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Our Wilderness, Our Congress


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Bittu Sahgal, Founder/Director of Sanctuary Asia, presenting during the Friday (6 November) WILD9 Plenary "What and Why - The World Wilderness Congress," specifically on "Our Wilderness, Our Congress."

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Our Wilderness, Our Congress

  2. 3. The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems. – M ohandas Karamchand Gandhi
  3. 4. Forgive me for I touch your body with my feet/ Algonquin N.P. Canada It’s a wonderful world . Photo: Dr. Anish Andheria/Sanctuary Photolibrary
  4. 5. The Himalaya – water source for 25% of humanity Photo: Dhritiman Mukherjee /Sanctuary Photolibrary
  5. 6. Ice caps and glaciers are vanishing. It’s a global meltdown. Photo: Bernard Castelein/Sanctuary Photolibrary
  6. 7. The snow leopard’s fate is sealed. Conifers are climbing higher up. Junipers are in retreat. Its death by climate. Photo: International Snow Leopard Trust Photo: Milan Trykar.
  7. 8. Natural ecosystems are the planet’s climate control infrastructures. It take great ignorance to destroy them. Photo: Gautam Shah/Sanctuary Photolibrary
  8. 9. Photo: Gautam Shah/Sanctuary Photolibrary Everything works! Nothing is wasted in nature. carbon is used by different species, recycled, then returned.
  9. 10. This Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill in South Africa’s Kruger, is one of several million gardeners of our Eden. Photo: Dr. Anish Andheria/Sanctuary Photolibrary
  10. 11. This Greater Blue-eared Starling’s fate is connected to that of Homo sapiens . Climate Change will affect both, democratically. Photo: Dr. Anish Andheria/Sanctuary Photolibrary
  11. 12. Across the world wetlands are being filled up, levelled to access more land. But these are vital carbon sinks. Photo: Dr. Anish Andheria/Sanctuary Photolibrary
  12. 13. Vast wildernesses do still exist, but are fast vanishing. Photo: N.C. Dhinga/Sanctuary Photolibrary
  13. 14. Flamingoes recognise no borders. Will they be represented in Copenhagen? Or are humans the only game in town? Photo: Jayanth Sharma / Sanctuary Photolibrary
  14. 15. The same holds true for Olive Ridley turtles. Oceans must cope with 100 million tons of floating waste. The 7 th continent Photo: Dhritiman Mukherjee/ Sanctuary Photolibrary
  15. 16. Ocean food webs are at greater risk than terrestrial ecosystems, from climate change and contamination. Photo: SeaWatch
  16. 17. The Tiger is a metaphor for all of nature. If we cannot leave space for these magnificent cats, what can we possibly save?
  17. 19. Photo: Sandesh Kadur/Sanctuary Photolibrary India and several other countries have cultures that still revere nature. Should economics trump them all?
  18. 20. Species diversity is critical to the ability of forests to help us fight climate change. Photo: Gautam Shah/Sanctuary Photolibrary
  19. 21. Deforestation is responsible for around 25% of India’s greenhouse gas emissions. Photo: Bittu Sahgal/Sanctuary Photolibrary
  20. 22. Photo: Kalyan Varma/Sanctuary Photolibrary Photo: Kalyan Varma/Sanctuary Photolibrary Its true that the industrial nations are responsible for climate change, but traditional societies too have to change their ways.
  21. 23. This are the tragic circumstances that we will increasingly have to deal with as ecosystems vanish and conflicts rise. Photo: Pranab Dhar/Sanctuary Photolibrary
  22. 24. A rise in temperature by 2 o C or more will seriously affect global food production. Are we aiming too low? Photo: Dhritiman Mukherjee/Sanctuary Photolibrary
  23. 25. Preventing forest fires is not a wildlife issue. It’s a human survival strategy. Every tree is 50% carbon by weight. Photo: Kerala Forest Department
  24. 26. Timber is a low cost resources – because economists never calculate the ecosystem services forests deliver. Photo: IFAW
  25. 27. Short term mining profits – but what do we do when there is no more water? Who will then feed our children? Photo: Samsul Huda Patgiri/Sanctuary Photolibrary
  26. 28. Alternate energy options exist. Yet countries like India Intend to expand coal-based thermal power plant capacities by 300 per cent in the next decade. Photo: M. John Basco / Sanctuary Photolibrary
