Earth Conference in Argentina

Later this year, June 3-7, ReAct Latin America arranges the international Mother Earth Conference with several hundred participants from a diverse number of countries. This will be an academic and social participation space in which several aspects will be reflected.

References:

Harmony with Nature: United Nations. 

WHO: Ten threats to global health in 2019.