An old wisdom says, “We did not get our planet from our fathers, we borrowed it from our children.” Unfortunately, we have to admit that we rob our children inexorably. Our civilization has achieved tremendous technical and informational progress, but the mental development of people lags behind it. We are still greedy, so we have allowed that the consumption dominated the planet. The consequence is a huge increase in human consumption, which causes the plundering and devastation of natural ecosystems so much that they are no longer able to recover. We justify the plundering and devastation of natural ecosystems by mistaken criteria of quality of life, or we deceive each other and convince ourselves that this is not so bad. But it’s much worse! We create a huge ecological debt and our planet dies.
These photos show us the same place. It is a coral reef at Ras Mohammed cliff in the Red Sea. The difference is fifteen years. Such a short period was sufficient to destroy the cliffs that needed fifteen thousand for their development. These images are a typical example of how aquatic ecosystems are currently changing.
That is why the United Nations adopted a Declaration on Sustainable Development (DSD) at the conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The European union has adopted sustainable development as its horizontal priority in the effort to: „ensure a way of developing a human society that reconciles economic and social progress with full respect for the environment“. Despite all the measures we have taken, the negative impact of our civilization on natural ecosystems is steadily increasing. our Earth has changed fundamentally for the quarter century since the conference in Rio. A huge number of natural ecosystems have disappeared, many animal species have become extinct, and many others have become endangered. New continents of human waste are emerging which concentrate sea currents and are already bigger than Germany, France and Spain together. We continue to waste too much! Only in Slovakia, 178 kilograms of food per inhabitant end up in the rubbish bin every year. We can only say that we have failed during the last quarter century.
There are several causes, but the crucial thing is that we have started to build a house without bases. The basis for applying the SD is education and training that we have completely neglected. If we began to implement sustainable development in schools, we could now have a new generation of people for whom the protection of life would be the most important priority. They would manage the states or companies, and their mental and moral settings would not allow them, for example, to install software in car engines to deceive emission controls.
The United Nations adopted a new programme “The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” in September 2015. According to many scientists, this is probably our last chance to transform SD efforts into people’s everyday lives. We need to learn from the experiences and the most important topic of the program has to be education.
“Borrowed Planet” is a project that brings 16 of the most important of sustainable development topics. It combines documentaries and written text into a multimedia work which define the most important problems of sustainable development in comprehensive and especially understandable way. It forces viewers and readers not only to think about their own way of life, but above all help to change their attitudes towards life values. Within the implementation in schools, each topic is complemented by environmental activities for each level of education.
Author of the “Borrowed Planet”
Everything has changed when I was running down the bridge in Martin. I was running, not to let the crowd of people watching me notice that tears broke out on my face. Straight away, I phoned my daughter and cried into the phone: “Got it!” “It” was mating of the Danubian salmon (Hucho hucho) and the moment of burying its spawn into the gravel with its mighty tail. In this brief moment, three years of my frequent travels to Orava and Turiec and endless rolling in the muddy water were concentrated. At that time, I still did not have a complete story about the Queen of the Carpathians in my mind, but I knew that there would be no story without those tail strikes at the bottom of the river. I no longer wanted to prove that I was good at filming under water or capable of capturing the fish in Orava. My ego had been completely suppressed by not only the Danubian salmon’s story but mine as well – a story of looking for a meaning of what am I doing and how am I going to give back to water what she has given to me and accepted me in so many wonderful ways. Later on, I will never forget what happened in Tonga. I spent an hour and a half with a fifteen-meter-long humpback whale and its three-meter-long calf. Back in the boat, I dropped on my knees and hid my face in my palms. I was overwhelmed. This was the second time in my life I could not control my emotions. Once again, I experienced the moments when the wild animals heard out the human desire to meet. Moreover, I completed another, more than a two-year long journey, after which a story eventually got a name “Cry of a Whale”. I cannot get the memory out of my mind – harpoons penetrating blackfish in Indonesian island Lombatha, one after another, carving the Nordic Sperm Whale in Wada, Japan, and I just knew this is it – these are the scenes that will plant the right emotions into the film. All the troubles I have undergone during my realization were worth it.There, in the magic of the Orava river and under the southern cross in the Polynesian Tonga, the “Borrowed Planet” was created.”