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World Bank calls on countries to take urgent steps to protect 'natural capital'

One of the most significant topics of our time is the current eco-crisis and the ongoing environmental and ecological degradation, affecting the fabric of society everywhere, with implications for our culture, for our society, for our health and well-being, as well as for the integrity of the “Mother Earth” itself. There is no doubt that, we should see this multitude of crises as a wakeup call to action, to see things as they are. We should search with an open mind for the wisdom we need to transform our economic system to a sustainable path, grounded in ecological reality, with respect for justice and dignity for all, and our appreciation for nature and our kinship for all living things.

We need to question the ability of mother earth to support the extravagance of our blind and ignorant consumerism. We also need to put self interest in perspective, and balance it with concern for the common good and for other species and the earth.

Building a new economic system will demand challenging and novel ways of thinking, perspectives that encompass the broad swath of human experience and wisdom, from the natural sciences and all the social sciences, to the philosophical and spiritual values of the world’s major religions and of indigenous peoples as well. The task before us is a daunting one, and wisdom in how to proceed will come from a multiple of sources, and must embrace the panorama of cultural and disciplinary perspectives.

It is in this spirit that I was so pleased to notice the World Bank’s report on green growth which was published today (Wednesday 9 May 2012) at an international conference in Seoul, South Korea.

“Putting a monetary value on natural ecosystems is a key step on the road to 'green' economic growth”—World Bank

“Countries must take urgent steps to value their natural capital – such as forests, peatlands and coastal areas – as part of their economic development, the World Bank has urged…Placing a monetary value on natural ecosystems is a key step on the road to "green" economic growth… By making such estimates, countries can develop policies that ensure the pursuit of economic growth does not occur at the expense of future growth potential, by destroying natural assets such as water sources or polluting air, rivers and soil.”…

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