Commissioner General

Charles Kelly

World Urban Forum 3

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« Networking to Change the World | Main | Sustainability – What does it mean? »

June 12, 2006

Comments

Andre du Plessis

Dear Commissioner Kelly,

Thank you for your guidance and response. As you can see on InternAfrica’s web page, Cape Town indeed has habitat problems…

InternAfrica’s solution is in line with trends that emerged from the habitat jam such as green buildings, agriculture, ecological footprints, renewable energy and in fact most of the 70 actionable ideas support Ubuntu, our core solution, and focus which can be downloaded from InternAfrica under Build a Home follow the link on the right.

Cape Town’s particular habitat crisis is born of the rural poverty suffered by our neighboring provinces. It is key that agriculture and sustainable development go hand in hand with urban development, or we face no solution at all.

It is unfortunate that the mayor of Cape Town is not at the WUF3, there is much out city needs to learn, however I applaud her staying at home to ‘pull up the socks’.

Thank you for the actionable ideas, We have much homework ahead of us, in particular how to action them, in our political climate. A daunting task, which through global collaboration is made much easier for me, my city and my fellow citizens of this very beautiful city. I look forward to it!

Sincerely
André du Plessis http://www.internafrica.org/

wuf3fum3

In respons to André du Plessis's message below
--------
Thanks for your posting. In a day or two, please check out the summary of the 70 ideas-to-action being presented to Forum participants. It will be available at www.habitatjam.com.

Stephen Morris


THE WORLD IS IN BIG TROUBLE

SYNOPSIS

Never before has the world had to face the massive problems it now does.The earth cannot sustain the current population with an acceptable lifestyle for all.

The following paper although only a few pages long sets out very clearly and simply why overpopulation greed and exploitation of resources (including labour) has led to these massive problems.It briefly outlines the causes of overpopulation and environmental degradation. More importantly it sets out clearly and succinctly the actions required both in the short and longer term, to effectively tackle overpopulation,environmental degradation and gross human suffering.

Please take a couple of minutes to read it

The contributor Stephen Morris is a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) and has been a Management Consultant specialising in company turnarounds for over 30 years.This work requires the ability to simplify very complex problems.

THE PROBLEM

Humanity now faces the greatest challenge to life on earth as we know it.

Overpopulation and industrialisation are leading to environmental degradation and human suffering on a scale never before experienced.

Up until the year 1900 the world’s population was about one billion and is believed to have been stable at that level for many centuries. Since then, in a little over 100 years this has grown to around 6 billion people.

The results of this growth are more than evident through environmental degradation. It has caused:

-deforestation around the world
-deserts expanding and more frequent droughts
-the greatest extinction of animal species since the dinosaurs
-shrinking of the arctic ice cap and massive depletion of the ozone layer in Antarctica
-receding glaciers around the world.
-over fishing and depletion of fishing grounds around the world
-coral bleaching due to rising ocean temperatures
.-increasing intensity of cyclones
-recurring famines and suffering in Africa and other developing nations.

Global warming is not science fiction-it is already underway while politicians debate what should be done about it.

WHAT HAS CAUSED THIS?

Surprisingly the very advances in industry and medicine that have made life so much better for people in industrialised countries have led to the situation the third world is now in.

The pollution from industry and motor vehicles is all to obvious in all our major cities. What is not obvious is the impact that industrialisation and medical science has had in causing overpopulation and environmental degradation in developing countries.

In the past Earth has always controlled its numbers through wars, famines,
plagues, infant mortality and short life spans.

People in developing countries have always had large families. Why? Because in the past with high infant mortality rates, from a family of 10 only two would be expected to make it through to adulthood. But in the last century two things have happened:

1) growing industrialisation has caused a major shift of populations into cities

2)this has facilitated access to western medicine. Well intentioned programs have resulted in declining infant mortality and unintentionally caused populations to explode as more children make it through to adulthood.

Globalisation was supposed to provide a level playing field and help the third world to achieve better living standards. It has not. Trade deals are rarely on an equal basis and the gap between the have’s and have not’s is widening. We now have dissent through Terrorism. All groups think they have God on their side.

