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2. The future is now: Democratic Governance for Sustainability.

We are that next generation of humans who will soon be in leadership positions in our country and around the world. As young sustainability leaders, we are concerned about the scientifically-chronicled and increasingly serious environmental challenges facing Earth and humanity. These include global warming, depleting water supplies, loss of the natural biodiversity essential to evolutionary life on Earth, and so much more.

The mostly human-caused environmental challenges facing Earth have potentially devastating consequences for all of human life. Thus, we honestly do not believe that only a select few privileged citizens of Earth who currently hold elected and other official positions of power can pretend they have the sole moral authority to speak out on behalf of all of Earth’s over 6.6 billion human citizens and countless other life forms.[1]

We consider it essential that México’s national, state and local politicians, as well as other leaders in the international arena, become aware of those issues which our generation thinks are essential for the long-term well-being of our shared Earthly home.

The time has come for all interested citizens of Earth to be collectively engaged by their governmental leaders in the creation of sustainable development solutions at this important juncture in human history on Earth. Science is telling us that the environmental and related social and economic challenges now facing Earth - ones which are themselves being mostly caused by humans - require immediate action.

There is an urgent necessity for ongoing global conversations among all those of Earth’s humans who care about solving our species’ current (un)sustainable patterns of behaviour. Whether old or young, poor or rich, woman or man, people of different colours and races and creeds and beliefs, labourer or professional, formally-educated or self-taught, elected or unelected... we collectively need to join together in shared action toward changed human behaviour.

In 1992, 176 countries including México signed on to many UN agreements including Agenda 21, a framework document which committed signatory countries to specific sustainable development practices.

Agenda 21

In “Section III’ of Agenda 21, national government’s committed to “broad public participation in decision-making.”[2] Agenda 21 explicitly recognises that for sustainable development to be practiced and eventually realised, citizens from all walks of life must be actively engaged in sustainable development decision-making on an ongoing basis.

The United Nations’ also captures the importance of engaging average people in decision-making as this relates to tourism, an economic activity of major significance to México, our state and our own cities of Cancun and Playa del Carmen:
  • “A community involved in planning and implementation of tourism has a more positive attitude, is more supportive and has a better chance to make a profit from tourism than a population passively ruled – or overrun – by tourism. One of the core elements of sustainable tourism development is community development….”[3]

We, as young Mexican leaders in sustainability, seek from our national, state and local governments the creation of real and ongoing opportunities for our involvement in democratic Governance for Sustainability. It is in this frame-of-reference that we write this book and offer our own ideas and solutions for the sustainable development of our beloved home: México.

[1] worldometers - world statistics updated in real time. (2008). worldometers [online]. Available from: http://www.worldometers.info/ [Accessed: 24 March 2008].
[2] UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Sustainable Development. (2004). Agenda 21: Preamble, Chapter 23 [online]. Available from: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/documents/agenda21/english/agenda21chapter23.htm [Accessed: 27 February 2008].
[3] UNEP – United Nations Environmental Programme, Production and Consumption Branch: Tourism. (2001a). How Tourism Can contribute To Socio-Cultural Conservation [online]. Available from: http://www.uneptie.org/pc/tourism/sust-tourism/soc-global.htm [Accessed: 23 April 2008].

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