At the fabulous Bioneers conference last weekend in the San Francisco Bay area, I attended a workshop called 'Becoming Guardians for Future Generations.' The panelists discussed how important it is to become stewards of the land to protect it for the health and well-being of generations to come.
As we are becoming more aware of the impact of environmental degradation on human health, such as increased incidence of chronic and infectious disease, communities are coming together to gather knowledge and inspire action.
Bioneers speaker Carolyn Raffensperger, of the Science and Environmental Health Network, connected this learning process to the precautionary principle, which dictates, 'When the health of humans and the environment is at stake, it may not be necessary to wait for scientific certainty to take protective action.' The European Union has adopted part of the precautionary principle in its REACH law to regulate chemicals. (See our recent blog on it.)
Her fellow speaker, Tom Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network, likened guardianship to the Iroquois Seventh Generation principle that asks us to protect the environment and consider how our actions will affect the seventh generation of those who have yet to be born.
To track the success of these efforts, the site Guardians of the Future was started as an online commons to develop the idea and record its progress. There you can find blogs from contributors, as well as a Living Library of stories, laws and dreams. Keeping the land healthy and free of toxic chemicals, can help us on our own journeys to embrace better health for ourselves, as well as our descendants.