GDWF Agenda

GDWF Roadmap For Sustainable Development 2015

After pursuing countless generations of continuous growth, the human species is finally confronted with one of its greatest challenges: how to live sustainably on planet earth.

The fact that we have not done so, up until now is readily evident – natural resources are running out and being degraded, local environments are experiencing radical climate changes, and people around the world are dying from natural calamaties, starvation and disease. As a result, new models are being sought out in terms of how humans should live and be on this planet. Sustainability is the key word, and knowing what it means and how to work towards it is essential.

Most models of human and cultural sustainability are based on economic factors and indicators, such as the Gross Domestic Product. The GDP is one of the measures of national income and output for any country’s economy. GDP is defined as the total market value of all final goods and services produced within the country in a given period of time. It is also considered the sum of value added at every stage of production of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time, and it is given a money value. The GDP does not distinguish, between activities that produce welfare and those that damage welfare, nor does it consider the depreciation and devaluation of natural capital caused by human activities. Natural capital is an economic way of saying “what the earth gave us:” clean water and air, animals and plants, mountains, oil, top soil, natural resources, etc.

To correct the depletion of natural capital in current economic models of sustainability, the “Green Dubai World Forum” enables Dubai and other countries in the region to be represented in a more realistic way since it includes discussion of human impacts on natural capital.

The “Green Dubai World Forum” will discuss the significance and impact of Governments influence on sustainable development in the region. The plenary session will be held on 24th of October 2008, and will have the keynote address by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Mr. F. W. de Klerk and speeches by other leaders. The forum will be held on the 25th of October 2008 and will have keynote speeches by world renowned Mr. Paul Hawken an environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist & author, Professor Ray Bradley, Director of the Climate System Research Center at the University of Massachusetts and Mr. Jerry Yudelson environmentalist & author. The forum will highlight the roadmap for a sustainable 2015.

How important is sustainability in these terms? it is very important. Use the example of Overshoot Day.

Overshoot day is the day in the solar year when humans have used up the year’s supply and begin to consume their capital. Greenhouse gases build up in the atmosphere, wastes and contaminants accumulate, resources become depleted and minerals are increasingly expensive to extract. The capacity of the environment to provide the same quantity of goods and services as it did the previous year is called sustainability. When we utilize more then the environment can produce, we have overshoot natures sustainable capacity.

Research indicates that Overshoot Day was December 19 in 1987, November 21 in 1995. The latest data indicates that Overshoot Day for 2007 was in September, and so far 2008 is shaping up to be the same.

The Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare corrects aspects of the calculation of GDP. It subtracts social costs due to air and water pollution, long-term environmental damage, defensive private expenditures on health and education, and deterioration of renewable and depletion of non-renewable natural resources. It adds, as a component of welfare, the value of unpaid domestic work in families, the distribution of wealth, considers services of durable goods and public infrastructure as benefits.