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Global People’s Health Movement Calls For A New International Economic, Political, And Social Order

Hundreds of health activists gathered in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in April to reinvigorate the struggle for health rights. This fifth global assembly since 2000 underscored the enduring vibrancy of the People’s Health Movement (PHM), a prime advocate for health as a human right for all. Established after the first People’s Health Assembly in 2000, PHM is a global network of activists, social movements, and organizations advocating for health as a fundamental human right, promoting comprehensive primary health care, and striving for equitable health systems. The fifth People’s Health Assembly featured plenary sessions, sub-plenaries, and interactive workshops focused on five key themes: resistance to war, occupation, and forced migration; traditional ancestral and popular knowledge; gender justice in health; transformation of health systems; and ecosystem health.

Biospheric Cognition

Biospheric Cognition is a radical innovation in human cognition which is emerging now, and could only have emerged and evolved in our time in history. It could not have emerged or evolved in the ancient world, or before modernity, because the sciences which enable biospheric cognition to fully realize itself didn’t exist then. “The term “biosphere” was coined in 1875 by geologist Eduard Suess, who defined it as the place on Earth’s surface where life dwells.” – Wikipedia, Biosphere That we live within ecosystems has been well known by traditional people for a very, very long time,  since a time even more ancient than ancient civilizations.

Cities, Roads, And The Sixth Extinction Event

Earth’s biosphere entered the stage of large, complex, multicellular life (following an extended – approximately three billion year – period of dominance by unicellular life) starting approximately 650 million years ago.  This ‘metazoan’ stage saw the tree of life proliferate and complexify, and has expanded into a huge variety of niches across the planet through to the present day.  A key phenomenon over this period has been extinction events; this describes periods of rapidly changing environmental conditions which have resulted in species die-offs and restructuring of ecosystems at different scales. 

Abrupt Ecosystem Collapse

A new study in Nature (April 2020) casts a disturbing light on the prospects of abrupt ecosystem collapse. The report analyzes the probabilities of collapsing ecosystems en masse, and not simply the loss of individual species. (Source: Trisos, C.H. et al, The Projected Timing of Abrupt Ecological Disruption From Climate Change, Nature, April 8, 2020) The paper states that a high percentage of species will be exposed to harmful climate conditions at about the same time, potentially leading to sudden and catastrophic die-offs of biodiversity. If high greenhouse gas emissions remain in place, abrupt events are forecast to begin before 2030 in tropical oceans and spread to tropical forests and temperate regions over time. Without doubt, no nation is prepared for the consequences of collapsing ecosystems nor are they doing anything to avert it.

Another Tourism Is Possible

The members of the Tourism Alert and Action Forum come from organizations around the world that have joined in solidarity to oppose exploitative forms of tourism and to act in solidarity with communities against such practices. We are watching the pandemic crisis with great concern, grounded in the knowledge that such crises: impact the most vulnerable communities disproportionately; that such crises are used to enact authoritarian policies and surveillance that long outlasts the crisis; and that corporate sectors and elites stand set to take advantage of this crisis. The corporate tourism, hospitality and events sectors have been brought to their knees by efforts to curtail and control the pandemic. Borders have been shut, travel has been banned, social activities have been curtailed and people told to stay in their homes.
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