2008-01. Savia: School of Ecological Thought
January 24th, 2008
Guatemala City, Guatemala.
January 24, 2008.
Text: Magali Rey Rosa
Photography, captions and translation Spn-Eng: MiMundo.org
Magali Rey Rosa, internationally renowned Guatemalan environmentalist, successfully inaugurated the school of ecological thought Savia (which translates into Sap in English). Savia seeks to integrate all sectors of Guatemalan society so as to develop in conjunction a local solution to the severe environmental problematic.
Why think different?
By Magali Rey Rosa (originally published in Spanish in PrensaLibre, January 25, 2008)
Yesterday, by ways of an excellent conference focused on global climate change, we publicly inaugurated Savia, a school of ecological thought. The conference was given by Dr. Edmundo de Alba, a member of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Why start a school of ecological thought? Firstly because we accept and recognize that the current negative ecological equilibrium caused by human activities is – most probably – the greatest challenge faced by humankind today.
The ecological crisis which we barely now begin to recognize is the result of a certain line of thinking: a perception of the natural world and our relationship with such in addition to our ways of carrying on our actions. We must carefully examine these and make drastic changes if we seriously hope to confront such gargantuan challenges.
Our definition of ecology is based on the idea that everything is related with everything everywhere. Such definition makes us aware of the planet we find ourselves in which rotates in a cosmic space of immense dimensions, older than 4 millions years old, and ruled by laws which we humans did not create; Laws which we barely understand and are obeyed throughout the rest of the Universe.
We as humans are no more than just another creature which roams the Earth, bound by the same laws as all others. Yet, we have placed ourselves in the center of it all, as the reason to be and rulers of everything that surrounds us. We have felt the right to destroy at will and poison the only place we have to live in. And even if we have not done so willingly or conscientiously, we have carried on such destruction. This lifestyle has brought us to the current ecological crisis.
This is why we postulate an alternative way of thinking dissimilar from the predominant one. Western thought, the predominant notion in actuality, has engendered an economic system which ignores ecological issues, promotes patriarchy, individualism, and encourages unrestrained consumption. The systems which uphold life on our planet can no longer endure the rhythm of exploitation and consumption which Western thought has subjected them to.
If we Chapines, inhabitants of this earthly space known as Guatemala, can come together and recognize the ecological crisis we find ourselves in, we may just be able to turn it around into an opportunity to make real changes which hopefully will lead to a better future for us all. We are not condemned to continue following the path we have taken so far. We have the liberty and possibility to build a much healthier and just society. Such challenge is what Savia wishes to propose to all.
During the event, carried out in the Luis Cardozo y Aragon Cultural Center of the Mexican Embassy in Guatemala, Dr. de Alba confirmed that the global climate change problematic is mostly due to the use of fossil fuels as well as the change in the use of soil, mainly deforestation. In addition, Dr. de Alba stated other alarming and undeniable facts: 11 out of the 12 hottest years in record occurred between 1995 and 2006, extreme heat waves and high precipitation events will become more frequent, and therefore, climate change is undoubtedly the gravest problem faced by humanity.
“Guatemala’s principal problem stems from the use of its soil. Fifty percent of the [Carbon Dioxide] emissions which you release come from such soil use change. Deforestation of the forests and jungles is a fundamental problem.”
Founding members of Savia along with Dr. Edmundo de Alba; From left to right: Julieta Hernandez, Marielos Monzon, Dr. de Alba, Magali Rey Rosa, Anabela Sibrian, Jorge Cabrera, Carolina Escobar Sarti, Ivan Buitron, and James Rodriguez.
To get involved and contact Savia: firstname.lastname@example.org
Savia’s website here.
1 Naveda, Enrique. “La Atmósfera: Para estabilizarla, hay que reducir las emisiones de CO2 un 80 por ciento”. elPeriodico, Guatemala, January 26, 2008. P. 2.