We attended the 2 days conference that took place in Lisbon the 14th and 15th of September in Parque das Nações.

Want to see what we thought of it? Keep reading.

© Elizabeta Cifliku

As we were entering the entrance was filled with single use plastic bottles which constantly reminded us of the waste world we are currently living in.

First of all we participated to was the one of Paul Theroux, novelist and travel writer, who took us to a stream of though result of his travels. Freedom was the key word of his speech: freedom of knowledge and speech is still not accessible in our world.

Many population currently don’t have basic rights as freedom of speech or, in many minorities, nor the freedom of existing. Paul Theroux at the end of his speech said “The Future, if we have the future, will be based on the freedom of observe and report things as they are”.

Certainly we want to start from here.

Furthermore Carl Safina, author and endowed Professor at Stony Brook University, took us to a journey into animals world. We were reminded of the original cultural problem: all of our history we tried to fight back nature. Our technology has been evolving to use Nature and shape it, to the point we escaped it and created a system inside another ecosystem. Unlike the system we are living in, Nature in economy doesn’t have a price although it has a value.

© Elizabeta Cifliku

After that with Paul Rose, polar guide, expedition leader and tv presenter, the conversation shifted towards the importance of voting, choosing someone that has a connection with Nature.

A change of value when we go to vote is necessary.

Seas at Risk

In addition we need to take steps towards a more protected Earth. As Karen Snack pointed out the importance of having by 2050 at least 30% of the ocean and earth protected.

CO2 is a tricky polluter, cutting it off is not sufficient, even if we would go carbon neutral at this very own moment, it would take thousands of years before the levels go down.

Sylvia Earle, marine biologist, presented her life work inside the ocean and how it changed and shaped her view of the land. The importance of the ocean in our daily life is massive since 51% of the oxygen we breathe comes from the ocean. Protecting it will make not only our lives better, but will help our economy, increasing job opportunities.

Sustainable economy and education

Shifting to a sustainable economy was also set as a priority of John Kerry, American Politician that served as Secretary of State  from 2013 to 2017. Education as a tool of fighting for the species that are living here. This type of economy is not anymore sustainable, the shift to a circular one is urgent and needed. If we don’t have an administration whose paper doesn’t include green points we can’t change.

In conclusion, what we took home from this event, is the urgency of a call for action, from the citizens as well as from the autarchies. Keep being educated of the risks we are facing, keep getting informed of the choices we are making and try our best to make the most sustainable choice.

There are 100 companies that are responsible for almost 70% of the world CO2 emissions and this is happening just to secure a lifestyle we can’t anymore afford, and we have to be, more than ever, aware of it.