COVID-19 taught us an essential lesson. For all its technological advances, humanity is not immune to the impacts of overusing natural ecosystems, damaging wildlife, and compromising the biosphere. We are not separate from nature – we cannot be healthy on an unhealthy planet. Neither are we separate from one another. We are one biology on one Earth.
In 2020, the pandemic-induced lockdown measures around the world slowed human activity down. As a consequence, the date of Earth Overshoot Day – when humanity has used as much ecological resources as the planet’s natural ecosystems can regenerate in the whole year – was pushed back to where it stood some 15 years ago (a conservative 24 days later than in 2019.) The global Ecological Footprint shrank year-over-year, but it was not good news because it came at the tremendous cost of a global tragedy that impacted millions of lives.
We believe that a sustainable world is achieved only when (i) humans and biodiversity thrive (ii) within the ecological means afforded by planet Earth, our only home and inescapable context. Well-being (i) and one-planet compatibility (ii) are two variables that can be measured and tracked. The critical framework they provide delineates the minimum threshold for #OnePlanetProsperity, below which humanity only keeps jeopardizing the regenerative capacity of the planet towards a disastrous outcome. All solutions created to pave our way to #OnePlanetProsperity can be designed and assessed against this framework – from nurturing nature and biodiversity to transforming our energy systems, our cities, our food systems, as well as promoting girls’ education and women’s empowerment everywhere.
We are running out of time. This year governments are scheduled to convene from all over the world at UN summits on biodiversity (CBD COP15), climate change (UNFCCC COP26), and desertification (UNCCD COP15). Global agreements powerfully support humanity’s progress towards a sustainable future. All the while we cannot afford to wait before we take action, one city, one country, one company, one entity, one individual at a time. All of us are called to shaking off the status quo, letting our imaginations soar, embracing possibilities, and championing innovation in all shapes and forms. Ultimately, a constellation of life-sustaining actions is what is needed in order to #MoveTheDate of Earth Overshoot Day intentionally and by design, in 2021 and each year that follows.
So go #MoveTheDate. World and national leaders, influencers, decision makers in the public sphere or in business, local actors, community organizers and members, let the world know what you are doing to support the long-term success of humanity and ensure your own. Let us know how we can support you. Ask us how you or your organization can support the movement to keep spreading the word and fueling action (hint: translators welcome!). Let’s talk. Together, let’s design our future.
Add your voice to the #MoveTheDate movement!