Preserve Planet Earth
Improving the environment has been central to Rotary service from the organization’s earliest days. Spurred by the example of Rotary founder Paul Harris, who stopped to plant many a tree during his world travels, Rotarians have planted millions of trees, created parks large and small, and carried out recycling activities in communities all over the globe. In 1990, Rotary International endorsed a focus on Preserve Planet Earth as a way to promote awareness among Rotarians and increase the number of Rotary environmental service projects. Reports from United Nations agencies and the World Bank underscore the urgency of preserving our planet:
- Without changes in water management, a third of the world’s people will likely suffer from chronic water shortages in 30 years.
- In a 25-year span of the late 20th century, the world’s natural forest cover declined about 10 percent, an area equivalent in size to England and Wales.
- Loss of forests and global warming are among factors aggravating the impact of natural disasters, resulting in great loss of life and displacement of people.
- Global energy use is increasing more than 2 percent a year, most of it from nonrenewable fossil fuels.
- In developing countries, an estimated 400 to 700 million women and children are exposed to severe air pollution, mainly from cooking fires.
- As much as a third of all croplands worldwide have lost topsoil due to poor agricultural practices, and drylands are spreading in more than 100 countries.
Where in the World … Are the trees Paul Harris planted?
Visit http://www.rotary.org/interactive/issues/200704/where.html to find out!
Environment Fellowship of Rotarians
Unites Rotarians and Rotaractors who have an interest or vocation in environmental issues.
Rotary International is proud to present a new issue of its multimedia publication, Interactive. Released 11 times a year, it’s regularly updated with stories from around the globe. Read “The Green Issue” at http://www.rotary.org/interactive/issues/200704/
World Environment Day June 5, 2007
World Environment Day, commemorated each year on 5 June, is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. The World Environment Day slogan selected for 2007 is Melting Ice – a Hot Topic? In support of International Polar Year, the WED theme selected for 2007 focuses on the effects that climate change is having on polar ecosystems and communities, and the ensuing consequences around the world
Rotary Global History Fellowship
At the Rotary International Environmental Seminar on Air Pollution in Chicago on August 13th 1990, PRIP Paulo Costa insisted that:
“Rotarians, as citizens of the world, must take the lead in facing the greatest challenge in human history, the survival of our planet.”
“We must not leave solutions to Governments alone. We must all help. We must change the mindsets that have permitted, even encouraged, waste and extravagance. We must change our habits and actions, personally, in our communities, in our businesses. Ecology is a question for the whole world to address, not just developing countries.”
At Rotary International’s Environmental Conference in Manaus/Brazil, amid the splendor of the Amazon Rain Forest, PRIP Paulo Costa continued:
“If every nation on this earth, developed or still developing, does not make responsible choices for our future, the entire planet will suffer the consequences. Fewer trees mean less rainfall. The rain that does fall washes topsoil away. And burning the trees sends carbon into the air, where it can contribute to the greenhouse effect. It is no longer a question of the beauty and integrity of nature. The future of humankind – and every other species is at stake.”
“There are very few organizations with Rotary’s potential to communicate good ideas. It is not our own good we seek, but it is the good of the Earth and those who inhabit it.”