News from the United Nations on the urgent state of the environment and those of us need a health environment for survival
Posted June 22nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large
A Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –
The wetlands and woodlands, and habitat areas that keep great waterways like the Niagara River healthy for generations to come are irreplaceable and priceless. Time must be up for those politicians and developers who put a price tag on these vital natural gems.
If you are beginning to notice the drum beat of posts we are featuring on NAL these days on the the relationship between human health and the health of our environment, and how significant a role a healthy environment can play in beating away pandemics, there is a method to my obsession with this topic.
My hope is that as many of us as possible, including our political representatives, in Niagara and this region of the world, take these reports from global experts to heart and work for a post-pandemic world that says ‘NO’ to billion-dollar abominations like the low-density urban sprawl planned for places like the wetland-rich Thundering Waters Forest – a significant natural area in our bi-national Niagara River watershed – in Niagara Falls.
At one of the last public meetings this year where people felt they could pack a room safely, these two young people joined more than 200 Niagara residents in letting Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati and his council, and a China-backed development corporation know that protecting nature means more to them than urban sprawl in an area that is a haven for trees and provincially significant wetlands. This development plan should be cast aside as a relic of past times.
The kind of 19th and 20th Century thinking that drives these unsustainable, highly costly projects – thinking that has we have to balance away or sacrifice ever more of out rich natural places – has always represented a false choice, pitched by the narrow interests, that has no place in a 21st Century world facing a deadly pandemic and potentially catastrophic climate change.
It is time to stand up and say ‘NO’ – THE JIG IS UP – to those among us who continue to traffic in this destructive thinking.
Doug Draper, Niagara At Large
Now here is the news from the United Nations on what nature is telling us about healthy environments and pandemics –
On this year’s World Environment Day, celebrated this past June 5th, the United Nations drawing links between the health of the planet, and human health, and highlighting the importance of protecting biodiversity, the system that supports life.
“At least 70 per cent of emerging infectious diseases” such as COVID-19, are crossing from the wild, to people, and “transformative actions are urgently required to protect environment and human rights”. This was the message from David Boyd, the independent UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, ahead of this year’s Day. Continue reading