Monday, 28 December 2020

Special News--January 2021

Global Integration Updates 
Special News--January 2021
Issue 55
View this email in your browser

Global Integration Updates
Common Ground for the Common Good 
Be the people we need--Build the world we need

Special News--January 2021

State of the Planet
Our Suicidal War on Nature
Reports and Research--Awareness and Action

Image source: Global Peace Index, Institute for Economics and Peace

“ To put it simply, the state of the planet is broken…Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal. Nature always strikes back -- and it is already doing so with growing force and fury.” UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Special Address on The State of The Planet, 2 December 2020 


In this Update we feature the recent Special Address by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the State of the Planet (part one). We use this 28 minute video as a point of departure to overview and probe the ongoing climate-environment concerns and crises, actions and debates. This is the "must" review resource--things we all need to know--in the Update. And then as you have time and interest, part two encourages us to go deeper, presenting several resources related to climate and the environment for perspectives and insights.

Guterres’ message (like the resources in this Update) does not present pleasant news. In fact, it is disturbing. And it comes at a time when so many of us are really wanting—and needing—to hear some good news in our lives and world. Nonetheless, we encourage you to dig deep within and muster the time and courage to carefully review it.

What do you think: Is this address a sensible, prophetic call to change and to confront devastating environmental folly—our suicidal war on nature? Is it manipulative rhetoric to foment fear and reinforce dependency on the UN? Something in-between? Or something else, stirring up our existential purpose and meaning?

We also continue to include Perspectives and Resources for Covid Care (part three). We have compiled these materials over the past nine months to support you, your family, your organization, and others in your life.

See also these Global Integration Updates:
Wellbeing for Who? Reports from Seven SectorsFebruary 2020
Doomsday: Next Stop, Global Dis-Integration? June 2017

Warm greetings,
Kelly and Michèle


--Share your comments and resources on our MCA Facebook page 
--Forward to your colleagues and networks (link to sign up is at the end).

Featured Resources
State of the Planet
Our Suicidal War on Nature
Reports and Research--Awareness and Action

 Source: UN image

I have detailed an emergency, but I also see hope. I see a history of advances that show what can be done – from rescuing the ozone layer to reducing extinction rates to expanding protected areas. Many cities are becoming greener. The circular economy is reducing waste. Environmental laws have growing reach. At least 155 United Nations Member States now legally recognize that a healthy environment is a basic human right. And the knowledge base is greater than ever”. UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Special Address on The State of The Planet, 2 December 2020 


Part One: Special Address 
State of the Planet

Things we need to know

On 2 December at Columbia University, the UN Secretary-General presented an overview--and warning--on the woeful state of the planet. He also highlighted progress in improving aspects of the environment yet clearly emphasized the serious collaborative action that needs to take place at all levels--individual through international--to lessen and/or avert major catastrophes. We strongly encourage you to watch this address and to seriously consider--and critique from your vantage points--the assertions, concerns, and action steps outlined. You can access the video HERE (28 minutes). The text is available in the six official UN languages.

Guterres mentioned several examples of collaborative efforts/events in 2021:
--World Ocean Summit, Lisbon, Portugal, 2-4 March 2021
Biodiversity Conference, Kunming, China, 17-30 May 2021
International Conference on Chemicals Management, Bonn, Germany, 5-9 July 2021
Food Systems Summit, September or October 2021
Climate Change Conference (COP 26), Glasgow, UK,  1-12 November 2021
Global Sustainable Transport Conference, Beijing, China, date  in 2021 TBA
Also noted:
UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030)
New Urban Agenda: Habitat III Quito, Ecuador, October 2016

We face three imperatives in addressing the climate crisis: First, we need to achieve global carbon neutrality within the next three decades. Second, we have to align global finance behind the Paris Agreement, the world’s blueprint for climate action. Third, we must deliver a breakthrough on adaptation to protect the world – and especially the most vulnerable people and countries -- from climate impacts”. UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Special Address on The State of The Planet, 2 December 2020

Part Two: Going Deeper
Examples of Resources to Review

--Trash vortexes in the oceans. Original source of image unknown. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the North Pacific Ocean, also known as the Pacific trash vortex, is the largest. This area covers about 1.6 million square kilometers--twice the size of Texas and three times the size of France.  An estimated 8 million tons of plastic enter the oceans each year. More information: Ocean CleanupUN Environment Program, Oceans and SeasSDG 14”Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine  resources for sustainable development”  (UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Sustainable Development); and Addressing Marine Plastic: A Systemic ApproachUN (December 2019).

--Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action--A Greener, Cleaner, Brighter Future. “As the world looks to recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is growing global recognition that the catalyst for transformational change is investment in a green and sustainable global economy that produces jobs, reduces emissions, and builds resilience to climate impacts. In December, we highlight Sustainable Development Goal 13--Climate Action--as we mark the fifth anniversary of the landmark Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and an end to an unprecedented year with an ambition to recover better, stronger and healthier.” (quote from website)
UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform offers many resources tracing progress and problems related to the SDGs,  including the foundational Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, UN (2015).

--UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs features many items on its website including  
Sustainable Development topics such as the environment, climate, oceans, etc. 

Greening the Blue Report 2020: The UN Systems Environmental Footprint and Efforts to Reduce It. UN Environment Agency (UNEP). “UNEP, in collaboration with hundreds of UN personnel from across the UN System, annually collects and analyses information provided by entities on their environmental impacts and publishes this data and case studies [in this report]…The 2020 edition…focuses on the impacts of over 310,000 personnel in Headquarters, field offices and operations on the ground.”

--The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) was set up in 2012 under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General. SDSN mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. SDSN works closely with United Nations agencies, multilateral financing institutions, the private sector, and civil society."  (quote from website)

--Paris Climate Agreement 2015. “The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015 and entered into force on 4 November 2016. Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. To achieve this long-term temperature goal, countries aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible to achieve a climate neutral world by mid-century. The Paris Agreement is a landmark in the multilateral climate change process because, for the first time, a binding agreement brings all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects.” (quote from website)

Laudate Sí: On Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis (2015), encyclical. “13. The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home….43. Human beings too are creatures of this world, enjoying a right to life and happiness, and endowed with unique dignity. So we cannot fail to consider the effects on people’s lives of environmental deterioration, current models of development and the throwaway culture....188. There are certain environmental issues where it is not easy to achieve a broad consensus. Here I would state once more that the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions or to replace politics. But I am concerned to encourage an honest and open debate so that particular interests or ideologies will not prejudice the common good.”

--UN Global Compact. “Corporate sustainability starts with a company’s value system and a principles-based approach to doing business. This means operating in ways that, at a minimum, meet fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Responsible businesses enact the same values and principles wherever they have a presence, and know that good practices in one area do not offset harm in another. By incorporating the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact into strategies, policies and procedures, and establishing a culture of integrity, companies are not only upholding their basic responsibilities to people and planet, but also setting the stage for long-term success." Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges; Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.” (quote from web site)

Mental Health and Climate

--Mental Health and Climate ChangeFive on Friday, Kathleen Pike (27 September 2019)

Addressing Mental Health in a Changing Climate: Incorporating Mental Health Indicators into Climate Change and Health Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessments. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Katie Hayes and Blake Poland (2018, 15, 1806; doi:10.3390/ijerph15091806)

--Psychology, History, and Human Rights. “Past and future generations need guardians to defend their latent interests in the face of capricious short-term policy decisions.” Global Network of Psychologists for Human Rights, Antoon De Baets (25 October 2020)

Concluding Remarks by Guterres
This is a moment of truth for people and planet alike. COVID and climate have brought us to a threshold.  We cannot go back to the old normal of inequality, injustice and heedless dominion over the Earth. Instead we must step towards a safer, more sustainable and equitable path. We have a blueprint: the 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change. The door is open; the solutions are there. Now is the time to transform humankind’s relationship with the natural world – and with each other. And we must do so together. Solidarity is humanity. Solidarity is survival. That is the lesson of 2020.With the world in disunity and disarray trying to contain the pandemic, let’s learn the lesson and change course for the pivotal period ahead. Thank you.” UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Special Address on The State of The Planet, 2 December 2020

Part Three: COVID Care
Perspectives and Resources

Image courtesy and (c) ENOD 2017

Rushing towards oblivion, like lemmings to the sea
We stumble through this lifetime, and call it being free.
But knowing where you’re going, and who you’re meant to be
That’s what freedom means to me.”

