Environmental Conservation

Main Papers

Our Global Environment and the World Campaign for the Biosphere

Nicholas Polunina1

a1 President of the Foundation for Environmental Conservation; Secretary-General and Editor of the International Conferences on Environmental Future; Founder and Editor of Environmental Conservation; Convener and General Editor of Environmental Monographs and Symposia, 15 Chemin F.-Lehmann, 1218 Grand-Saconnex, Geneva, Switzerland.

After a requested account of how, starting from his student days, he had come gradually to ‘care about our Only One Biosphere’ and think globally (even if commonly acting only locally), the Author presents his ‘thoughts on what might best be done to [foster a World Campaign for the Biosphere] and make it operationally effective’. This Campaign should be world-wide and have the objective of educating everybody everywhere to full realization of the following facts and their often imperatively grave implications: (1) The Biosphere constitutes a single integrated whole of which all parts are often intricately interdependent, (2) we humans form an integral part of the Biosphere but are becoming far too numerous and heavily dominant for its or our own good, (3) we are absolutely dependent on the health of the Biosphere for our own subsistence and more as it constitutes our sole life-support, (4) The Biosphere in part or even in toto is in several ways fragile, but (5) it is gravely threatened by various human activities and out-sized capabilities such as those of nuclear weaponry which are said to be sufficient to destroy our civilization several times over, and conceivably even the entire Biosphere.

The second, longer part of the article is devoted to consideration of the following chosen ‘round dozen’ recommended activities through which it is thought the Campaign might best be advanced, at least in its early stages: (1) Publishing and broadcasting pertinent information and support by all appropriate means; (2) Using other vehicles of desirable publicity, including posters and stickers; (3) Instructive advertising and audienceattracting showmanship; (4) Books on the Biosphere and illustrated study manuals; (5) Specialist research and its vigorous application; (6) Need to control human numbers and behaviour; (7) National Parks, Biosphere Reserves, and Biological Gardens, etc.; (8) Pertinent conferences, meetings, and other ‘free’ deliberations; (9) Need to change human attitudes and priorities; (10) Need to establish due ethics and laws; (11) Institutional and organizational involvement towards survival; and (12) ‘Guardians of the Biosphere’ recognition and awards.

The above 12 points largely follow those presaged in the Editorial in our preceding issue, since completion of which it has emerged that this Campaign should be socalled (without reference to any time-scale), and that it might best be furthered by two United Nations agencies, an intergovernmental one, and at least one nongovernmental one—all hopefully working in concert.