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Brides, the Sultan of Albania and Sustainability

por Milton Nogueira — publicado 02/07/2010 14h09, última modificação 30/08/2010 14h18
Assim deveria ser a sustentabilidade, uma geração decide adotar políticas e a organizar-se de modo a legar para a próxima um melhor acesso a recursos naturais, sem destruir a natureza

Assim deveria ser a sustentabilidade, uma geração decide adotar políticas e a organizar-se de modo a legar para a próxima um melhor acesso a recursos naturais, sem destruir a natureza

Legend has it that centuries ago, the Sultan of Albania decreed that brides should plant an olive tree before marriage. Families took to the idea and, over the generations, they wrote songs and poems, performed dances, designed gorgeous costumes and turned the planting of olive trees before weddings into parties full of emotion and hope. Future brides also planted dates, lemons, figs, pears, cherries and apples. Today,although Albania is the poorest country in Europe, it doesn’t need to import fruit or food. It’s poor, yes, but not starving. Thanks to the brides.

This should be what sustainability is all about : each generation doing good deeds for the benefit of the next, such as preserving as many natural resources as possible without destroying nature.

In the face of an increasingly violent climate, will humanity do as the Albanian brides, and plant solutions for the future? Will the governments of the world take unpopular but necessary measures? How can citizens help?

Climate change is a major problem worldwide. It brings in its wake an increase in epidemics, loss of crops, droughts, floods, hurricanes, and migration. It’s the result of burning coal, oil and gas which emit carbon dioxide. Once in the atmosphere, the gases remain there for centuries.

We need to find an urgent solution, but how? Two of the most efficient and immediate solutions are to reduce deforestation and plant trees -- billions of trees -- as advocated by the United Nations Environment Program, UNEP, and Wangari Maathai, the Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Here is a small utopian idea: why not create the conditions for people to plant trees and protect forests, to celebrate something exciting in their life. Have you had a baby ? Are you getting married? Has your relative or friend graduated in medicine? Or found a new job? Did the Brazilian soccer team win? Has Gilberto Gil composed new songs? Any event can be a good reason for planting trees, and this in turn will remove the gases from the atmosphere.

Those who can’t plant trees themselves can still help, by supporting initiatives to protect existing forests. For instance, they can participate in campaigns against deforestation, vote for an eco-friendly candidate, or reduce wasteful consumption at home.

Indigenous young people learn to take care of the forest : they know it will take care of them in old age.
The Brides say: let's plant and cherish nature, so that she can care for ourselves and our children.

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