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

FIRSTLY:
What must be recognised is that women in developing countries don’t all want to have large families They actually look forward to the menopause so they can’t have more children.

What is needed in the SHORT TERM is education and access to birth control on a large scale .Condoms must be freely available as these help to contain the spread of AIDS, which is the least preferable means of population control. Additionally voluntary sterilisation programmes must be freely available for both men and women.

SECONDLY
Governments in developed countries must be lobbied to take control of globalisation rather than let large companies and their shareholders set biased agenda’s that are in their own selfish interests.
We must press for better labour conditions and environmentally sustainable development in the both industrialised countries and the third world.The sole pursuit of wealth generation by companies and their shareholders does not contribute to the well being of earth and its people.

THIRDLY
In the LONGER TERM a whole new approach to, “economic growth” and sustainable development must be adopted.

This will require a fundamental rethinking of the whole concept of “economic growth”

The whole theory of economics as taught in western countries involves ever growing markets and increasing market shares and exploiting whatever resources companies can lay their hands on.

But what if we have static or declining populations. Current economic theory goes out the window.

There is only one solution. We must go back to making quality products that last for many years and abandon the current fixation with constant new models and “planned obsolescence”.

We must make quality cars and build houses that last for many years so that work is created for people to repair them rather than scrap them and manufacture new products that use up the worlds resources and create more and more pollution and waste.This will require government legislation and incentives to steer manufacturers in this new direction and also to make them adopt clean manufacturing processes. Governments must again be lobbied for this to occur.

This will not only result in careful use of the worlds natural resources but create jobs for static or declining populations,rather than continually replacing men with machines in factories churning out more and more disposable goods.

But we the above must be short and longer term MAJOR OBJECTIVES.


THE FIRST STEPS

STEP 1.
Every great journey starts with one small step. The first step is to set up a non profit Organisation which I will call STEW “Save The Ecological World” in as many countries as possible to start lobbying our governments.

STEP 2.
Next, governments in industrialised countries must be lobbied and pressured to legislate that all companies with sales of more than $1 million pay an annual contribution to STEW of only1/2% of their sales.While this will be easily affordable to these companies it will result in contributions to STEW of around $U.S.250 billion per annum(from the 18 largest economies alone).More than enough to provide education and birth control in developing countries.

STEP 3.
Moneys received by STEW must be used as follows:

a) Set up distribution centres in countries worst affected with overpopulation/AIDS-mobile education and distribution to be utilised.

b) Lobby governments in developed countries to reduce use of fossil fuels, especially for power generation which accounts for 40% of fossil fuel pollution. Use safe nuclear power as a short term alternative and research new low polluting alternative energy sources.

c) Set up lobbying group to campaign against further destruction of rain forests, particularly the Amazon (the lungs of the world) and in S.E. Asian countries including Borneo etc.

d) Governments in all countries must also be lobbied to introduce legislation and incentives for manufacturers to produce quality products (starting with the major items of cars and houses) that have long life spans. The public must also be educated to make it unfashionable to buy new models all the time.

wuf3fum3

The Strawjet looks interesting. I have forwarded the link to the leaders at the International Institute for Environment and Development in the UK. They are one of the more engaged international organizations working on slum upgrading. I also forwarded it to the International Association of Slum Dwellers, who we have been working with us in both the Habitat JAM and in the preparations for WUF3.

I found interesting the use of paper pulp, clay and cement as binders in construction, rather than plastic resins. When I was in China looking at the Great Wall, the massive construction was held together with rice porridge or “congee”!

Andre du Plessis

Dear Commissioner Kelly,

We are a Non Governmental Organisation that is focused on bringing sustainable green-construction to the our troubled and failed human habitat environment.

The oppression of the past has created terrible living conditions, our new democracy has done little to improve it.

It is clear South Africa, and in Particular the Western Cape have no idea how to deal with this problem. The problem is greater than the skills available, can visualise or cooperate politically toward a solution.

