Incredible things are happening around us. Earth hosts millions of animals and birds, five oceans and seven seas, hectares of forests and plants, and billions of humans. Mother Nature is a miracle! However, it really terrifies me when I meditate how much damage people’s uncontrollable actions provoke on our planet: Air pollution and climate change, erosion of land and soils, scarcity and contamination of freshwater, deforestation and loss of biodiversity. Are we serious people? We completely lost our limits. We entirely forgot where we have to stop.
Before unfolding all of my thoughts, let me introduce myself first. My name is Maria Zani and I am a second year student at Lancaster University, studying Accounting & Finance. I come from Cyprus, a country so trivial on the map, though, as gifted with natural beauties and as proud for its world-renowned crystal beaches. Growing up in a coastal area, I have developed a strong bond with nature and an irresistible addiction with the sea. As my field of study imposes, I am particularly interested in the performance of companies and especially their social and environmental impact. Thanks to LUMS, I am glad to represent my university at the WBCSD annual Liaison Delegate Meeting and have the opportunity to deepen my knowledge on how businesses deal with the most challenging sustainability issues. Further to that, attending this prestigious meeting would be a greatly insightful way to initiate myself in the professionals’ world, as I will soon experience my first steps in the business workplace by undergoing a summer internship programme in a top professional firm.
Our planet is amazingly hospitable to us, but we do not retaliate. Earth’s resources are finite; but we are acting as if they last forever! We consume like there is no tomorrow, contaminate as though we are the last generation alive, deforest and dissolve ecosystems mercilessly, and keep extinguishing every natural resource unstoppably… But we missed out a significant factor: that we are humans; that we cannot control everything on earth. This world will be conveyed to our descendants and it’s our responsibility to keep it a safe place for their survival. Therefore, we urgently need to realise that by causing negative repercussions on the environment we challenge the human race as well. What is more redoubtable yet is that mankind is the one that will be finally wiped out! Planet earth has been proven through the millenniums to be self-healed, though 20th century people have even managed to reverse this. Consequently, we definitely need to reconsider our boundaries as humans and set out the frontiers to our activities!
Although the need for a change is a widespread fact, the essence lies in focusing on how to make the transition to a sustainable world. I do believe, a variety of factors contribute to this move including government regulation, organisational methods, proper education, a shift to ethics, all of them with common core the man. Businesses substantially affect societies, economies and the environment thus they can contribute to a wide range of sustainable solutions. I can’t wait to head to Montreux and learn more about them!
More is yet to come. Until then, don’t forget your umbrellas of limits!
Looking forward to seeing all of you at Montreux!
Maria Zani, March 2018