[Njheps] Declaration of Interdependence

Ned Raynolds nraynolds at cleanair-coolplanet.org
Wed Jul 7 11:09:15 EDT 2004

Thanks Carmela, that is a beautiful piece.

Ned Raynolds
Senior Program Officer
Clean Air-Cool Planet
100 Market Street, Suite 204
Portsmouth, NH  03801
603-422-6464 x 100
nraynolds at cleanair-coolplanet.org

-----Original Message-----
njheps-bounces+nraynolds=cleanair-coolplanet.org at listserver.njit.edu
[mailto:njheps-bounces+nraynolds=cleanair-coolplanet.org at listserver.njit
.edu] On Behalf Of Federico, Carmela M.
Sent: Wednesday, July 07, 2004 10:56 AM
To: njheps at listserver.njit.edu
Subject: [Njheps] Declaration of Interdependence

Thought I'd circulate this, to "update" and expand our Declaration of

Found at

Declaration of Interdependence
Five members of the David Suzuki Foundation team wrote the following
Declaration of Interdependence in 1992 for the United Nations' Earth
Summit in Rio de Janeiro. 
In 2001, Finnish composer Pehr Henrik Nordgren wrote his Symphony no. 6
"Interdependence" based on the declaration, which also served as lyrics
to the piece. It was performed for the first time in Sendai, Japan in
December, 2001. 

This We Know 
	We are the earth, through the plants and animals that nourish
	We are the rains and the oceans that flow through our veins.
	We are the breath of the forests of the land, and the plants of
the sea.
	We are human animals, related to all other life as descendants
of the firstborn cell.
	We share with these kin a common history, written in our genes.
	We share a common present, filled with uncertainty.
	And we share a common future, as yet untold.
	We humans are but one of thirty million species weaving the thin
layer of life enveloping the world.
	The stability of communities of living things depends upon this
	Linked in that web, we are interconnected -- using, cleansing,
sharing and replenishing the fundamental elements of life.
	Our home, planet Earth, is finite; all life shares its resources
and the energy from the sun, and therefore has limits to growth.
	For the first time, we have touched those limits.
	When we compromise the air, the water, the soil and the variety
of life, we steal from the endless future to serve the fleeting present.
This We Believe 
	Humans have become so numerous and our tools so powerful that we
have driven fellow creatures to extinction, dammed the great rivers,
torn down ancient forests, poisoned the earth, rain and wind, and ripped
holes in the sky.
	Our science has brought pain as well as joy; our comfort is paid
for by the suffering of millions.
	We are learning from our mistakes, we are mourning our vanished
kin, and we now build a new politics of hope.
	We respect and uphold the absolute need for clean air, water and
	We see that economic activities that benefit the few while
shrinking the inheritance of many are wrong.
	And since environmental degradation erodes biological capital
forever, full ecological and social cost must enter all equations of
	We are one brief generation in the long march of time; the
future is not ours to erase.
	So where knowledge is limited, we will remember all those who
will walk after us, and err on the side of caution.
This We Resolve 
	All this that we know and believe must now become the foundation
of the way we live.
	At this turning point in our relationship with Earth, we work
for an evolution: from dominance to partnership; from fragmentation to
connection; from insecurity, to interdependence.

Carmela M. Federico
Program Manager,
New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability
cfederico at njheps.org
973-596-2938 (v)
973-642-7170 (f)

York Center, NJIT
138 Warren Street
Newark NJ 07102

"...you will observe with Concern how long a useful Truth may be known,
and exist, before it is generally receiv'd and practis'd on."
--Benjamin Franklin, 1786, commenting on the health dangers of lead

"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial
appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in
defense of custom." -- Thomas Paine, Common Sense (2nd ed.). 

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