One old wisdom says, “ We have not inherited our planet from our fathers, we have borrowed it from our children ” Unfortunately, we must admit that we are blatantly robbing our children. Although we have achieved amazing technical and information progress, the mental development of people lags behind. We are still greedy, so we have conceded that the planet was dominated by consumerism. As a result, we are plundering natural ecosystems so much that they are no longer able to recover. We justify this with misleading quality of life criteria, deceive each other, and convince ourselves that it is not that bad. But it is much worse! We are creating an incalculable ecological debt and our planet is dying.
These photos show the same place. Coral loaf on the reef of Ras Mohammed in the Red Sea. They show the same place after fifteen years. Such a short time was enough to completely destroy the reefs that had been developing for fifteen thousand years. These pictures are a typical example of how aquatic ecosystems are currently changing.
Already in 1992, the UN adopted a declaration on sustainable development at the Rio de Janeiro Conference (the Rio Declaration). The European Union has embraced sustainable development as its horizontal priority, in an attempt to “ensure a way of developing human society that reconciles economic and social progress with the full preservation of the environment”. Despite a number of measures taken, the negative impact of our civilization on natural ecosystems is steadily deepening. Our Earth has changed fundamentally since the Rio Conference. A huge number of natural ecosystems have disappeared and other species have been extinct. New continents are emerging in the oceans from human waste, which is concentrated by sea currents and is already as large as Germany, France and Spain together. We continue to waste too much, as an example, only in Slovakia, 178 kilograms of foodstuffs per inhabitant end up in waste every year. We can only say that we have shamefully wasted that quarter of a century.
There are several causes, but the decisive thing is that we have started building a house without foundation. The basis for achieving sustainable development is education, which we have completely neglected. If we began to pursue sustainable development through education in schools at a time when the Rio Declaration was adopted, we could now have a new generation of people for whom the protection of life would be part of their mental equipment. It would be they who run states or businesses, and their moral set-up would not allow them, for example, to install software in car engines to trick emission controls.
In 2015, the UN adopted the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. According to many scientists, this is our last chance. If we really want to make use of it, we must be able to learn and education must become the main topic of the program.
“Borrowed Planet” is a project that raises key themes for sustainable development and by linking unique film documentaries, written text and environmental activities to education in schools and families is a modern, comprehensive learning tool that helps to understand, in an engaging and particularly understandable way, what changes in attitudes and action by people requires the preservation of climate, biodiversity and a sustainable way of life.
AUTHOR OF THE PROJECT
Words of the author
“Everything changed when I was running from the bridge over the Turiec River in Martin. I was escaping so people, who had been watching me filming huchens for a few days, would not notice my tears burst. I shouted to my daughter in a triumph and yelled into the phone, “I got it!” The “IT” was huchens mating and the moment the female burrows with a large tail her eggs into the gravel at the bottom of the river. At that moment were concentrated three years of my journeys on Orava and Turiec, and endless rolling in mute water. I hadn’t quite had a story about the Queen of the Carpathians in my mind yet, but I knew there wouldn’t be a story without those tail strokes on the bottom of the river. I was no longer interested in proving that I was good and able to film in the wild currents of our mountain rivers. My ego was completely suppressed by the story. And not only the huchen´s story but also mine. The story of finding a sense of what I do and the way I return the water that has embraced me and has given me so many wonderful experiences.
Then Tonga arrived, and after an hour and a half, having spent with a fifteen-meter-long mother and a three-meter-long humpback whale baby, I kneeled down in a boat. That was the second time the water got me so much that the emotions put me down. Once again, I experienced moments when wild animals heard the human desire for a meeting, and in addition, I completed another more than two-year pilgrimage to the story which eventually got the title “Cry of a Whale”. I can´t get rid of seeing harpoons one by one penetrating the body of the pilot whale in Indonesian Lamalera, cutting the sperm whales in Wade, Japan, and I knew that what would give the film a positive emotion was in my camera. I knew that all the woes I had in the process were not in vain. In the magic corners of the Orava River and under the Southern Cross in Polynesian Tonga, the “Borrowed Planet” was born.