Grannie Green Revivial

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Chp 3, The Earth Conference 1972 – Forty years champion for the environment

The Earth Conference 1972

The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, held in Stockholm on 5-16 June 1972, was an epochal event signifying global recognition of environmental problems. This first “Earth Conference” set off the international movement on environmental conservation and sustainable development. The inaugural day of the Conference, 5 June, was thereafter named World Environment Day.

CA was the only Hong Kong presence in this historic conference through the participation of Father Harold Naylor. As Father Naylor described it, “Sentab, a Swedish engineering company that had much experience boring tunnels through the granite of Hong Kong, sponsored my stay in Stockholm. They were trying to get a contract to build underground oil storage on Lamma Island for the proposed oil refinery, which never materialized.”

At the Earth Summit itself, “There were ministers from governments from around the world. But the NGO’s had their own meetings, and they numbered over four thousand! They were environmental pressure groups, each with a specific aim. I was completely unprepared to attend such a gathering with so many conflicting views. There were stalls and exhibitions on everything, from housing schemes to the ozone layer, radiation risks to alternative energy sources, from wild life preservation to the importance of wetlands. I had nothing to contribute and very little to urge, as I was so new to environmental matters.”

The Conference produced a Declaration and an Action Plan. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was created as a result of the Conference. Many of today’s global environmental campaigns, such as sustainable development and climate change, have emanated from the 1972 Conference.

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April 9, 2015 - Posted by | Dr WK Chan book

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