InternAfrica participated in the Habitat-Jam, and work daily in educating citizens how to create their own sustainable green home.

Cape Town Needs all the input, advice, and working solutions that the World Urban Forum can offer. The models we are working from are failing, and what’s even more tragic we are creating slums of the future…

Please Help Cape Town South Africa.

André du Plessis - http://www.internafrica.org/

PS. L Lanes - I kiss YOU!!!
I've been looking for just that machine!!!!!! :) Thank you for that post.... WOW - I'm so chuffed for that!

That makes up for not being able to attend WUF3!

L Lanes

This is for Commissioner Charles Kelly and his office...it would be well worth your while to follow up on the latest winner of the history Channel's Inventor series. His invention would be perfect for the "slum upgrading and affordable housing" project. If you are really into sustainability...check this out!!http://www.historychannel.com/invent/?page=winner_ward

The comments to this entry are closed.

Articles

Forum ends with urban poor focus
Daniel Lak, BBC News, Vancouver - June, 24 2006

Ideas struggle amid urban chatter
Ben Sutherland, BBC News, Vancouver - June, 24 2006

Meeting needs of cities key, forum told: Urban populations set to hit four billion in next 30 years, world conference hears
Matthew Kwong, Globe and Mail - June 22, 2006

World ignores Afghan development, urban forum told
Allan Dowd, The Star, Malaysia - June 22, 2006

World Urban Forum was the place to network
Daniel Lak, CBC News Online - June 22, 2006

Spare a thought for the urban poor
Hindustan Times - June 21, 2006

Make shelter basic human right, activists urge
Doug Ward, Vancouver Sun - June 20, 2006

Seeking answers for the world's swelling cities
Daniel Lak, CBC News Online - June 19, 2006

Passion Quest: Young people have 'passion' to fight today's problems
Emily Chung, Vancouver Sun - June 19, 2006

Fifteen Days to Save the World
Vancouver Sun Special Feature - June 19, 2006

Six delegates speak out
Emily Chung, Vancouver Sun - June 19, 2006

The Future Is Now: 10 visions for the urban century
Don Butler, The Ottawa Citizen - June 18, 2006

World forum begins with a challenge
Jonathan Fowlie, Vancouver Sun - June 17, 2006

Cities at centre of UN talks
Globe and Mail - June 16, 2006

Forgotten urban poor a living time bomb - UN
Reuters - June 16, 2006

Vancouver's challenge
Vancouver Sun - June 16, 2006

Our Cities: slums and the urban environment
GLOBE-Net - June 14, 2006

Urbanization is a world concern
Doug Ward, Vancouver Sun - June 14, 2006

The challenges facing an urban world
Mark Kinver, BBC News - June 13, 2006

Star speaker was shack dweller: Jockin Arputham leads fight against urban poverty
Francis Bula, Vancouver Sun - June 7, 2006

Shacks in South Africa Can Garner Fancy Prices
Michael Wines, New York Times - June 7, 2006

World Urban Forum
Joseph Roberts, Common Grounds - June 2006

Our Cities: Planning for Sustainability
GLOBE-Net - May 31, 2006

Wake up, Vancouver!
Charles Montgomery, TheTyee.ca - May 30, 2006

Plotting to be Heard
Jonathan Fowlie, Vancouver Sun - May 30, 2006

Environmental Problems in Growing Cities
Development Gateway - May 10, 2006

Video Interviews

Studio 4 – Shaw TV
May 18, 2006
Opening (Windows Media - 3 MB)

Habitat JAM (Windows Media - 2 MB)

Objectives 1 (Windows Media - 1.6 MB)

Objectives 2 (Windows Media - 1.5 MB)

Outcomes? (Windows Media - 3 MB)

What Is The Commissioner General Role (Windows Media - 1.2 MB)

Why Vancouver? (Windows Media - 1 MB)

Full Interview (Windows Media - 14 MB)


OMNI Television
May 31, 2006
The Standard (Quicktime - 25 MB)