chapter  11
13 Pages

Revealing Themes: Applying a Positive Lens to the Chapters on Environment and Sustainability

ByJennifer Howard-Grenville

In 2000, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called for an assessment of the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being. Th e result, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, brought together the input of more than 1,300 experts worldwide and documented the unprecedented changes humans have made in land, water, and ecosystem health (2005). It is amply clear that we are “running down the account” of earth’s natural systems, spending natural capital at a far faster rate than it can be replenished (MEA, 2005, p. 5). Consider the following:

• At least one-quarter of the world’s marine fi sh stocks are overharvested; in many sea areas, the weight of fi sh available to be harvested is less than 10% of that available prior to the onset of industrial fi shing.