  27. 29. We all want the good life, but for this, we must first have a life! Photo: Dr. Anish Andheria/Sanctuary Photolibrary
  28. 30. Photo: M. Aditya Bharadhwaj/Sanctuary Photolibrary Future imperfect!
  29. 31. Photo: Indraneil Senguptaj/Sanctuary Photolibrary Not a drop to drink! Our generation is colonising the poor and those yet to be born. This situation is now universal.
  30. 32. Photo: NOAA August 29,2005 Florida Hurricane Katrina
  31. 33. Photo: Partha Pal / Sanctuary Photolibrary Kolkata, India Kolkata, India. Not their fault, but it is their disaster.
  32. 34. Mumbai could lose U.S. $ 250 billion in infrastructure damage to climate change. Other mega-cities are equally vulnerable. Mumbai, India
  33. 36. Estimated global mean temperatures over the past 100,000 years. Source: IPCC
  34. 37. Projected global mean surface temperature changes in recent historical context. Source: IPCC
  35. 38. The Mauna Loa Lab in Hawai suggests The rise is relentless. Source: IPCC
  36. 39. Peru, South America Photo: Courtesy The Climate Project 1989 2004
  37. 40. Argentina, South America Photo: Courtesy The Climate Project 1984 2004
  38. 41. Italian Alps, Europe Photo: Courtesy The Climate Project 20 years ago Today
  39. 45. This is India’s Gaumukh glacier – It’s a place of pilgrimage. There was a furor when a natural ice ‘lingam’ considered holy melted. But no one asked about the glacier itself. Photo: Dr. Anish Andheria/Sanctuary Photolibrary
  40. 46. Yes. Let us debate the carbon-energy issue -- not whether it causes climate change, but the strategies needed to wean ourselves away from carbon.
  41. 47. Jungle nadi ki maa hai . That is what our ancestors believed. We would do well to heed the wisdom of the ages handed down to us by the Rig Veda. Photo: Manoj Sindagi/Sanctuary Photolibrary
  42. 48. It’s crunch time! This stick insect imagines it will live forever. We are no different. Photo: Kalyan Varma/Sanctuary Photolibrary
  43. 49. Photos: Courtesy Kids for Tigers
  44. 50. We CAN do something. We can chang e our heroes.
  45. 51. <ul><li>These are the lessons we are trying to teach our children… After all, it is their heritage we are borrowing, not our possessions we are bequeathing to them. </li></ul>Kids for Tigers, the Sanctuary Tiger Programme works with one million children and is preparing them to combat climate change. Photo: Anish Andheria / Sanctuary Photolibrary
  46. 52. If we do not believe in tomorrow, what is left for us to believe?
  47. 57. <ul><li>These are the lessons we are trying to teach our children… After all, it is their heritage we are borrowing, not our possessions we are bequeathing to them. </li></ul><ul><li>What can countries do? </li></ul><ul><li>Remove the carbon from the atmosphere. The industrial North, led by the United States must assume direct responsibility for this. Why should someone else clean up the mess created by a handful of countries? And make deep carbon cuts, not token cuts. </li></ul><ul><li>Transfer low carbon technologies from the industrial north to tropical and less industrialised nations. </li></ul><ul><li>Protect wildernesses. Preventing deforestation is no longer a wildlife issue. Ecosystem destruction accounts for around 25 per cent of all greenhouse emissions. </li></ul><ul><li>Stop subsidies on carbon –energy including oil and coal. </li></ul><ul><li>Invest in efficiency for power generation and distribution is a no brainer. It also delivers more bang for the buck </li></ul>
  48. 58. <ul><li>These are the lessons we are trying to teach our children… After all, it is their heritage we are borrowing, not our possessions we are bequeathing to them. </li></ul><ul><li>Consume less, waste less , walk and use public transport. </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to your children about the climate issue . If you love them, teach them right and set a good example at home and work. </li></ul><ul><li>Fight your own government, hard, if its refuses to reform its policies to bring them in line with climate impratives. </li></ul><ul><li>Demand to know the source of your energy and even if it costs more, ask for non-carbon options. </li></ul><ul><li>Recycle everything you can… newspapers, bottles – even your lifestyle! </li></ul><ul><li>Remember, vegetarians have a lower carbon footprint than non-vegetarians. </li></ul>What can You and I do?