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Maude Barlow defends nature against profit at the UN

New York − After Council of Canadians National Chairperson Maude Barlow debated German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G7 Civil Society Meeting in Berlin last week, today she presented to the United Nations in New York.

The plenary, presided over by UN General Assembly President Sam Kahamba Kutesa, discussed harmony with nature.

In her remarks, Barlow said, “In our world, nature is seen as a form of property, a resource for our pleasure, convenience and profit. Harmony with nature would have us develop laws and policies that put the protection of air, soil, water, wetlands, forests and other species at the centre of all practices and policies and judge everything – from the way we grow food and produce energy to global economic and trade policy – by their impact on the natural world.”

In her talk, she discussed how the economic policies of globalization, unlimited growth, deregulation of financial markets, gutting of environmental regulations, and the proliferation of trade and investment agreements that give the market great power to set policy and give corporations the right to sue governments, go against the UN’s goals of protecting the environment and water.

She concluded, “Simply put, we can have harmony with nature and a just system of sharing the Earth’s bounty or we can have these policies. We cannot have both.”

Maude Barlow is former Special Advisor on Water to the United Nations. Her notes can be found here.