World Wilderness Congress offers chance to help solve global issues

Homer has played an important role in Alaska’s environmental history because we have long believed that we can “think globally while acting locally.”

Indeed as the world gets still smaller, we realize that most of what we learned about ourselves and the world was learned in the last decade. New information and technology can empower us as we strive for a sustainable future for our grandchildren. 

The recent 10th World Wilderness Congress in Salamanca, Spain, allowed several Homer people to interact with global peers who share similar challenges, hopes and opportunities for protecting nature. 

The United Nations-like gatherings are held every four years. They are the world’s longest running conservation project and environmental forum and have convened nine times on five continents. Twelve hundred delegates from 60 nations gathered in Anchorage in 2005. 

This process builds a diverse international network
by utilizing the best science, strategic policies and innovative business practices. 

Appropriate cultural approaches also help in problem solving as we build a community of people from diverse professions and perspectives. This serves humankind in protecting, nurturing and restoring wild nature in order to continue to provide the ecological services (“life support”) needed by all species. “Nature needs half” the planet to be protected — intact and interconnected. The foundation  works to inform and inspire people about why “nature needs half” and how to achieve it. 

While it might seem unlikely that the six-minute speech of HRH Charles, Prince of Wales would be interesting to a crew hauling gear out on the bay, in the coffee shops around town or out East Road on a construction site, what he had to say to the Congress is well worth listening to. Parents might want to share this with their teenagers.

Simply type in your search engine window, Prince Charles at Wild 10 or the link 

This is what happens when we listen to voices outside our normal sphere of activity. We need to listen to different voices, each with its own point of view and prerspective. Civil dialogue, engaged in with mutual respect, has always been at the core of problem solving. In the face of ocean acidification and climate disruption it might be said that discussion about our shared futures has never been more essential. 

There also is a stunning three-minute video of the congress and its view of our global opportunities as we go forward. 

Search Wild 10 Introductory video

Michael McBride was a long-time board member of the Wild Foundation. His three-generation family is growing up and growing older at the Kachemak Bay Wilderness Lodge in China Poot Bay.