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globe logo     Caravan: Newsletter of the Alliance for a Responsible, Plural and United World
Number 8 June 2001

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 · Summaries
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"Peace on the world", James Muratha

The Booklets of proposals for the 21st century
Summaries of a few booklets*

Environmental education
The degradation of the biosphere is accelerating. The mission of environmental education must go beyond simply making people aware to make them act as citizens. In this context, five directions can be identified: attempts must be made to make citizens take a more critical stand, so as to ensure more democratic control over political orientations; the development of a global and critical approach towards education as a whole; emphasis must be placed on training specific socioprofessional groups; environmental education must be designed and set up for the public; and original experiences occurring in civil society need to be diffused. []

The privatization of life
Confronted by patents on life forms related to the development of biotechnologies, the people of the world must be given the possibility of refusing monopolies that exclude them from the fundamental right to use vital products and the right of access to knowledge that they themselves have contributed to producing. Thus four main proposals have been put forward: the prohibition of patents being taken out on life forms as a principle of universal ethics; the development of alternative ways for rewarding innovation; the setting up of conditions for democratic control over the patent system; and the regulation of access to biological resources. []

Preserving soils from degradation and promoting sustainable use involves a radical change of mentalities that requires three essential conditions: the rehabilitation of the way soil is perceived by popular culture; legislation treating soil as a natural resource difficult to renew; and the addition of soils to the universal heritage of humankind. The Soils Mobilization Program puts forward a number of concrete initiatives and proposals. []

* Summaries by Olivier Petitjean, Saya Saulière and David Beytelmann

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