Randy Stonehill, Bad Fruit, 1980
Pandemics bring out people's best selves or their worse selves--our selfless and our selfish qualities. The reality of the uncertainties and anxieties of life, and indeed survival--existential risk--is heavy upon the world. Positively, the current COVID-19 pandemic certainly provides plenty of opportunities for us all--individually through internationally--to reflect on the types of people we want to be, the types of societies we need to build, and the types of changes we have to make.  

We join together in solidarity with the world community's efforts, locally through globally, on behalf of covid care and in hopes to stir up the best selves in all of us. We also note that the many overlapping problems in our world continue unabated--shadow pandemics--even as this covid pandemic dominates the center stage globally: multi-dimensional poverty, protracted violence, human rights violations, gross inequalities, racism, mental ill health, environmental degradation, etc. This is the ongoing, cascading context which challenges us daily as we seek to practically support the wellbeing of all persons/peoples and the planet.

Our recent Updates below are compiled to help ourselves and others with covid care. Examples of issues/resources: anxiety, trauma, depression, confinement, loneliness, loss, grief, relationship strains, coping for children, work insecurities, spiritual struggles, uncertainty/concerns about what is going on, compassion, courage, mutual support, faith-based strengths, etc. 

--Grieving Well--Healing Well: Resources for Growth through Loss
Global Integration Update (November 2020)
Tough Times: Tougher People. Best selves--Better world
Global Integration Update (October 2020)
--Solidarity for Covid-Care: Being Real-Life Heroes
Global Integration Update (September 2020)
--Keep Persevering: Stories and Strategies in the Pandemic
Global Integration Update (August 2020)
--Managing Stress and COVID-Distress: Faith-Inclusive Resources
Global Integration Update (June 2020)
--Staying Sane During COVID-19: Mental Health Resources for Ourselves, Others, World Global Integration Update (May 2020)
--Confronting COVID-19: “Be smart. Be safe. Be kind. 
Global Integration Update (April 2020)

See also:
--2020 Year in Review: The Impact of COVID-19 in 12 Charts, World Bank (5 languages)
--WHO COVID-19 Resources and Guidance, World Health Organization
--Helpful Thinking During the Coronavirus OutbreakNational Center for PTSD (USA)
--A Self-Care Guide...during COVID-19. Mary Hock Center, George Mason University
--Resolution, COVID-19 ResponseWorld Health Organization (May 2020)

Member Care Associates

Member Care Associates Inc. (MCA) is a non-profit, Christian organization working internationally from Geneva and the USA. MCA's involvement in Global Integration focuses on the wellbeing and effectiveness of personnel and their organizations across sectors (e.g., mission, humanitarian, peace, health, and development sectors) as well as global mental health and integrity/anti-corruption, all with a view towards collaboratively supporting sustainable development for all people and the planet. Our services include consultation, training, research, resource development, and publications.

Global Integration (GI) is a framework for actively and responsibly engaging in our world--locally to globally. It emphasizes connecting relationally and contributing relevantly on behalf of human wellbeing and the issues facing humanity, in light of our integrity, commitments, and core values (e.g., ethical, humanitarian, human rights, faith-based). GI encourages a variety of people to be at the “global tables” and in the "global trenches"--and everything in-between--in order to help research, shape, and monitor agendas, policies, and action for all people and the planet. It intentionally links building the world we need with being the people we need.
Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability;
it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be coworkers with God,
and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. 

Martin Luther King, Jr., 
Letter from a Birmingham Jail (April 1963)

Global Integration Updates
2015-current (50+ issues)
Helping the Helpers--October 2017
Everyday Heroes--August 2017
Doomsday--June 2017
Living in Global Integrity--April 2017
Peace and Security--December 2016

Global Citizenship--June 2016
Faith-Based Partners in Transformation--August 2015

The GI Updates are designed to help shape and support the emerging diversity of global integrators who as learners-practitioners are committed to the "common ground for the common good." The image at the top of the Update (global pearl) is a cover detail from our edited book, Global Member Care (volume 2): Crossing Sectors for Serving Humanity (2013). William Carey Library. 
Copyright ©2021
Member Care Associates, Inc.

GI Updates are archived:

MCA main website

Global Mental Health-Map

MCA email:
Thanks for sharing the GI Updates
 with your colleagues and networks.

Sign up easily: 
Disclaimer: The inclusion of the materials in the GI Updates as well as the recommendations and opinions expressed in these materials do not necessarily reflect their endorsement. The responsibility for the interpretation and use of the materials lies with the reader.